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Battling the Green Beast

SCLT members learned more when the Coalition’s Newt Hardie spoke at one of their meetings. They first engaged their opponent at the Ozone/Thompson location, aided by “Kudzilla,” a small tractor modified to help roll up the long tendrils. “Kudzilla” was a brainchild of the Spartanburg Kudzu Coalition.

It took more than one treatment, SCLT President Nancy Barnett.

“You have to keep going back,” Barnett said. After the first treatment, coalition members returned to that location.

“It was bad,” remembered Barnett. “We had to de-crown it. It’s an ongoing project.”

In selecting other locations, “We saw places that were very visible,” said Barnett, to show others that control could be achieved.

Though SCLT members have hired goats to munch unwanted kudzu, these efficient critters have not yet been available.

“There are many uses for kudzu,” Anderson said, “and we encourage them (people) to use it.”

Kudzu is also edible for humans. Young leaves can be used in salads, or juiced, while the roots provide edible starch. Young shoots are also edible; seeds and pods are not. Some landowners bail kudzu for hay to feed livestock. Kudzu is also a source for soaps, lotions, rope and twine, baskets, paper, fuel and compost.

SCLT members will show homeowners how to control kudzu on their property, but because the members are all volunteers, it’s up to individual homeowners to perform the actual control. SCLT’s efforts are within the 28773 zip code area.

To reach SCLT, call 828-749-1560.