Curious about kudzu? Join Kudzu Culture and Cooperate WNC on December 1, from 3 – 7pm, at The Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center in Mills River, North Carolina, for the inaugural Kudzu Culture Fair. Participants are invited to attend a Root Harvest Training from 3:30 – 5pm in the auditorium, followed by a Kudzu Craft and Products Fair from 5 – 7pm, featuring regional art, craft, and culinary and herbal products made from kudzu.
Horiko-San (堀り子さん) is what kudzu root diggers are called in Japan. Often these diggers are farmers who wild-harvest kudzu roots during the cold season as a supplement to their farming. Here in Western North Carolina we have a legacy of herbal root digging and we have an opportunity to aggregate high-quality kudzu roots for cooperate processing. We hope to see you on December 1 to learn and share all things kudzu, including how to be a Horiko-San! Together we will discuss the need for cooperative kudzu harvesting, aggregation and processing in order to strengthen a regional kudzu supply chain.
If you are interested in volunteering or vending please email email@example.com or call Kudzu Culture at 828-280-7874. Volunteer roles for December 1 include helping with setup, vendor load-in, and cleanup.
The air is crisp and the waters are cool here in Western North Carolina! We’ve had a fun and busy summer full of collaborations and cooperative research and education. Here are a few updates and upcoming events.
In appreciation, Lauren “LB” Bacchus Co-Founder | Executive Director
Vine-to-Cloth Camp 2022
We were joined in August by a fabulous group of curious campers for Kudzu Vine-to-Cloth Camp in Marshall, NC. Together with Fiberhouse Collective and our Invasive Plant Fiber Study Group cohort we wove healing kuzu-fu (kudzu cloth) from hand-harvested and processed kudzu vine bast fiber. Special thanks to Nica of Fiberhouse Collective for cohosting, and to all of the generous contributions of camp participants. We are collaborating with the abundance! Stay tuned for explorations into industrially spun kudzu yarn and blending with other abundant plant fibers.
Community Through Kudzu with RiverLink
We had a wonderful time last week with RiverLink at Azalea Park in Asheville, NC. This is a site where kudzu is being eradicated, while we are simultaneously educating the public about how humans are important predators of kudzu! There are many ways we can responsibly collaborate with kudzu through harvest, use, and consumption. In this workshop we learned about uses for vines, roots, leaves, and blossoms. Pictured is kudzu blossom Vine-Aid, made with kudzu blossom simple syrup.
Now is the time to harvest kudzu blossoms! It’s important to harvest kudzu blossoms to prevent spread, because the blossoms become seed pods.
Join Us for Kudzu Crafts, Demos, and Product Debuts!
What: Art on the Island When: Saturday, September 24, 2022, 10am – 5pm Where: Blannahassett Island, Marshall, North Carolina
What: Kudzu Farmer + Harvester Training and Kudzu Products Fair When: Thursday, December 1, 2022 Where: Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center, Mills River, North Carolina
Call for Volunteers and Donations
Kudzu Culture was founded from an over decade-long research and education initiative between Justin Holt, Zev Friedman, Lauren “LB” Bacchus, and many coconspirators and collaborators. LB currently serves as the Executive Director and sole employee, as our Board of Directors works on developing a cooperative model. If you would like to further support our work, please consider volunteering or making a tax-deductible donation. Volunteers can be local to Western NC for in-person events, or can volunteer virtually by working on research, grant writing, data management, and/or educational material development.
Other donations needed: sturdy work truck, enclosed trailer, UTV, all-terrain hand carts, digging tools, cutting tools, gloves, food-grade buckets/vessels, tarps, warehouse space in Buncombe County or Madison County, North Carolina
Donations are tax-deductible. Please email LB at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 828-280-7874 with inquiries and to coordinate donations.
Kudzu Culture and RiverLink invite the public to another installment of Community Through Kudzu, this time at Azalea Park along the Swannanoa River in Asheville, North Carolina. Swing by August 27, 9:30am – noon, to learn about the history of kudzu as fiber, food, and medicine. Activities include hands-on root crown identification, kudzu friendship bracelet making, and tasting kudzu root iced tea!
