Bamboo shoots--grow in house as Chinese do : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

If (and it's a big if) you have any space left over after storing supplies, you might want to try growing bamboo in the house. Not surprisingly, it comes from an old issue of Organic Gardening and Farming (Oct 1977) and was in response to a question about canning bamboo shoots.

Information on canning bamboo shoots is rather scarce, as the Oriental countries where bamboo is a most popular food rely on drying, salting, pickling and wintering over for their food preservation. Elaine Lattimore of Pima, Arizona, described a way the Chinese grow bamboo shoots year round in a box like mushrooms. "They simply mulch them heavily in winter and when they want bamboo shoots, they just pull back the mulch and dig them up."

From Japan, Patricia Yonemura wrote to tell us how she has learned to dry bamboo shoots. "First, cut the shoots in half, removing the outer covering, and boil them for a few minutes. Next, sun-dry them until they become brittle. An electric [food] dryer could certainly be used. To use them, boil in water with a little wood ash added. Let them soak for a few hours or overnight before using."

[Salting is described, just as would be done for cabbage. Canning is discussed, consensus is would not be safe, not even pressure-canning, bamboo is VERY low-acid.]

Old Git's comment: Bamboo is very easy to grow outside--TOO easy! The running kind will come up in a hairline crack in your driveway and is almost impossible to eradicate. (Imagine the problems a giant wild Bermuda grass could cause. . .) Old Git has grown bamboo in a large sturdy plastic pot and it just about split the thing with its rock-like culms/roots, whatever they're called. Clumping bamboo is better. Remember too that after bamboo flowers it dies, so don't rely on it as a permanent food source. All bamboo from the same parent plant will flower and die at the same time. Can't remember how long it lives but it's quite a few years. And don't forget the "stalks" can be used for all sorts of long-lasting things, including furniture and fences.

-- Old Git (, April 20, 1999


Bamboo is one of the planet's fastest growing plants and is extremely versitle.

Good as a security "fence," good to make furniture out of and even good for making "fishing traps" or carrying baskets for animals. (Saw it in a museum display).

Neet stuff.


-- Diane J. Squire (, April 20, 1999.

Have been looking for a source of bamboo and haven't seen it in my seed catalogs. Would someone out there please email me if you know where I can buy it? Thanks

-- Roberta Blackard (, April 20, 1999.

I believe the Norht Koreans may have the info you seek.

-- K Stevens (kstevens@bamboo shoots under the enemy's, April 20, 1999.

Forest Farm has an extensive selection of bamboo. Their catalog is amazing (a 512-page papperback book) and worth the $4 they charge.

Their web address is: email:

Some varieties of bamboo produce edible shoots. Some do not. Some taste better than others. Get the Forest Farm catalog and read it.

-- John (, April 20, 1999.

Forest Farm now shows no charge for their catalog:

-- Tom Carey (, April 20, 1999.

Extensive listings and descriptions:

Tom, would you blue it for me, please?

-- Old Git (, April 20, 1999.

Just wanted to let you know that Bamboo can be quite a pest. We have it in the backyard and we waged a 20 year war on it and it keeps coming back. Finally... last summer, I set out to make a real dent on the bamboo forest that is creeping out across our back lawn. I dug half of it up by the roots and broke 3 good shovels in the process. Poured a bag of rock salt over the area I had dug up and... it came back and it is as high as it was before and starting to creep again. Don't know if it is edible, but some have thought it wouldn't be.

Good luck! Stan Faryna

-- Stan Faryna (, April 20, 1999.

Some bamboo varities can be (are) invasive. Others don't get out of control. You can even take steps to keep the invasive varieties in check. Check the Forest Farm catalog for differnt types. Also, read the section on bamboo in the Encyclopedia of Country Living (pg 144- 146).

-- John (, April 20, 1999.

Stan..Hi!..This may be of help in your fight with the bamboo>

\/\/illis in OKC, OK

-- willis (foryourinf@rmation.okk), April 20, 1999.

We have bamboo growing along our fenceline in the backyard here in NCtrl Texas. It's odd, it has incredibly long roots. We like it, last summer it was leafy, kind of a nice little semi-privacy screen. It seems to be seeding itself, little shoots come up. We dug up the stuff on the other side of the fence and put it on our side. We'd really like to grow more of it, just like it's already growing, all around our considerable amount of fenceline. Do we just cut the roots and put a piece of root in the ground? Does anybody know the procedure for this?

Btw, whatever breed this is, must not be that common. It doesn't seem to grow all that fast and the seeding it's done is real slow.

PJ in TX

-- PJ Gaenir (, April 21, 1999.

Those new bamboo shoots aren't the result of self-seeding. Bamboo roots spread underground and sprout new shoots.

If anyone wants to contain bamboo, a barrier (metal or concrete) must be placed underground, two-feet deep. Or, plant your bamboo in a container (an old bathtub will do).

Bambusa is a clumping species of bamboo that does not spread. Unfortunately, bambusa doesn't taste as good as the spreading species of bamboo (phyllostachys).

-- John (, April 21, 1999.

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