This post is to announce the new website, SouthFloridaBamboo.com
This site is dedicated to the Art and Craft of Bamboo and is where I will be posting all the products made by me from the bamboo we grow here. I will be taking most of the products off the PalmBeachBamboo.com site and mainly focusing on plants and poles. I hope you will stop by and let me know how you like the site, I have tried to make it an easy site to get around and connected it to my Etsy shop for purchasing. The links are as follows:
http://southfloridabamboo.com/ – The Main Site
http://www.etsy.com/shop/SouthFloridaBamboo – The Etsy Shop
http://www.facebook.com/pages/South-Florida-Bamboo/296574767068748 – The Facebook Page
https://plus.google.com/101081948329245604627/posts – The Google+ Page
https://twitter.com/#!/SouthFlBamboo – The Twitter Feed
As you can see I been busy building web pages, but the most time consuming part is taking the photos and cropping and adjusting them. I am learning as I go and getting better with it, but I’d rather be making more bamboo stuff!
If you need an Earth Friendly, Small Local Business, Artisan hand made product, I should be your guy! Check it out!
I have taken to making many things from bamboo, lately I have been drawn to jewelry and other items of beauty. Bamboo is all about beauty and strength, and I try to show the massive and the delicate sides in my work. Some items are functional and some are just pretty to look at and hold. I have started a new website to feature the products I make from our Bamboo. South Florida Bamboo
Here a few pictures of some of the work.
We are no longer participating in the Wellington Green Market.
If we decide to join the Green Market again this season we will post the dates here.
Located at 12165 W Forest Hill Blvd, Wellington, FL 33414
The website is WellingtonGreenMarket.com
Google Map of Location
First things first, clean out any dead or dying canes from your clumps. We want the bamboos to go into winter as healthy and vibrant as possible, if a cane only has a few leaves left on it, remove it. To remove canes cut with a saw or pruner near the bottom, I like using a portable battery operated sawzall with a pruning blade, for thin cane bamboos a pruning shear works fine.
Second is fertilize, an application now will get in ground plants through the winter.Use a Palm Plus micro slow release. ( 3 month )
Third is mulch (bamboo leaves make great mulch ), don’t be afraid to mulch heavily around the bamboos, winter or summer it serves them well. Remember that the bamboos underground system is as important as the above ground, maybe more! So don’t skimp on providing a nice warm blanket of mulch for the winter, add more as needed throughout the year, mulch also protects in summer from the soil baking out.
Forth is water, bamboos just love it! Summer is the rainy season here so you may not notice plants in dry areas, but winter will be dryer and some bamboos may show signs of drought stress ( curled leaves ). If you don’t have a regular watering regime, now is a good time to start! Bamboos love drip irrigation but will get by fine with a good sprinkle every few days, mulch also helps with this!
Fifth is Plant! Now is great time to plant new bamboos. During the winter they will grow roots and rhizome giving them a great start in the spring! You can plant bamboo all year in South Florida, but now is a better time than the middle of winter.
Bamboo is not just a pretty plant, it’s not just food and fuel and fodder… it’s not just for windbreaks or soil erosion control or construction. It’s not just furniture or musical instruments or walking canes!
There are thousands of uses for this sustainable plant, and one of the least talked about is decor. Bamboo is wonderful as a decorative addition to almost any home or office. Bamboo evokes emotion, it bring a sense of balance. Bamboo floors and bamboo cutting boards have become popular and bring the beauty of bamboo into the home, but don’t they leave you wanting more?
There are many ways to decorate with bamboo, perhaps display a beautiful bamboo flute on the shelf, fill a vase with bamboo canes or bamboo charcoal. Bamboo canes come in many sizes and add a sense of focus and balance to the room.
Even if you don’t have a green thumb, you can enjoy bamboo. Bamboo is a conversation starter, a large vase filled with massive canes is sure to gain attention and comment. Just think of all the thing you can do with bamboo! Then come on out to the nursery and fill up with beautiful bamboo plants and/or canes and look in the rear view mirror at that big smile on your face!
OK, you are in South Florida and a Hurricane is coming…. you have a LOT to do! What do you do about your Bamboo?
