Saturday, May 1, 2010


Over the weekend I planted several bamboo plants along one side of the barn. That particular side is parallel to the outdoor arena and creates a alley way of sorts heading toward the chicken yard. The particular bamboo specie that I chose is fargesia rufa aka "Green Panda." It is a cold hardy bamboo that will grow to be 6-8 ft high. Once mature it will create a beautiful Japanese inspired frame to that alley way. Very cozy! There are 2 kinds of bamboo, running and clumping. This is of the clumping variety and will only get so big as far as spreading without taking over. The running bamboo can take over. This is not the "bamboo" weed that we have in the area that is considered invasive.

A friend of mine at work asked me the following very good questions: "I was wondering why they consider bamboo products "green". Aren't pandas an endangered species (due primarily to deforestation)? Isn't bamboo their main source of food? Doesn't bamboo take a LONG time to grow?"

In case more of you are wondering the same thing, here is my answer:

"Great questions! Just the opposite actually. Bamboo is one of the quickest growing plants on earth, some species achieving heights of 80+ ft in no time at all where as a pine tree would take at least 50-70 years to do so. Bamboo as a result is highly sustainable because it can be harvested/cut down to make wood products such as flooring or dishes, furniture, etc and it will quickly grow back so that they can make more stuff from it. Grows like a weed. The bamboo that is used for these purposes is grown on bamboo farms, not wild harvested so as to remove precious habitat and food for pandas."

A friend of mine recently planted ~ 50 of this same species of bamboo plant on his property to create a "living fence" of sorts between his property and his neighbors.

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