Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The bamboo project

This is how it started in July of last year

Around June/July of last year, we started on our bamboo plantation project.  It was a long term project with a five year timeline from planting to full harvest of the shoots and canes.  Since that time, we have had numerous challenges, including a flood that submerged the plants for over a month. Somehow the hardly species we chose survived the ordeal but they were stunted in terms of growth.  It floods here every few years and we were unlucky it happened last year when the plants were so small.  But the plants quickly bounced back and this morning I took a little outing to check the plants out.  Once established, this species of bamboo can survive floods, drought, and almost anything nature can throw at it.

Shot from approximately same location this morning - use palm tree in distance for reference
Its hard to tell from the pictures above as the the progress because the photo are shot at elevation and of the whole field.  The plants are much larger than they seem as depicted in the photos.

The neat thing about blogs and pictures is that one can document progress over time as memories have a way of leaving out the details, especially as one gets older.  Its clear from pictures that the once tiny little twigs have grown up to be healthy 8 month old plants.  In fact, I am very surprised that they grew so quickly with only hand watering.  Gotta give credit to B's father and nephew for their efforts.  

The before and after photos above shows the size of the cuttings when they were planted 8 months ago and how they look now.  Many are over 6 feet high and some have very large canes as shown below.  They look tiny from above but in a few years the entire field (about 2 rai) will be full and it won't look so bare.

In a few weeks we should have the automatic irrigation system set up and I would expect the growth to be even faster with the hot season is coming up.  We have a mixture of bamboo types and so it will be interesting as they grow up and develop into maturity.  We got a couple of giants that are doing well and they will definitely get a lot of attention from the locals.

More later in the week on the market project as that is moving along as well.  We can't rush mother nature, but we can sure help her along with the right growing conditions.

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