The very strong bamboo grove at one “corner” of StellaLou doesn’t stay in the lines. Its fuzzy edges are mischievous and reach into the woodlot, the pond, and the neighbor’s yard. Yes, I admit that I’ve grumbled at the enormous crops of bamboo shoots that threaten to take over the land each spring and summer. I’m hoping that they will serve as dinner for goats in the future! With proper preparation, they are edible for humans, too.
We, occasionally, end up with a pile of drying surplus bamboo from thinning the grove and tidying the gardens. I am intrigued with the idea of making biochar from the bamboo but it takes proper preparation. For now, we Bam-Boom! The bamboo is segmented and with sufficient heat; air and moisture trapped in those segments begin to steam and expand and, then, explode. For safety, we avoid burning a large amount of bamboo that is too green. The video below is fire from 2 year old drying bamboo. Still pretty good Bam-Boom!
Bamboo inspires the imagination! It’s made for awesome playgrounds and clubhouses for children in the past, and will, very soon, in the future. It is material for bean poles and pea trellises and tomato stakes. Birds and deer and bunnies find food and shelter there. Our graceful grove sings and dances with the wind. It’s year round greenery droops in the rain and bows in the snow. We love our beautiful bamboo.
There is no end to the creative purposes the bamboo grove can serve! We have plans…so many plans. Stay tuned!
I visited our permaculture orchard early this afternoon. We’re having a thaw after a couple of weeks of hard freeze conditions. Last night and this morning, the rain has been plentiful. In the little video posted below, you will see:
hybrid plums and black currants and asian persimmon planted on the raised berm,
a swale catching melted snow and water running down the slope of the land,
black alder (Alnus glutinosa) which I planted in the swales because they tolerate wet conditions and help manage water, fix nitrogen and build soil fertility, provide early pollen to the bees (see those catkins?), provide habitat and food for many creatures, and can easily be coppiced,
wild perennial weeds (especially aster and goldenrod last fall) and grasses growing in the swale which stabilize the soil, help water to percolate into the soil, and provide food and habitat for many creatures, and
a 3-d deer fence in the background which allows most every animal to sneak into the orchard but is excellent for preventing deer from coming into the orchard and damaging/eating our plantings.
I, also, found this hardy character growing cheerfully in the rain! We planted plenty of rhubarb last spring once we found that we liked rhubarb mead so much. They are doing well!