Henry and Edith “The Kudzu Queen of North Carolina” Edwards are expert cultivators of kudzu, an invasive species first brought to America from Japan in the late 1800s. The Civilian Conservation Corps later aided in the plant’s rapid take-over by planting it during the Great Depression to prevent soil erosion. Now most in the Southeast view kudzu- also known as “foot-a night vine” due to its rapid growth- as a menace. But Edith and Henry are on a mission to show the value of this misunderstood plant. Edith weaves baskets from the vines, cooks the leaves in countless recipes, and even makes a kudzu hair conditioner. Henry bales the kudzu for animal feed and mulch.
The Edwards’ have lived on their 400-acre farm for 50 years, but Henry’s connection to the land stretches back centuries. His ancestors were given a land grant from the King of England in 1770s and the land has been passed down through the family ever since. Although Henry has been offered enormous sums to sell the farm, he plans to keep it for generations to come. The land was once a hunting ground for the Cherokee and Catawba tribes and Henry remembers when his grandfather took him out to see an Indian burial ground. He used to find arrowheads on the farm and was even told that his great-great grandmother was the last person to be scalped in the region.
After serving in WWII, Henry worked for a time in with his uncle in Washington D.C., where he met Edith, who grew up Fairland, M.D. They moved back to the family farm in the early 1960s, where Henry’s uncles, Frank and Gordon, used kudzu planted in the gullies for livestock feed.
Since then, the Edwards’ have been perfecting the growth of kudzu. The biggest challenge lies in harvesting the tangled vines, but this part just takes a little bit of thinking. For those like Henry who take the time to solve the problems that the vines pose, the pay-off is great. Kudzu is very high in protein, doesn’t take fertilizer or herbicide to grow, is beneficial to human and animal health, and has a myriad of uses. Because the Edwards’ are one of the few people in the United States who work with kudzu, they have been interviewed by Fox News and mentioned in the novel "Star Flight".
Today Edith and Henry enjoy their beautiful farm with their family: son Duncan with wife Mary; daughter Caroline Edwards Beam with husband Greg, and grandsons Stuart and Will Beam.
Edith sells her famous Kudzu Queen Blossom Jelly exclusively through this website. Prices are all inclusive.
To ORDER from this website, REGISTER as a CLUB BUYER; WAIT for APPROVAL; then CLICK on the PICTURE below.
BUYING PAGE: PUT SHIPPING address in Notes area, if different from BILLING Address.