Well, you can remove any dead canes, that’s a plus. If you have very large bamboos you are worried about being uprooted you can top them down a bit…. but for most bamboos you can do nothing! Well, maybe you can set up funeral arrangements for the new shoots that are going to break… but for the most part your bamboos will survive just fine.
Larger caned bamboos don’t seem to like being flooded for very long so if you can remove standing water after a storm it’s a good idea. Most bamboos will weather the storms fine, some will drop all their leaves, some will bend, some will tater leaves and of course new shoots will break, but they will survive!
In fact if the storm is a rainy one expect a whole new crop of shoots and new leaves in a couple of weeks after the storm… and pray you don’t get another one!
Just a note to say Thank You! To all the wonderful people we met at the Royal Palm Art & Music Festival!
Hope to see you all again soon!
Remember we will take custom orders for Flutes, Wind-chimes and Walking Canes!
Please visit South Florida Bamboo to see all our products!
Many products are claimed to be "green" these days. But how green are they really? Bamboo has made a splash recently in the "green" world because it’s so sustainable and useful. Bamboo is a "grass" and as such it is faster growing than trees. A tropical clumping bamboo can reach maturity in 5-6 years and provide food, fodder, medicine, lumber, textiles, charcoal, wildlife habitat, landscape, windbreak, not to mention 35% more oxygen than a tree the same size!
This seems like a "green" machine, and it is! However many of the bamboo products consumed in the U.S. originate in Asia or South America. That means shipping, and shipping means oil! Simply stated, to truly be "green" the products you buy should originate as close to your home as possible. This presents a problem for the bamboo industry because there is very small group of bamboo growers in the U.S..
In order for the U.S. to sustain a growing bamboo industry U.S. consumers must buy local bamboos and bamboo products. Buying a bamboo pole that was shipped from China may be "greener" than buying a piece of wood shipped from the same place, but it doesn’t compare to buying bamboo locally. However, it is far cheaper and easier to buy bamboo poles from China than to find sources in the U.S.
We are trying to build an inventory of bamboo poles grown right here, however in the mean time we still must source some of the poles from overseas. The cost of setting up the facility to treat and cure poles is not justified by the amount of demand for locally grown materials. Thus the dilemma, how "green" do you want to be, and are you willing to pay for it?
I don’t live in a world of absolutes but I do try to follow a path of reason, because of this, except in certain and rare circumstances, I don’t use poisons on our plants, nor do I use synthetic fertilizers. This results in slower growth of course, and the occassional battle with a critter that drags on a little longer than it would if you just poisoned them. This means that you get fewer canes. It pays do things right, but it also costs!
My main focus has been to get bamboo plants in the hands of people to grow at home, I would love to see bamboo become the standard landscape plant in South Florida. The advantage in Florida is the wonderful selection of clumping non aggressive bamboos to choose from.
My new focus is to create useful products using the bamboos that I grow here on the property. Grown in the USA, made in the USA. That is why we now offer other products, we make them. Better to turn that bamboo into Wind-Chimes, Walking Canes, Charcoal and Bamboo Flutes, then to throw it at the curb for the landfill. Selection is always limited by the number of canes you can harvest, and all products are hand made by me so this is not a high production affair, but it is "Green".
So. What do you do with your bamboo?
That’s a question I would love to hear answered. In the mean time I’ll tell you what we do at Palm Beach Bamboo.
The answer depends on the bamboo! In general when you harvest bamboo canes for use in products or projects you want to follow a few simple rules. Never harvest less than 2 year old cane. If a cane is still vibrant in color, with few rubs or marks, it’s a good bet it’s too young. For the better wood, go deep! That’s right deep in to the clump, this is where you will find the older canes, perhaps even already dead. The already dead ones are great because you can start right away! Some people maintain clumps by cutting a keyhole shape to enter the center, after you remove the oldest cane this way, new culms will be encouraged to shoot in the center again.
After harvest set up a teepee or lean canes against a bamboo plant or tree branch and let the sun get to them a bit, don’t trim off the leaves! Best done in winter in Florida. Not the hottest part of the yard either.. After a couple of weeks, turn them green side out. After a another two weeks you can trim the leaves.
