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Houses Covered in Kudzu


Photo: Jack Anthony

Kudzu is a climbing vine introduced into the United States from Japan in 1876 at the Philadelphia Centennial Expo as a forage crop and ornamental plan. In the early 1950s, US Department of Agriculture encouraged farmers to plant kudzu to reduce soil erosion.

Fast forward a couple of decades later, kudzu is a fast growing weed that has infested about 11,000 square miles of the southeastern United States. It costs around $500 million every year in lost cropland and control costs.

Jack Anthony has a photo gallery of abandoned houses in Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina that have been taken over by kudzu, noting that they make "interesting natural sculptures": Link - via Cynical-C


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The bottom line, though, is that this alien species was introduced by man into a biosphere that did not have natural defenses against it.

History DOES repeat itself. Look at how many native species that have been driven to extinction by man's intervention.

We never learn, do we?
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biofuel production per se isn't a net waste of energy. Ethanol production from corn is, because they grow it with energy intensive fertilizers and don't use the whole plant. Wheat (and other grains / grasses) make efficient biofuel. You can also filter some oils (like canola) after they've been used in deep frying and use them in diesel engines (with some "retuning" I think). If you're after generic energy (heat / electricity) rather than motor fuel, you can take anything that grows fast and burns well. Bamboo biomass is good for that. The CO2 from the burn is taken up by the new plant material as it grows. Not 100% efficient, but good. Kudzu doesn't fit this too well since it takes too long to dry to a burnable state.
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Hopefully it won't be known as a weed for long. As stated in the comments above it is edible for both animals and for humans (is apparently quite tasty as a salad and smells like grape leaves), it also yields the same amount of biofuel as corn without actually impacting the food supply, and is used in Japan for natural medicines.
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It's edible.
http://www.channel4.com/entertainment/tv/microsites/Y/yawye/kudzu.html
Instead of eradicating it with poison, use it for 'biofuel' instead of corn and wheat.

The stupidity of humans never ceases to amaze me.
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