Coalition to Control Kudzu Infestations without Chemicals

February 2008 Newsletter



New Kudzu Kollege Grads: The January 26 graduating class was one of the best yet. Elaine Bailey, Susan Billings, Beth Blumenfield, Karen Campbell, Faye Guest, Fred Rice, Margaret Rucinski, Terry Sizemore, and Ray Trail found that the final test was not as hard as expected and earned their diplomas. The alumni list is growing fast. Next class is March 1.


SC-EPPC Joint Kudzu Control Study: Pam Peeler’s Broome High School Student Government students were among the first youth to help in this project, which is behind the Beacon restaurant. See their pictures along with Jim Anderson at work at


Tina Gragg interview: Last week Doug Keel interviewed Tina, Environmental Science teacher at Chapman High in Inman, SC, for his radio show, “Speaking of Schools”. Doug was interested in the experiences of her class out killing kudzu. This is one of the Coalition’s “No Student Left Indoors” activities.  Tina’s interview is tentatively scheduled to air at 6:30 PM on Public Radio, Monday, March 10.


Last Child in the Woods: Richard Louv’s book is a hit with many. He identifies what he calls “nature-deficit disorder”. You have heard about “No Child Left Behind”. The Kudzu Coalition has adopted the objective “No Student Left Indoors”.


Youth Awards to be announced in February: The Kudzu Coalition youth art contest and the writing award contests will be announced this month. Mott Bramblett and Betsy Teter have arranged for the artists at Hub-Bub to do the judging. Grades 6, 7, and 8 will be split out from grades 9, 10, 11, & 12 for separate cash awards. The winners will be announced during Kudzu Kapers on April 19 at the old train depot on Magnolia Street. Last year’s activities, including award winners and teachers, can be seen at


Field trip to Clemson University: Our annual field trip to Clemson was most interesting and helpful. Dr. Pat Layton, Head of the Forestry and Natural Resources Department, and Dr. Elena Mikhailova, Soil Scientist, welcomed the kudzu team with hospitality and much good information. They presented us a poster showing Casey Newton's masters work using the late Dr. Larry Nelson's method for killing kudzu using heat under polyethylene sheeting. The Coalition has used sheeting operationally for several years and at six different sites during 2007.  


New boom for “Weapon of (Bio) Mass Destruction”:  In January Paul David Blakeley tested a new attachment to his skid loader – a grapple hook boom. The boom was designed by Paul David and Paul Savko and fabricated in Spartanburg by Mr. Roddy Jeffers, owner of Pressley Machine Works. It worked better than we had hoped. Other modifications are underway


Kudzu now used in snuff: Last fall Henry Edwards shipped several hundred bales of kudzu from his farm in Rutherfordton, NC to a company that makes snuff. Hooch Snuff now sells a tobacco free product which uses kudzu. Check out


Inventive volunteers: Wilson Lanford noticed how hard it is to find tools once they are laid down in the kudzu patch. She bought fluorescent tape and wrapped the handles. Hard to miss those tools now. Don Oldham built a device for popping kudzu crowns up without bending over. It works well on privet also.


Thank you for your continuing interest and support.



The Kudzu Coalition