Category Archives: Bamboo around the world

Travel tales and how bamboo is used and celebrated in different parts of the world

Bamboo on the Internet – one more for 2015

raindance

Kokopelli silhouettes dance under a stormy sky in hopes for rain.

Here in the Southern Hemisphere, there is no sign of a wet season coming to break the drought in this part of Central Queensland. Perhaps that’s why I noticed this very handsome bamboo-handle umbrella but was a bit taken back by the $450 price tag. It’s just the sort of thing I’d leave behind in someones umbrella bin, I’m sure. There are, however, some much more reasonably priced ones on Amazon.

 

bamboo, bamboo toothbrushYou’ve seen bamboo toothbrushes on these pages before. This one comes from Selfridges, with a marketing strategy focused on dirty weekends???? No prices because they were out of stock when I looked. Is that an indication of popularity? Of course you will find a large range, probably much cheaper, on Amazon.

Not on Amazon but interesting all the same:

bamboo, bamboo robot

This looks really different – a bamboo robot kit. Geekdad was gifted one and tells his little story about making it.

bamboo steamerThere’s nothing new, or even exciting about bamboo steamers. Ubiquitous in the East, here is a lovely little story from Taiwan about the construction of, and demand for, bamboo steamers. Of course there are plenty on Amazon, just not of the size of the ones featured in this story.

If I still ate toast, I’d love to have one these: eco+toaster. Yes, it’s a see-through toaster with a bamboo frame.

bamboo toaster

Random recipe: Bongulo chicken, from India.

KostaLife gives us images and a recipe:

Ingredients:bamboochicken

  1. Chicken skinless – 500 grm.
  2. Salt to taste.
  3. Red chilly powder -1 tsp.
  4. Turmeric powder -1/4 tsp.
  5. Ginger Paste -1tsp.
  6. Garlic paste -1tsp.
  7. Garam masala Powder-1tsp.
  8. Oil- 2 tsp
  9. Chopped onions -2 tsp
  10. Chopped chillies- 1 tsp
  11. Chicken masala powder-1 tsp

BambooChicken3Mix all the above ingredients in a bowl. Stuff in bamboo and cook over fire, according to the images. An alternative recipe can be found here, with more details about how to put the chicken mixture in the bamboo. A quick YouTube search will give more detailed instructions.

 

That’s probably all from me for 2015. May all life’s best be yours in 2016.

 

Bamboo on the Internet for April, 2015 (and May)

A very late Bamboo on the Internet, but with some very fine excuses. Really. Some of them may even be translated into posts for this blog.

  • Two more items for a bamboo WTF category: Bamboo water. Yes. Water infused with an extract from bamboo leaves. Variously described with words like, “clean, fresh, bright, energising, sweet…” the creator has chosen to add cane sugar, unfortunately. Learn more here.  The second, and more perplexing bamboo product is Gucci’s Bamboo Fragrance. Presumably named for the bamboo shaped lid, not the top notes of bergamont.
  • furnitureThe bamboo furniture seen at the left is simplicity personified. Follow the link for a gallery of 14 more images.
  • I know how handy bamboo skewers are for fixing/supporting/balancing/holding, even though I’ve never used them as skewers. This model of the Eiffel Tower used over 200 of them.
  • Bamboo fences are very popular in northern NSW, where I was earlier this year, but how about a bamboo fence 11 kilometers long? Its part of a competition to promote the use of bamboo fences in Sabah.
  • Froute PodMore gorgeous, practical, and innovative ideas from Giant Grass, in Melbourne. It may be just the thing if you want to be an airbnb host and don’t have that extra room for guests. The pod is transportable and easy to set up with only 2 people.
  • Bamboo charcoal is now a trendy go-to ingredient for cocktails, according to The Drinks Business.
  • vietnam milan expoThe Vietnam pavilion for the 2015 Milan Expo features a ‘forest’ of bamboo-clad columns. More images and a story at arch daily.
  • Here is a lovely, and short, story about a Buddhist monk in Vietnam who saves rare bamboo species.
  • The Huffington Post recently published a photoblog featuring colourful bamboo and paper umbrellas.
  • pickled bambooSome food items of interest over the last two months include: a bamboo shoot and squid flavored with green leaf-bud miso dish from Asahi Shimbun; a recipe for pickled bamboo from a new book (available from Amazon) reviewed here; and, I was going to include a video called ‘bamboo cooking‘ but it turned out to be only a very poor interview to promote the bamboo water mentioned above. It’s so dreadful, it’s almost worth watching.

