Monday, April 14, 2014
Shooting Bamboo for the Pantry
In April her giant edible bamboo is sending up massive shoots that grow as you watch. I was happy to spend an afternoon harvesting and processing them.
Thick gloves, long sleeves and a machete are essential. Theses shoots are tough and covered in itchy hairs.
This exposes the wonderful pattern of chambers that will stretch to become the hollow interior of the bamboo stems that make them so structurally strong and flexible.. It made me want to rush off for some
paint and paper to do some block printing with them.
They are then cooked in salted water until they are softened and a creamy yellow colour.
Drained and rinsed, they are then ready to use, cryvac or bottle. They keep well in the fridge.
My respect for bamboo has grown another notch. Fast growing without fertilisers or chemicals, we have have the most fabulous source of material for making structures, bowls and plates, simple garden stakes, woven baskets, fabric, fuel, food and medicine. It can stabilise slopes and riverbanks and there are varieties to suit all climates. Investigate this fabulous resource further:
http://www.bamboobody.com.au/ plants, pictures and a data base
http://www.bambooweb.info/ How why and what of bamboo