Here are a bunch of my bamboo photos in random order. All of the photos of things made/done with bamboo are at my place. All the photos of mature bamboo groves are from nearby friends’ and neighbors’ groves, which is where I’ve gotten all the poles and shoots that I’ve used on my farm and eaten so far. Of course, the thing I use bamboo for most often is staking (of all sorts of different types of things), but the photos are all of other uses.
This first one is a friend’s moso grove about 20 miles north of me:
This next one is something I’ve done a few times with bamboo. In this case I’m using the bamboo bin to contain leaves until they rot down into the leaf mold that I use as a major part of my potting mix, especially for trees and other perennials. Bins like this seem to last well enough to serve their purpose for 4-5 years. You can see I added another layer to this bin right before the photo was taken.
Here are some tree pots I made from bamboo to grow some pawpaw seedlings in. The bottom of each pot (bamboo tube) is just below a node in which I drilled some drainage holes. If there were any other nodes I knocked them out. I like having modest size pots that don’t require too much potting mix but that can still accommodate a long tap root. I’ve started planting pawpaws like this at the start of their 3rd growing season. To plant them I smash the pots with a rock just enough to split them vertically into 3 or 4 pieces, then plant the whole pot in the ground, which seems to work especially well for pawpaws, the roots of which don’t seem to hold onto the soil as well as other trees and which also seem more susceptible to breaking. So far I’ve been very happy with the way they’ve worked.
Here are some moso shoots my family ate. The largest was over 1 lb after prepping (removing the outer parts.)
Here is a madake culm I brought home from the same friend’s place that has the moso in the first photo. I had to cut it in pieces to bring it home, but I pieced it back together for the photo. I only brought the part of the culm home that was below the first branches/leaves. There was probably another 20’ or so of culm (the part with all the leaves) that I left in the grove. Toward the upper left corner of the photo you can see the calf pen made from bamboo that I have another photo of below.
Here’s a light weight movable cage I originally made for some geese and then repurposed for a pair of orphaned twin goat kids. It’s lashed together with scraps of discarded baling twine a neighbor gave me.
Here are some boiled P. aureosulcata shoots. They’re mild tasting but we like them a lot.
Here’s my own start of a P. aureosulcata grove, although I’m thinking of getting rid of this one, because I can only grow so much bamboo, and although this is one of my favorites for looks and it grows very well in my location, there are other similar sized bamboos I think could be more useful for me. P. aureosulcata shoots taste very good, but even at full size they’re on the small side for processing. If you look closely, you might be able to see the red/burgundy coloration on the new shoots to the left. The yellow with the green stripes is really pretty, and the temporary red in the spring adds even more eye appeal. If I cut down this grove I may try to pot up some of this in a really large pot just to look at.
Here’s a friend’s grove of P. vivax. I’m growing some as well (not nearly this big yet), and it’s the one I most want to grow for shoots, because they’re good size and late enough shooting that I’ll get a good part of them in May when my farmers market season starts. Most of the other Phyllostachys species shoot mostly in March or early April. P. vivax is also supposed to taste good. For scale, those are daffodils just to the left of the grove.
Here are some P. aureosulcata shoots in the different stages of processing before cooking, as best as we’ve figured out to do it so far. We cut them in half length-wise, then peel off the culm sheath parts.
Here’s a close-up of the calf pen. Instead of lashing like the goose/goat pen, I drilled holes through larger diameter poles (the uprights) and put smaller diameter poles (the horizontals) through those holes.