It is balmy weather here now, not quite T shirt weather but very comfortable outside and all the snow is melted, daffodil shoots thrusting through the soil surface. A zillion things to do, yesterday I was cutting firewood for next winter. I like having next winter’s wood cut and stacked before summertime so it is dry as possible for next burning season and I don’t have to be bothered with it while busy in the garden.

Taking several breaks I was able to burn a tank of gas in my chain saw. Of course, it wasn’t all sawing because I was stacking as I went, but still, I used to burn through two tankfuls and then take a break. Such is the decline of old age.

The snow is all melted but for over a month my bamboo was weighted down with it, bent to the ground.

Once the snow started to melt, the bamboo started to rise.

Because it had gotten tangled most of it was staying pretty bent over, so one day I went out and pulled on it. As soon as I would release a shoot, it would spring up. Once they were all up I pushed them up a bit more because there are so many they still were slightly bent and keeping each other bent.

I also had to cut about 30 shoots, less then 5 % of the patch, because they had broken off and were holding back progress.  That helped a lot because they were never going to come back up.

The smaller shoots are pretty straight now but the larger ones are still sort of bent. We had a windy day where they were swirling around and that must of helped.

Fortunately the direction of the bend is leaning into the prevailing wind so maybe once the fibers in the shoot get a chance to stretch a little bit they will straighten up some more, but if not it is fine.

None of the leafs dropped. 4 out of 5 years this type of bamboo is evergreen here and the years it holds its leaves the patch tries to expand aggressively. I have been growing it for 10 plus years trying to fill a patch behind the house to maximize the benefit of shade in summer and windbreak in winter and this may be the year it finishes.

If it goes where it isn’t supposed to, I just cut the new shoots for food or mow them. After about a month in the spring it stops making new shoots.

While we do harvest and strip bamboo for use in the garden and crafts, the small size limits what we can do with it. The largest shoots do get thicker than my thumb and over 20′ (6m) tall but that is small relatively for bamboo.  Some places it is big business.

Demand for bamboo grows as wood substitute and food

“Growing up as a farmer’s son, Lin Zuojun used to play hide-and-seek with his friends in the bamboo forest of Fujian province. Little did he know back then that he would one day make millions of yuan by selling those most common plants of the region.

“Harvesting more than 1.6 million bamboo trees and 25,000 tons of bamboo shoots every year, his company, Asian Bamboo, is China’s biggest bamboo producer today…”

(end excerpt)

“The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Freed from all sinful reactions are those who rise from bed at the end of night, early in the morning, and fully concentrate their minds with great attention upon My form; your form; this lake; this mountain; the caves; the gardens; the cane plants; the bamboo plants; the celestial trees; the residential quarters of Me, Lord Brahma and Lord Siva; the three peaks of Trikuta Mountain, made of gold, silver and iron; My very pleasing abode [the ocean of milk]; the white island, Svetadvipa, which is always brilliant with spiritual rays; My mark of Srivatsa; the Kaustubha gem; My Vaijayanti garland; My club, Kaumodaki; My Sudarsana disc and Pancajanya conchshell; My bearer, Garuda, the king of the birds; My bed, Sesa Naga; My expansion of energy the goddess of fortune; Lord Brahma; Narada Muni; Lord Siva; Prahlada; My incarnations like Matsya, Kurma and Varaha; My unlimited all-auspicious activities, which yield piety to he who hears them; the sun; the moon; fire; the mantra omkara; the Absolute Truth; the total material energy; the cows and brahmanas; devotional service; the wives of Soma and Kasyapa, who are all daughters of King Daksa; the Rivers Ganges, Sarasvati, Nanda and Yamuna [Kalindi]; the elephant Airavata; Dhruva Maharaja; the seven rsis; and the pious human beings.”

Srimad Bhagvatam 8.4.25