Green Solution to Kudzu

Tuesday, 18 May 2010
I took this picture today while covering a news story.  Yep.  I wrote a story about goats - but it's much more interesting than you might think. 

In the late 1800s people introduced a vine to the south eastern part of the United States called Kudzu.  It was meant to help control erossion.  Instead, it overtook the landscape killing native plants by using up sunlight and water.  Kudzu is now know as "The Vine that Ate the South."  On some highways in the Knoxville area, the green vine with huge green leaves drapes over everything.  Trees, bushes, buildings, fences and plants are covered by the stuff.  It literally grows one foot a day. 

Herbicides can slow the growth down but it won't kill it.  Enter this new herd of goats.  They arrived at the Knoxville Botanical Gardens last night to get to work.  They LOVE Kudzu.  The weed is the goat's version of chocolate.  I watched the animals munch and munch on the stuff for at least an hour and they didn't slow down.  It was amazing to see.

The group Keep Knoxville Beautiful would like to introduce goats to some city parks overrun with Kudzu but the ordinance has to pass the city council first. Currently, farm animals aren't allowed in city limits.  To me this is a great way to clean up Kudzu and stay green with the method.  No more useless herbicide leaking into our groundwater.  And while you're at it, Councilmembers - would you make chickens legal too??


Anonymous said...

Kudzu is to the goat as Krispy Kreme is to moi.


Crystal Young said...

A girl in one of my classes did a paper on kudzu and found out that in some asian cultures they make salads with it. She found and shared the recipe with us. It was interesting.

Denae said...

Case - there is seriously a KK less than a mile from my house. I haven't been there because I know that will open the flood gates of obsession with choc covered cream filled.

Crystal - cool! I'd try it.