The Bamboo Dream
“A man can sit in a bamboo house under a bamboo roof, on a bamboo chair at a bamboo table, with a bamboo hat on his head and bamboo sandals on his feet. He can at the same time hold in one hand a bamboo bowl, in the other hand bamboo chopsticks and eat bamboo sprouts. When through with his meal, cooked over a bamboo fire, the table may be washed with a bamboo cloth and he can fan himself with a bamboo fan, drink a can of beer in a bamboo mug, take a siesta on a bamboo bed with his head resting on a bamboo pillow. On rising he could smoke a bamboo pipe, write on bamboo paper with a bamboo pen, or carry his articles in bamboo baskets suspended from a bamboo pole, with a bamboo umbrella over his head. He might then drink water from a bamboo ladle." - By Artison Investments Ltd -
Bamboo (Bambusa Vulgaris) is an extraordinary plant and as one can see by “Bamboo Dream” so many things can be done with it. It’s used to make furniture, eye catching floor boards, beautiful gardens, fencing and fishing poles to name a few. Bamboo is also environmental friendly, unlike plastics and metals. Its natural beauty and strength make it one of the most versatile natural renewable materials in the world and has been used throughout history in countless ways. It’s an excellent choice for home décor and construction material. Before using bamboo for building anything sturdy, though, it must be cured or dried.
If you’re looking for a new hobby, working with bamboo could be just the thing. Many have found almost an endless list of projects to work on with it. For instance, bamboo has been used to make a variety of musical instruments; flutes, marimbas (wooden xylophones), panpipes and drums. But there’s so much more.
It’s commonly used as food in Asian cuisine and beautiful wind chimes can be made by cutting the ends off of varying lengths. These are easily decorated with paint and carvings. Many have discovered they also make attractive rings, jewelry, earrings and more recently, longboard skateboards.
Commonly grown in Asia, bamboo can grow up to four feet in just a few days. That’s because it’s a type of grass, actually in the Evergreen family, with a hard, woody, hollow stem, not a tree. There are several varieties, some short, some amazingly tall and thick. Bamboo, usually classified by its root type, makes it one of the best renewable resources on the planet. Many are surprised to learn the “lucky bamboo” they have growing in their homes is not actually bamboo. It’s a Dracaena, an easily grown house plant.
Although it is grown in different climates it fares better in the tropics. Ancient Chinese used it to create some of their earliest suspension bridges. Today it’s still used in a broad range of construction projects like boats, airplanes and even houses. Virtually anything made of wood, can also be made with bamboo. And it’s stronger than many woods. Other things made from bamboo include chairs, tables, bookcases and stools. Thick bamboo poles are used to build sheds and roofing. In South-East Asia, hollow bamboo is also used for piping.
Many household items can be made from bamboo. Besides furniture; dinnerware, cutting boards, sporting goods, and handbags are a few more examples. There is even an unbelievably soft bamboo spun yarn made from it which many enjoy creating plush crochet and knitting projects with.
Those who have taken up working with bamboo have discovered many worthwhile projects. Torch holders and birdfeeders are excellent examples for bamboo buffs. And it even has medicinal value.
Another attractive feature is one can elect to grow their own bamboo relatively inexpensively although it may prove to be a challenge. Many variables must be taken into consideration. Bamboo has definite requirements when it comes to climate, soil composition, sunlight, wind exposure and spacing, so some research is advisable. Although it’s possible to grow bamboo in deserts and cold mountain regions, study up on the type you are interested in growing and see if your climate is conducive to its growth. There is an excellent website on the basics of bamboo growing at:http://www.completebamboo.com/
The web is also filled with sites dedicated to bamboo building projects and “how to” DIY instructions.