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Input on growing Bamboo for food and material

 
gardener
Posts: 324
Location: North Fork, CA. USDA Zone 9a, Heat Zone 8, 37 degrees North, Sunset 7/9, elevation 2600 feet
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Is anyone growing bamboo for food? for construction or craft material?
I'm interested in growing bamboo. My wife and I love the shoots. I would also like to use bamboo for making fences, gardening stakes, etc.
I don't know much in this area, any information you can give would be much appreciated. Thank you.
 
Posts: 64
Location: Cranston, Rhode Island
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We grow a species named Guadua Angustifolia on our farm in the tropics. We have used in for a guest home, three sheds for our animals and a fence line that is 90m in length.
I believe in matured in 5 or 6 years and the height was close to 20m high and width about 10cm. We have 7 clumps of it and harvest one or two a year. A great building material.
Also we have another species that we can harvest to eat. I forget the name off hand. We use it to feed our pigs as they seem to like it a lot.
We have around 8m to 10m of rain a year and I believe most species like lots of rain for fast growth.
 
master pollinator
Posts: 11359
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I have one small plant of Sweet Shoot Bamboo, but it is not doing well because I have not found a good location for it where it will get enough water.

In this video, Martin Crawford talks about bamboo as food: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ggwa5irxmg

Also in this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFbcn06h8w4
 
pollinator
Posts: 1523
Location: northern California
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Most bamboos are either tropical or native to warm-temperate climates with fairly reliable summer rain. Quite a few species thrive and become invasive in the Southeast. In Mediterranean climate like ours you will need to provide reliable irrigation to get them to succeed. The hardier clumping bamboos like Bambusa multiplex should be hardy, and won't spread aggressively like the runners such as Phyllostachys.
 
Posts: 145
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Yeah, phyllostachys is kind of a curse, although I am in love with phyllostachys nigra, the canes turn such a pretty color black like polished ebony, that the invasiveness is almost a good thing. It makes good pipe stems and cane poles for fishing.
 
Posts: 135
Location: Sunset Zone 27, Florida
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"clumping" bamboo found by the side of the road. it looks almost like i fed all the leaves to the rabbits and made the curtain myself, right?

-tentance
http://oldescrubland.blogspot.com
 
Steve Flanagan
gardener
Posts: 324
Location: North Fork, CA. USDA Zone 9a, Heat Zone 8, 37 degrees North, Sunset 7/9, elevation 2600 feet
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So, what do you think the best species of bamboo to grow in my area would be?
 
pollinator
Posts: 2409
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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Here is a list of bamboos and other "wild" edible for area
http://perennialvegetables.org/perennial-vegetables-for-each-climate-type/mediterranean-and-mild-subtropical/
 
Popeye has his spinach. I have this tiny ad:
A rocket mass heater is the most sustainable way to heat a conventional home
http://woodheat.net
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