I love writing, taking photos, travelling and enjoying life. I have a BA of Adult and Vocational Teaching and a Master of Arts (Writing). My business card says Writer, Traveller, Camera Addict, and Bamboo Fan www.dihill.com.au
September 18th is World Bamboo Day - a day when those who know and love bamboo, celebrate its diversity and sustainability.
Bamboo is a grass that grows in most of the countries around the Equator, but is culturally and economically significant in South East Asia. There are around 1500 species of bamboo, some of which grows up to 39 inches in 24 hours!
It is not well known but there are at least 3 species native to Australia.
Bamboo has thousands of uses – as a food, the bamboo shoots are a healthy nutritional source, and of course, most of us know that the Giant Panda from China loves eating bamboo.
The bamboo poles are used to make a myriad of items – most of us know of the scaffolding (which is stronger than steel) in building in China in particular. These massive scaffoldings really amaze visitors to China – it is something that is commonly spoken of by those who see huge buildings with the bamboo – some of which is attached to the side of the building, and at other places where it seems to hang from window spaces.
Bamboo is used to build houses – and a grand example of the extra ordinary architecturally designed houses and furniture can be seen in The Green Village, Bali, where the fabulous homes and all furnishings are created from bamboo. The Green School, adjacent to the Green Village, is an extra ordinary school, where the students are taught the value of bamboo as well as normal school subjects with much emphasis on sustainability and caring for the environment.
At Expo 2010 in Shanghai, there were a number of the pavilions manufactured with bamboo, and around the world significant buildings are bamboo - including the roof of the Madrid, Spain, international airport.
Those who know the versatility of bamboo are amazed that around the world native forests are destroyed to plant trees that take many years to grow, and are far less productive than bamboo, which can be planted and ready for harvesting within 3-4 years.
This video explains many of the facts and uses of bamboo.
I have found that those people who have discovered the value of bamboo will not only grow it, but find other uses in their homes for bamboo products. Chopping boards, other kitchen items and storage items can be found easily in retailers, but you might have to look a little further for bamboo clothing, and manchester. I like using bamboo towels and bed sheets, and have a range of bamboo clothing including socks, underwear and t-shirts, though much more is available.
In Australia bamboo has had a chequered existence. While in the north, our indigenous peoples used native bamboos to make didgeridoos, in the south running bamboos caused problems in gardens. However, the use of bamboos in gardens is again gaining popularity, and bamboo plants can be seen growing all around Australia. It is best to talk with an expert in bamboo before purchasing bamboo for your garden, and learn which of the many varieties will work best in your garden.
The Australian Bamboo Society has a membership of growers or retailers of bamboo products from all around the country, and in retail shops a wide range of products manufactured with bamboo can be purchased.
Around Brisbane there are a number of nurseries that specialise in bamboo and one is Bamboo Down Under, 930 Tamborine-Oxenford Rd, Wongawallan. It is not far from the Motorway at Oxenford, and a good stop off point on your way to Mt Tamborine.
This is a large nursery, with a great shop for buying many bamboo items, but the best part for me is the walks through the various bamboos behind the nursery.
There is a bamboo tunnel – and various short walks that children would enjoy exploring. There is so much to see there. Check out the website for details on opening hours.
Why not check out the Australian Bamboo Society website to see if there is a bamboo specialist near you.
Let's celebrate World Bamboo Day on September 18th.