by Andi Islinger, Permaculture Designer
We currently grow 50 species of clumping (monopodial) bamboos. At maturity, these range in height from 2m to 40m and have varied uses, from food to construction. Worldwide, on six continents, there are more than 2000 species of clumping and running bamboos.
A few years ago, five species of bamboo were planted around the New Life property and along some of the boundaries. In June, 2012, we planted an additional 45 species.
Reasons to grow a large and diverse bamboo supply:
-Landscaping, steps, boardwalks
-Hedging and screening
-Biochar for soil amendment
Most areas in Thailand only have limited bamboo rootstock available. The additional species planted at New Life will create biodiversity in the area, By 2015 we will have enough rootstock to expand our bamboo sites as well as generate income for New Life.
A bamboo retail nursery could be established in the concreted area east of the rice field. This old seaweed facility has about an acre of concreted area and another adjoining acre of flat land. Access is adequate.
We could also build a bamboo manufacturing facility on the same site. Traditional techniques could be used to make high-quality furniture, musical instruments, household items and art pieces. More jobs would help improve the economy of rural Sanammit, our surrounding village.
With proper curing, bamboo timbers can also be sold.