Here at our ranch we have a bamboo stand near our stream that runs the length of our property. What to do with that bamboo you ask? Having spent several years living in Beijing China, Mike and I can say without a doubt, that bamboo is a wonderful resource that is used for so many things: ladders, trellises, art, interior decor design, etc.
You can click here HiBar Ranch Pinterest – Bamboo Designs to see what we are capturing on pinterest regarding amazing bamboo design ideas for your farm or mini-acre homestead. Bamboo’s use in the emerging area of hydroponics is brilliant and gorgeous as well and is hands above PVC pipe as a use/design feature and function. There are pictures in the pinterest link to show you what I mean.
On our farm we practice the ‘we have what we need’ thinking. What that means is that for us when we have a problem to solve, we tell ourselves the resources are here (no home depot solutions). We just haven’t figured out what the design and resource mix is yet. This sets us up to begin an epic creative journey together to invent solutions. This thinking process causes us to brainstorm homemade solutions first, which for Mike and I is thrilling because we are both hyper creative and active thinkers. With Mike having a logging mill which affords us the ability to make all our own lumber and with massive amounts of cordage via vines, roots, fiber, etc., we can pretty much make anything that our mind can imagine. So, that’s what we do. We create.
This approach is what we learned while living in China. They make everything. We literally watched maintenance workers at a multi-billion dollar company we both worked for take tree stalks and rope and MAKE LADDERS to work on the landscape in the park of our company’s headquarters. We all go to home depot. They simply thatched up sticks with rope and climbed the tree. I was completely floored. It dawned on me at that moment, that our consumer driven mind set sends us SHOPPING, when in fact, we should be CREATING. They’d do the same thing to make brooms. They would thatch up small branches and make sweeper brooms and sweep the leaves around the highly ornate landscaped gardens of this very grand park that was the central focal point of this company’s corporate headquarters. I found that brilliantly simple. In China, you can have grand glass buildings that put NYC’s architecture to shame, with employees simultaneously thatching sticks. That thinking was so un-Western I was thrilled to the tips of my toes. Thank goodness some parts of the world still ‘create’ the basics to solve problems and aren’t dependent on big box stores for every little thing in their lives.
Anyway, back to the garden problem and why we are so excited about bamboo.
Currently our chickens roam in our garden to serve as ‘natural tillers’ of the soil. Additionally, they are eating the centipedes that are problematic for our root vegetables. Last, they are fertilizing our garden plot for spring. But indeed, they need to be evicted in some sort of attractive manner as our chicken/garden is right next to the house.
Here is where bamboo comes in. Our plan is to use the bamboo in a fenced/trellised weave whereby it blocks out the chickens when we put in new seedlings, it will serve as a visually attractive ‘eastern’ design element in the garden. And, it will serve as a support for some of our climbing beans & peas. With keen appreciation for what can be done with bamboo to manage a garden, this spring we are going to attempt to do what we saw done in the rural areas of China where they used bamboo for every aspect of their garden design. Mike and I are going to proceed with this experiment over the course of this spring and summer and we will cover it on our blog.
We’ll keep you all updated on our efforts over the following months.
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God Bless ! L. Davis