If you live near or south of the Mason Dixon line, you are likely to be familiar with kudzu. You know, it's that stuff that, when you're driving down the highway, sort of looks like a big green blob, covering fields, trees, houses--anything in it's path! Kudzu is a good idea gone bad. It was brought into this country in the 1800's, and was promoted as a fast growing, low maintainance, privacy fence. Growing more than 18 inces a day in the summertime heat, it lived up to expectations. By the 1920's, farmers were trying to grow it as livestock feed. Someone else decided to grow it for erosion control. Lumber companies even tried to grow it as a cover crop! In short, kudzu was planted from Pennsylvania to Texas, and is covering everything in its path. Many states now consider kudzu an invasive species
--others, a noxious weed, and have forbidden planting it under most circumstances. Recently, I tried picking kudzu in Hot Springs National Park. I was stopped by a ranger who asked me what I was doing. After explaining that am a weaver, baskets, blah, blah, I was told that I need to apply for a permit to pick kudzu in the park...that a certain percentage of my profits from weaving would be given to the park...WHAT???
for a noxious weed? I guess I'll let that little patch of kudzu be their problem...someday it may eat the whole park!