Hey Nick...I really hope and pray this one works for them!
..."Dew Nets,"..."Condenser Screens"...et al... have been around for over 1000 years. The originals most likely someplace between Turkey and the Nile Valley region...
The challenge these see today is all too often a substantial grant of funding goes away from one project into others. Sometimes to an already successful Engineering and/or Architectural firm and they begin "dreaming" and "reinventing wheels." This is just a few from someone that "peeks behind the scenes" on stuff and I see a bit too much "ignoring" locals perspectives, NGO with experience on these subjects, and simply too much "ego engagement" in many of these projects...Wonderful, and heartfelt intentions...yes...Nevertheless, often a waste of time, and fiscal resources...With 'grantees' and developers with no desire to take a step back, look, listen, and understand all facets of the challenges....One major one being they want to build these in deserts that are both very dry, and often have very high desiccating winds...This might be a place where funding for saving the namesake tree is of more value perhaps?
I don't want anyone to think I am being a "negative nelly" or "grump." I am not, nor do I ever wish folks to stop trying and thinking of wonderful stuff like this...I think it is great...yet...I do really think we culturally need to take more time looking at the bigger picture of ideas we have. Bamboo is great, but even in these videos I am seeing some "Kool-Aid" being mixed...e.g. bamboo is more durable than wood? Uhmmm? I don't think that is really accurate nor have I ever seen an example where that was happening...Japan is probably one of the apex location for bamboo use and one of the longest histories of using it in just about in everything and everywhere...if bamboo was "more durable" than wood, it would be used in place of wood (which it is in some locations) for more places than it is...
Lets keep looking at great ways to use bamboo!...Let not allow it to run away with our "imaginations and motivations" to a point where we allow it to become invasive to other biomes or we start "making it work" (forcing it?) instead of allowing it to "work where it can..."
Tina Paxton wrote:
How did you treat the bamboo with flame?
I have used an electric heat gun and a hand-held propane torch, but you could use pretty much any heat source, I think. Here's a photograph from a website called bamboogarden.com of someone using some kind of propane stove - which actually looks like it would be easier to use and probably more efficient than the hand-held torch, although perhaps not as good as a rocket stove?
Basically you just need to apply heat to the skin of the bamboo until the natural oils rise to the surface giving it a kind of burnished appearance. Quite often you'll see moisture dripping out of the cut ends and at the branch nodes, so clearly the process helps to remove unwanted water, and I guess the idea is that the sugars that attract the bugs and borers are converted into something less palatable. Sorry that I can't give a more scientific account of what actually happens at the cellular or chemical level
On curing - the main thing, I would say, to dry the bamboo slowly in the shade. Ideally you should stand it up vertically, but if you have to stack it horizontally, it is good to rotate it fairly often so that it dries evenly. Drying it horizontally in the sun without rotating it is a surefire way to end up with cracked poles. You can always use those for split bamboo, though!
There are, I believe, many species of bamboo, with a wide variety of culm quality/ wood quality. Some strong, some weak, some rot quickly, etc. My old boss sells bamboo, and his website has a lot of info: http://www.tripplebrookfarm.com
Back to bamboo - specific species recommendations for zone 5-6, drier climate. I can plant them in a swale to provide water, but that would seem like asking for trouble to harvest. I do like the idea of a continual supply of trellising material.
Dave Burton wrote:Here is a wonderful Tedtalk I came across online about bamboo:
Anyone else notice that the video talks about Paul's coveted Round Door?
"Instead of Pay It Forward I prefer Plant It Forward" ~Howard Story / "God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools." ~John Muir