Bamboo on the Internet for February, 2015

The Georgio Armani Privé Paris Haute Couture collection spring/summer 2015 features bamboo motifs. There is a short video clip here.

I haven’t had the opportunity to see ‘The Tale of The Princess Kaguya’ yet. There are lots of very good reviews (and I haven’t seen anything from Studio Ghibli I didn’t like). DVDs of the movie are available on Amazon.

placematjpg placematsAlso on Amazon, these lovely looking bamboo placemats average 4 and half star reviews. Easy to clean and stain resistant, they say. What more could you want in a placemat?

 

CompositeBikeMaterials to compliment bamboo for bikes: A UK-based bicycle designer and manufacturer has fused flax with bamboo to produce a composite material that is as strong or stronger than carbon, aluminium or steel bike frames.  And the frame weighs in at just 3.3 kg. More interesting details here.

WoodPuckBamboo Qi wireless charger. It looks gorgeous. I want one. Amazon customer reviews are very favorable. You can read a Tech Aeris here, and buy one on Amazon here.

To finish off this month of Bamboo on the Internet I leave you with a lovely way to while away a half hour: The Intricate Process Of Making Arrows From Bamboo.

Bamboo on the Internet for January, 2015

A light month of things bamboo on the internet that got my attention, but here goes:

  • Firefighters_compressedNinja firefighters? Firefighters on a stick? Only in Japan: firefighters in Tokyo displaying their prowess on top of 6 metre bamboo poles.
  • BambooBikeIf you needed another reason to get a bamboo bicycle, this might be it: A bamboo bike that can recharge your mobile devices. It can run your on-board navigation system, and charge your smartphone, and one other device. Oh, they also come with a bluetooth option.
  • Also on Amazon are some very cool-in-a-clunky-kinda-way calculators.
  • Or how about bamboo grips for cameras? They are available for a range of popular digital cameras. Why? “improved ergonomics, increased protection, and a unique look.” And yes, you can buy them Amazon.
  • ModernTwist_compressedModern Twist: Contemporary Japanese Bamboo Art is an exhibition exploring the innovative shape bamboo art has taken since the mid-20th century. The exhibition is on in Florida until April 25 (2015), if you happen to be near by.
  • Taiwanese newspaper, The China Post, posted an article about bamboo artist Wang Wen-Chih and his most recent Woodford Folk Festival project. The 2013-14 installation at Woodford, Woven Sky, received such a positive response that he returned this year with some childhood friends from his hometown in Taiwan to construct Woven Cloud. He was assisted by 40 local volunteers. Cave Urban have some great images posted.

Bamboo on the Internet for December, 2014 – my picks

bamboo tripod, lock the gate, gloucester

On site at Lock the Gate, Gloucester

Bamboo poles are a very handy tool for practical folk needing a structure that is fast to erect. In Mumbai, India, street hawkers outside the railway station are using bamboo to circumvent restrictive by-laws. It is illegal for hawkers to sell their wares directly on the pavement as it hampers the flow of the 65,000 commuters that pass each day. Instead, bamboo structures are erected to get the wares off the pavement and facilitate a fast getaway, should one be needed.

On the other side of the world, in Gloucester, NSW, Australia, bamboo tripods are used to created instant gate blockades. The beautiful and rich agricultural lands around Gloucester are under threat from a fracking project. The tripods are fast to erect but difficult for police to remove once a protester is installed.