Kudzu Culture is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to kudzu research and education. Learn more at kudzuculture.net or email email@example.com
Kudzu Culture and Fiberhouse Collective are hosting an intensive kudzu cloth making workshop, Vine-to-Cloth Kudzu Camp, August 5 – 8, 2022, in Marshall, NC.
LB from Kudzu Culture, Nica from Fiberhouse Collective, and collaborators will facilitate teaching the various stages of kuzu-fu (kudzu cloth) production. Together we will weave kuzu-fu that will be used to create prototype garments. Camping is available onsite, and vacation rental options are nearby.
Building on the legacy of kudzu fiber knowledge from Asia, Kudzu Culture cofounders and current board members Justin Holt and Zev Friedman started hosting Kudzu Vine Camp in 2016. Since then we have continued learning and teaching traditional processing while experimenting with novel methods. Below are some pictures from Kudzu Vine Camps of previous years, along with woven samples by local weaving instructor Melanie Wilder and other artists.
Please email LB at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. Space is limited, but we will try to accommodate those interested. To apply for Vine-to-Cloth Kudzu Camp, August 5 – 8, please fill out this form:
We are thankful for a grant from The Educational Foundation of America (EFA) that has empowered us to continue researching the nuances of the existing kudzu supply chain and how farmers and harvesters in the Southeastern United States can collaborate with this abundant species for the better. Part of our funding has gone toward farmer + harvester trainings and purchase of fresh kudzu roots from those participants. While we plan to operate cooperatively on a regional scale in the future, we currently mostly work with folks based in Western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee. We are also working on virtual learning materials for those who can’t attend trainings in person.
Once we establish more consistent raw material sourcing we will open back up to online sales of fresh and dried root. If you placed an order and have not it received yet, or if you are interested in placing a pre-order, please email email@example.com for more information and to signup for our customer email list.
Thank you for your ongoing support of kudzu research and education!
Join us this weekend for our next installment of Community Through Kudzu: An Educational Greenway Maintenance Initiative
Saturday April 2 + Sunday April 3 1 – 4pm daily
Worksite is located along Reed Creek Greenway, at the intersection of Cauble and Broadway Streets
Join Kudzu Culture, Montford Neighborhood Association, Urban Forest Alliance, City of Asheville Parks and Recreation, and Smart Feller Tree Works in this collaborative and educational maintenance initiative.
Be an ecological ally in our community!
ROOT CROWN ID and REMOVAL KUDZU SHOW+TELL HANDS-ON DEMONSTRATIONS KUDZU TEA+SNACKS
Please bring: gloves, hand pruners, mattocks, shovels
We are thrilled to share that we are officially a 501(c)(3) nonprofit! Collectively we have been working on kudzu research, experimentation, and education for over a decade here in the mountains of Western North Carolina. We look forward to continuing this work for years to come, while vitalizing creative economies that utilize abundant species.
One aspect of our current work is that we are measuring effectiveness/viability of harvesting and processing fresh kudzu root from clean mountainside sites into shredded, dehydrated matter that can be used in various culinary and herbal applications. Wintertime is when the vines and leaves are dormant, and the roots are most vibrant. We are in the midst of our Winter 2022 harvest; fresh and dried root is available for purchase, and will be shipped in late March. Funds from selling fresh and dried root help sustain our work.
Fresh and dried kudzu root is available for purchase on our Etsy Page. If you are an herbalist or community practitioner, and would like a discount or donation, please fill out this form: https://forms.gle/DLNH4QBhi8NHSb3i8
Join Kudzu Culture, Montford Neighborhood Association, Urban Forest Alliance, and City of Asheville Parks and Recreation in this collaborative and educational maintenance initiative. We will hear the story of kudzu, identify and remove root crowns, and taste kudzu treats and tea.
Become an ecological steward in your community!
Bring (if you have, but not necessary):
*** Please wear warm clothes/shoes, and bring a mask for indoor portion of workshop and maintain social distance in outdoor spaces. ***
This workshop is free to the public and no registration is required.
Email LB at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions
Kudzu Culture + Fiberhouse Collective are partnering for an experimental, collaborative gathering of artists, foresters, farmers and makers. We will learn the traditional methods of kudzu vine fiber processing and develop new methods together.
August 21-22, 10am – 4pm daily; join us on both days, or one, with the option to camp overnight at the site in Marshall, NC.