Monday, August 24, 2009

Bamboo Grass: Much at Stake

Fun Fact: Bamboo is classified as a grass, not a tree!

In the search for an eco-friendly way to source material for stakes, perches, supports and pipe runners we needed to look no further than our own backyard. Introducing bamboo, thought to be the fastest-growing plant on the planet! We have 3 mature clumps of the stuff with about 40 stems to make use of. We have already cut down a number and utilised them in stakes for the apple trees, string stakes for planning out new projects and chicken perches!

And it does grow fast - bamboo can be harvested in about four years! Compare that to how long it takes most other trees of comparable mass to grow to full maturity. You can also stagger the stalks that you remove so that you have a ready supply of various ages at all times. It also does not require replanting because it continually creates new sprouts so it's an eternal source of strong material. Bamboo is so incredibly strong that certain varieties have been compared to steel! It is used in the construction of homes and even bridges in some parts of the world. It is also resilient and will merrily grow to over 60 feet in some cases — without the aid of toxic pesticides and fertilizers or much TLC.

Bamboo has also been used to make clothing, knives, spears, insulation, anti-bacterial ointments (bamboo contains a naturally occurring antimicrobial agent called kun that prevents the growth of bacteria.), name it really...magic stuff!


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