More practical (?) uses for bamboo: Miranda Kerr has an exfoliating face scrub made with bamboo particles. And yes, you can get it on Amazon.

pork and bamboo shoots, recipeRecipe for Pork and Fresh Bamboo Shoots, from the Northeast of India. Simple and wholesome – if you like your chilli hot. The raja mirchi called for in this recipe is a hybrid chilli considered one of the worlds hottest.

Also this month, and nothing to do with the internet, Life with Bamboo is on the move. I’m on the road, somewhere in Australia, in a small silver van. Bamboo farms may be visited. Bamboo events shall be attended. The next event is a Freemite Bamboo Treatment Workshop on 17 January  2014 near Byron Bay. Details and the registration form are here.

Bamboo for carbon sequestration

report coverINBAR recently released another report about bamboo and climate change. The report promotes the potential of bamboo as a core resource to mitigate the effects of climate change. Drawing on a range of INBAR projects and initiatives, the report suggests three main ways bamboo can mitigate climate change: bamboo as a carbon sink; durable bamboo products; and, bamboo-based biofuel and bioenergy. The report is rather broad-based and its purpose as a policy document precludes any in-depth analysis. No mention is made of bamboo phytoliths and their role in climate change mitigation.

bamboo plant opalAs you will recall from a previous post, phytoliths, or plant opal, are microscopic siliceous bodies which occur in living plants. Work is currently underway in Australia and China to investigate opportunities to sequester carbon using phytolith-occluded carbon. Carbon dating has established that plant opals and the carbon stored within them, are highly resistant to decomposition and will stay in the soil for thousands of year, remaining stable even after volcanic explosions, forest fires and earthquakes.

Not all phytoliths have the capacity to store significant amounts of carbon though. A current project at Southern Cross University is investigating the range of agricultural and grass crops, including bamboo, that do have the capacity. The potential exists for reducing carbon emissions in the order of 1.5 billion tonnes a year simply by having farmers choose high-plant opal carbon yielding cultivars of crops they already grow.

bamboo, bamboo leaf, bamboo leaves, health, herbal tea, Hokkaido, Japan, tea

Sasa bamboo

The same holds true for bamboo. Careful selection of bamboo species can dramatically increase the sequestration of carbon within the phytoliths. Recent research in China looked into the phytolith content of the leaves of 75 species of bamboo. Sasa came out on top. But Sasa is not a major commercial species on the scale of say, Moso.

Another 2014 Chinese study looked at the potential for carbon sequestration in Moso forests. The study found that the carbon content of phytoliths is dependent upon the parent material underlying the soil in which the bamboo grows.

It’s astounding and timely research work. Solutions for climate change mitigation are right under our noses. Of course, here in Australia we have a government that insists that climate change is not real, so we don’t need to worry.

References:

Everyday Bamboo – South Korea

Like Japan, bamboo in South Korea is firmly embedded in the local material culture. In this post I’m sharing a few everyday bamboo things I came across while wandering around southern parts of South Korea earlier this year.

bamboo gloves

EvrdyBamboo SK (7)Lightweight white cotton gloves have a thousand and one uses. These ones are bamboo though. They are intimidatingly pristine fresh out of the packet. Just the thing for protecting your hands against blisters from bamboo brooms.

bamboo saltSouth Korea is an especially great place for eating, (although maybe a little challenging for vegetarians). Snack foods abound. I found these roasted almonds with bamboo salt in the local supermarket. Very tasty. The same supermarket sold bamboo salt toothpaste.

Damyang is rightly famous for dining out, and is famed throughout South Korea for it bamboo dishes. As a major bamboo centre, Damyang also has plenty of shops specialising in just bamboo products. They smell fantastic.

bamboo

bambooThe 4 hour bus trip from Busan to Gwangu, (to get to Damyang), is broken up with a stop at a standard highway roadhouse. There is lots of food, bathroom facilities, clothing stores and stalls selling useful things. One stall was like a mini hardware (my kinda shop). Amongst its impressive selection, it sold everything you’d need to harvest bamboo: like bamboo saws, bamboo knives, splitter, gloves… Just in case you’ve come out without yours.

Do you have a favourite everyday bamboo story?