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Bob mutschler is a fount of horticultural knowledge

Bob mutschler is a fount of horticultural knowledge


Bob mutschler is a fount of horticultural knowledge, there is no better

place to learn about pests and problems of wild plants than with a man who

is familiar with the art of caring for them. Bob and his wife, Barbara, live

in the bay area. For more information, send mail to:

<,mailto:[email protected]>, [email protected]

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The following discussion appeared on the net-mist group on 30 Sep 1994, and

was expanded for posting on the net-usenet group on 25 Jun 1995.

Subject: Kudzu - And Vinegar

It must be fun to be poor in the states. No one can rob you because it's

not stealing. (It is the way of capitalism.) Instead, you get to take it in

your stride and focus on growth.

Anyway, a "bush" in the southwestern US called "Kudzu" (It's a Japanese word

but spelled "kudzu") is a plant that actually grows rapidly. As it grows

it sucks up all the phosphates in the soil and dies. But the vine itself is

tough, and will grow for a long time, making it a vine forest.

But a funny thing is that this vine will keep growing as long as there are

no mature trees. The vine will spread and grow over the tree. It is great

for growing a bush forest without any space.

So, I'm sure you have heard about kudzu in the eastern US. The "kudzu

destroyer" drives a truck with a machine to kill kudzu.

When I first heard about it I was kind of amazed. "Is that all? A little

dead kudzu? This plant is unstoppable".

One day I got to thinking. Maybe there are ways to kill this monster that

will destroy kudzu forever.

Last fall we moved from Japan to America.

When we got here we had a nice house and garden. Then we discovered kudzu.

Last December I spent three months (seven days a week) on the phone to the

county kudzu elimination group. They were all over the place. They drove

all over the place to kill kudzu. One guy was in the forest all the time.

All I did was just to count the days.

At last I found a way.

I decided to make vinegar.

You see, kudzu produces acid from the fruit, right?

I collected vinegar from more than two thousand kudzu plants.

When I finished I was surprised how good it was. The flavor is like a

Chinese beer.

The taste is even better.

The idea came from a Japanese group called "kudzu killers".

I've been trying it on kudzu vine forests. They love the vinegar.

Some time later I found out that the "kudzu destroyer" was not a bad

competition. I'm just now beginning to realize it.

The destroyer was only thirty or forty miles away. He was trying to take

down kudzu just to make money.

So it was easy for me.

Kudzu is a vine plant. I decided to make vinegar.

I need a single vine.

Luckily, kudzu produces not only fruit but also leaves.

Every day, I pick two leaves from the vine and dry them in a paper bag


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