“Coming on the heels of the disastrous environmental conditions during the Great Depression, the decision to plant kudzu was rational and even environmentally sound.”
“What happens when our beautiful fall colors provided by the hardwood trees are increasingly overtaken and killed off by kudzu?”
“To cite one example, trees growing along the Reed Creek Greenway in Montford are currently being enveloped in kudzu.”
While pretty much everyone agrees kudzu is a big problem across the South, there seem to be as many philosophies for dealing with it as there are leaves on the vines. At Chimney Rock State Park’s Krazy with Kudzu event on Aug. 12, park visitors can learn about a variety of approaches to living with — or destroying — the pervasive plant.
While growing food and other crops beneath the forest canopy isn’t new — it’s been practiced by indigenous and traditional cultures around the world for centuries — a new focus on forest farming is highlighting the possibilities of forest-based production of non-timber crops in Western North Carolina.
“I’m all one big mess of kudzu,” says Matt Tommy. “A husband, a father, a speaker, a teacher, an artist and a father to other artists!”