Do you harvest your Bamboo or complain that it is invasive?

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP:  This post may contain Affiliate Links for your convenience, thank you in advance for your support!  Renee

Arrggg, I am starting to get annoyed at hearing opinions about plants being invasive and the frustration one feels at the natural characteristics of the plants to grow!  Now with an increased focus of  exploring the benefits of the plants growing right in our own gardens, when I hear this type of statement, I change it in my mind to, “I am not harvesting this plant and letting it overgrow.”  Imagine blaming a plant for growing!  

One of the plants that I hear this comment the most about is Bamboo.  Bamboo is one of the most versatile plants on the planet and it cleans our atmosphere at an alarming high rate.  It is time to love your bamboo! 

My love affair with bamboo began when I recognized that it was a calming influence for me.  Whether it was the appearance of the stalks and leaves, or its rustling sound in the wind, a peaceful settling was immediate.  After growing this plant for sometime now even a picture of it has the same calming experience.

It took five years for it to fill in along a fence line where I had planted it.  It adds privacy between the sidewalk and our backyard.  It keeps the dust blown up by the cars that travel behind the fence  down and it muffles the sound of cars.  It is our white noise!

I began harvesting the leaves to explore infusions and teas. It is wonderful to use in one’s hair, bath and to soak finger and toe nails.  I learned how to process the leaves to create a tea.  By the photos below you can view how a yin backyard became a yang experience!

 

 

This year the stalks have exploded!  I have increased the harvesting of the leaves and begun harvesting the stalks.

Enjoying the learning experience of how to use bamboo, I’ve dyed material, made paper and recently used it to soak the metal dishes that sit under the electric stove elements. Silica is used to clean metal and bamboo has a high content of silica!

 

 

I have begun cutting the long stalks to learn how to dry bamboo to create a privacy screen in my office and stalks for the garden.  I have been given some fat bamboo stalks that I will cut up into a short Zen type fence!  Pictures to follow!


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