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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a!
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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Blooming Kudzu

Kudzu covers the South where it thrives because the frost line never gets deep enough into its root system. It was introduced to the US from Japan in 1876 and has remained a pesty weed ever since, increasing the acres of coverage in the South in particular every year.

People have written cookbooks on how to cook with kudzu. I took a basket making class in which we made baskets out of kudzu vine (I still have and use the basket 10 years later!)

Some beekeepers collect kudzu honey. Kudzu honey is purple and tastes grape-like. I've never seen it bloom, nor have I seen bees on it.

In Rabun County where I was this weekend, the kudzu was blooming in the sunny areas. Here are the pictures I took. I didn't see any bees on the kudzu but the blooms on this weed were really pretty.





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10 comments:

  1. know what you mean about the kudzu. We have to constantly be on the lookout for it on our 15 acres. The flowers are beautiful. Some brought the plant back from Japan to use as an ornamental plant to put on trellises. Of course anything we bring here from other countries to "help" with some other problem always ends up being more of a problem than the original problem!! Kudzu was brought here to help with erosion. hmmm. (sorry for the deleted comment, it was the same as this except Trellis is spelled right this time :))

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  2. Linda, when I met you at Young Harris 2 years ago (we shared a lunch table on Saturday) I remember you asking me if bears would be a problem in Rabun County. Wonder if you still consider putting a hive there? I think you would get some great sourwood honey there. My electric fence seems to be a detterent here in WNC. See my most recent post at Walter Bee.

    Too bad the kudzu is so invasive. The blooms and fragrance are beautiful. It's not a problem here at my elevation of 3700'.

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  3. linda bu ne bitkisi yaprakları incir yaprağına benziyor

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  4. I allow a vine to grow in my backyard (Texas) because it seems happy twirling up my fence.

    After hearing about the invasive aspects of Kudzu I was afraid I was contributing to the problem. However, the photos in your blog post don't look like the vines in my yard so you put me at ease.

    I'm still trying to identify my vines because I am trying to grow a "Best of Texas Backyard Habitat" (certified through the state of Texas). I plan to do some research to find out!

    Thanks so much for the information on Kudzu.

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  5. the Kudzu vine looks lovely when in bloom.

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  6. Hi Linda,

    I've just come across your Blog and wanted to compliment you on a great site. The photos are particularly striking.

    I started beekeeping this season and have decided to keep a blog as it happens. I've discovered since that there is a great online community out there! I'm in Ireland so we don't have quite the same climate as you unfortunately.

    I can honestly say that I'll be a regular visitor from now on!

    Cliff

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  7. Linda: Did you know that people in the old South used to make a tea out of kudzu? And they tell me that you can cook them just like you would turnip or collard greens too. If you want any, I will send you a batch from North Carolina! I knew a magistrate here who was in the former CCC camps during the FDR administration and planted it all up and down the eastern seaboard...maybe he planted that very vine you're looking at! :)

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  8. Hi Mark,

    PLEASE DON'T send me any!!! We have more than enough kudzu in my neighborhood and in Atlanta! I know people do a lot of things with kudzu - after all with something that plentiful, why not try to find ways to make it useful!

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  9. It has been found that extract of the roots from the kudzu creeper had a potential to curtail unfavourable signs of metabolic syndrome. It has been experimented on rats and no side-effects has been found. But since it still not been experimented on humans, scientists have not yet recommended it for people.

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  10. I think Kudzu is also referred to as the mile a minute plant. Kudzu honey sounds like a genius use for the plant. Thanks for the idea.

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