Wednesday, January 6, 2010

a host of things to do with bamboo



Bamboo’s botanical name

Phyllostachys aureosulcata is a plant with edible shoots. More commonly called Yellowgroove Bamboo.
Phyllostchys is just one of the various forms of bamboo known to the world.
There are over 1250 species of bamboo.
Bamboo generally grows from fifteen to twenty metres tall, with the largest of the species reaching up to forty metres.
Growth occurs in a three to four month period, but it takes the crop four to five years to mature.

Useful bamboo

Bamboo is a useful hedging plant,
If you decide to grow it in your garden, be sure to use a clumping variety. Bamboo is used for construction, containers and food.
Bamboo stabilizes the soil where it is eroded and acts as a fast growing windbreak.
It is fire resistant and is used to create firebreaks.
Urban wastewater is purified using bamboo.
Phyllostachys is used for fences, bridges, walking sticks, furniture, housing, toys, medicine, musical instruments, paper and scaffolding.
In China one of the uses for bamboo is to make chopsticks.
India and China have the largest bamboo forests in the world.

Culinary and medicinal uses of bamboo

The Chinese first discovered the culinary uses of bamboo shoots in about 202BCE during the Han dynasty.
The young shoots of the culm are edible when harvested just before emerging from the soil.
The shoots are harvested in the morning, in spring or autumn, depending on the species.
A special tool is used to cut off the culms about twenty centimetres below the surface.
The outer sheaths are hard and fibrous just like artichokes.
The shoots must be boiled, sautéed or roasted.
Afterwards the outer casing must be removed to expose the succulent heart of the bamboo shoot.
They can be added to different dishes as a vegetable, or eaten cold in a salad.
Bamboo shoots, called zhu sun in Chinese are used in stirfries.
The shoots can be pickled.
The sap of the young stalks is tapped during the rainy season to make a sweet wine, which is known as ulanzi.
The leaves of some species are used to make a liquor.
Black Bamboo is the type of bamboo used in Chinese medicine.
Bamboo Juice is referred to as bamboo sap. Fresh cut bamboo with outer surface removed is cut) and heated to release the sap from the ends of the pieces. The sap has a light yellow color.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine bamboo is used to treat acute feverish diseases, cough and loss of consciousness.

For more information about this incredible plant, check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bamboo, http://www.nabard.org/roles/ms/fw/bamboo.htm and many more.





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