[permaculture] nitrogen fixing trees/shrubs that feed livestock

Paul Wheaton paul at richsoil.com
Sun Dec 26 22:45:26 EST 2004

Upside to kudzu?:

One of the most effective methods of eradicating kudzu may be goats. Because goats will
eat anything green, they are being used to help control the spread of kudzu in some
states. Mississippi has seen growth in the goat industry because of the profit in meat,
milk and wool products and has as many as 15,000 goats because of the growing market for
the non-traditional meat. They like the green plant, help control it, graze on what might
be considered wasteland, and produce a profit. Kudzu has been proved to be a
high-quality, high-protein food similar to alfalfa. Goats seem to give some economic
value to kudzu.

Because of its nutritional value, kudzu can be fed to most livestock, but there are other
uses for the aggressive weed. The vines are an excellent basket making material from
which unique baskets are made. Kudzu paper can be also produced. The most interesting
products, however, are the food products which can be made and the recipes which have
been developed: salad, stewed roots, pickled flowers, jelly, syrup, tea, fried kudzu,
quiche, ground kudzu root, casseroles, corn bread, thickening for sauces or apple pie,
boiled like turnip greens or spinach, kudzu tofu, cake flour. The list seems endless, and
the recipes actually sound worth trying.


--- Marimike6 at cs.com wrote:

> L.F. London writes:
> "Plant more KUDZU!! "
> Lawrence:  
> Have you been out grazing in the jimson weed ? Kudzu's residency in the 
> succession of climax species is as nearly permanent as the pyramids. In a 
> post-nuclear holocaust world we would only have species like cockroaches and kudzu 
> left.
> That said, it does make great dirt. It's much like English ivy in that 
> respect. And yes, it is a nitrogen-fixing legume.
> http://www.a-spi.org/tp/tp55.htm
> The trick is removing the kudzu once you get the desired dirt.  There is a 
> historical marker just outside Chase City, VA that says "On this spot in 1940, 
> kudzu was introduced as an agent of erosion control." 
> The sign is the only thing visible for quite some distance around that isn't 
> kudzu, and in the middle of the infestation you can see the engulfed remains 
> of an old service station. You have to be careful walking around in such places 
> because it grows so fast in the morning you can see the tendrils waving, 
> looking for something to grow onto. Get your foot tangled up in some and it can be 
> a hairy adventure before you extricate yourself again.  Always bring a 
> machete.
> On my land I've been clearing kudzu for years, and for some reason find lots 
> of golf balls in there. I haven't yet found the golfer.
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