Cut the bamboo to lengths longer than what you need for your project. I like cutting on the node with a bamboo saw and turning over to the back to finish the cut. You can use a hack saw with the blade in reverse ( cuts on the pull not push ) to get close to a bamboo saw. Some people put tape around the cut area to avoid splintering.
Now find a place to let sit for a couple of months. Store horizontally ( not on the ground) , It should be dry, covered ( but with air circulation ) and of moderate climate (not in the sun ). There are ways of speeding this up but they involve fire and some skills, so do it the slow way.
For outdoor construction projects bamboo may need to be treated before this final drying stage.
So now you have beautiful dry bamboo, what do you make?
If the bamboo is dense and thick walled I think walking stick or staff, These item require the ability to take heavy use and a thin wall big chambered bamboo won’t do it.
Since I make Flutes that’s the next thing I look for is thin walls and long internodes ( the distance between the branches or "stops" in the bamboo cane). If I find nice thin walled canes they go in the flute pile to be cut into individual blanks, the pieces of a canes that are not good for flutes as "I" make them go to the next step which is Pan Flutes. Any cracked canes go into the winchime section. Branches and small pieces can be cut to make beads. Everything else can make compost or charcoal.
That’s what I do with them. What do you do? I know some people make small strips and weave baskets, there are so many uses. Go ahead and share. Comment on this blog or use our contact page or drop us a note on facebook Palm Beach Bamboo on Facebook
A Bamboo Plant and Flute Guy
The bamboos in our landscape are now over six years old and so I thought it was time to utilize the wonderful resource that is bamboo!
I have always loved making things and bamboo lends itself to become so many different things I was interested to see what I could do. I started with Bamboo Charcoal, a great product with many uses, then I started making Windchimes, mostly because I think they are pretty and sound nice! Next on the list was walking staffs and canes, I have a particular black bamboo that is excellent for making these, although I only can harvest a limited amount of canes from this rare bamboo the products made are beautiful and functional.
Needless to say i was spending more time in the shop, but with limited tools my imagination was a little frustrated. Then I happened across a website that made and sold Bamboo Flutes, after listening to the presentations and hearing the beautiful sounds made from the flutes, I was hooked! I must make flutes!
This sent me on an online journey to learn all I could about making bamboo flutes, there is a lot of information out there, but sometimes the things that are missing are the real keys you need to unlock the secrets.After making a few flutes and getting frustrated trying to make them play, I knew I needed instruction. Having very little funds to invest in a "new" business I broke down and decided to purchase a CD on Bamboo Flutemaking. After calling the business to see if I could visit rather than purchase online, i was told I could but they were out of the CD’s for a few more days. I mentioned that I had a bamboo nursery and this seemed to garner some excitement as I was put on the phone with none other than Eric the Flutemaker himself!
It seems that Eric wanted to have a nurseryman look at his bamboos and give some growing advise, I sensed a mutual benefit here and was excited to visit Eric at his shop. As things go it took me two weeks to get there and I was chomping at the bit by then. I loaded a few plants that I thought would make good flutes and brought them with me.
Eric is a wonderful guy and I enjoyed my time with him at his home, touring the garden and in the shop. His patient instructions on making bamboo flutes was invaluable to me, he was also very generous and provided me with the CD I sought as well as another CD, a book about his life ( Bumping Into God ) and a set of burning irons for making the proper holes in the bamboo flutes! Seeing the process in his shop really helped me set mine up nicely, and it didn’t hurt that some friends kicked in some needed equipment at no cost!
So although I am no Eric The Master Flutemaker, a man with 40 years experience, I am Rahn the Flutemaker now, turning out some very nice, very playable bamboo flutes, made right here in Loxahatchee at our nursery one at a time by hand. I’m even getting better at playing them!
I am very excited about this new direction bamboo has taken me in and I will be posting more pictures and purchasing information soon ( if I can ever get out of the shop ). If you are interested in any of the thing I’ve mentioned, visit my product site at SouthFloridaBamboo.com
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