Sunday, October 11, 2015

Bamboo

Bamboo. I could write a small book about bamboo on my homestead. It's interesting the way it grows. It has scads of uses. And there are dozens of different varieties of bamboo available here in Hawaii. 

One of my bamboo clumps is a variegated type. First of all, it's a clumping variety rather than a running variety. Thus it stays in one spot as opposed to taking over the entire farm. I've seen running bamboo, and while extremely useful on a homestead farm, it could quickly overtake the land if not aggressively managed. A person that I know has running bamboo on his coffee farm and encourages people to come harvest as much as they like. And yet, he still has scads of it everywhere. It's a shame he lives over an hour away it else I'd help myself to a plentiful amount on a regular basis. 

Back to my own bamboo. I don't know the name of this variegated variety, but it's a neat one. Quite tall and beautiful. It must be at least 30 foot high so far, if not 40'.

The stalks are yellow with green stripes. The amount of green varieties considerably from stalk to stalk and even along the individual stalks. 

When the clump was young, the stalks were rather narrow. Perhaps 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter. But now that the clump is well established, I was surprised to see stalks being produced that are 3 inches in diameter. Wow, great! Big bamboo is fun to use. 

The new shoots emerge mostly green, though they quickly assume their yellow and green stripes. And they emerge in the thickness that they will be when fully grown. They grow taller but not wider. So if they emerge at two inches wide, that's what they will be. Not more, not less. 

So what can I use bamboo for? Plenty. Some day I'll photograph some of my creations. They include trellises, fencing, house decorations, wind chimes, door handles, towel racks, kitchen utensils, picture frames, and more. I'd like to try my hand at some furniture some day too. 



2 comments:

  1. Su Ba, do you know if this one is an edible variety? if so, the shoots are not hard to prepare for eating...

    http://www.soniatasteshawaii.com/2007/07/bamboo-shoots-o.html

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    1. I have no idea if it's an edible variety. In fact, I hadn't even considered trying to grow bamboo for eating because I suspected it would be a hassle to prepare. Thanks for sending me the link. I'm going to check it out. Who knows, perhaps I'll try producing my own bamboo!

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