As we are still building up our bamboo groves, we will not be offering shoots this year. However, our friend Daphne Lewis at 206-304-7390 [email protected] can provide for you in March and April.
Brightside Bamboo is pleased to offer fresh, local, organic bamboo shoots for purchase. We’re one of only a few outlets in the country where you can buy this amazing food. Most people have eaten (canned) bamboo shoots in stir fry at an Asian restaurant or in a frozen veggie mix. Fresh is so much better! As you can see in the picture (this is a very large one) the shoots offer some very interesting shapes and have a variety of textures and flavors depending on which part of the shoot you’re eating. Our shoots are all natural and come from some select groves we manage. They were grown without the use of any pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizer (synthetic or otherwise!).
Superfood! Nutritional Info
- One of the highest concentrations of protein of any vegetable
- Except potatoes and spinach, the highest level of potassium of any vegetable
- High in trace minerals
- One of the 10 best foods for weight loss
- High in fiber
- Fights cancer, lowers blood pressure, lowers cholesterol
- How to Grow Edible Bamboo Shoots
- Varieties of Bamboo with Edible Shoots
- Edible Bamboo Growing Conditions
- How to Prevent Bamboo from Spreading
- How to Harvest and Prepare Edible Bamboo
- Best Timber & Shoot Bamboo!
- Bamboo is the Future! And it is beautiful!
- “Asper” – Dendrocalamus Asper “Petung” (Bali)
- Asper – Dendrocalamus Asper “Hitam”
- Java Black – Gigantochloa Atroviolacea
- Balcooa Bambusa Balcooa (origin India)
- Latiflorus “Taiwan Giant” – Dendrocalamus Latiflorus
- Oldhamii Sweet Shoot Bamboo. Bambusa Oldhamii
- What about running bamboo?
- Bamboo Shoot Stock Photos
How to Grow Edible Bamboo Shoots
Varieties of Bamboo with Edible Shoots
The edible portions of a bamboo plant are the tender shoots that have just emerged, asparagus-like, from the ground in spring. There are hundreds of species of bamboo, all of which are potentially edible. Some are much tastier and more productive than others, however. Many species produce scant quantities of small, tough, bitter shoots, which must be cooked for a long time to become even somewhat palatable.
If you already have bamboo growing on your property, simply follow the instructions below to harvest and prepare the shoots to see if they are worth eating or not (all bamboo shoots should be cooked prior to consumption, as this neutralizes toxins that occur in some species). If you’re going to plant bamboo specifically for food, choose the species with the most tender, tastiest, and abundant shoots.
Size doesn’t correspond to flavor, though the larger the diameter of the aboveground canes, the larger the shoots, and thus the bigger the harvest. Bamboo species have varying degrees of cold tolerance, so your choice will also be a function of climatic constraints.
Bamboo varieties from the genus Phyllostachys, which are generally cold hardy and produce good quality shoots, are widely considered the best choice for American gardeners. Two of these are known for their exceptionally tasty shoots:
Moso Bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis): Eventually reaching a height of 50 feet or more, with canes up to 8 inches in diameter, this species is grown commercially in Asia for both food and construction material. It is widely available in American nurseries. Hardy to 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sweetshoot Bamboo (Phyllostachys dulcis): Another popular variety in the Asian bamboo shoot industry, this species reaches about 40 feet in height, with 3-inch diameter canes. Hardy to 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
For a comprehensive look at the culinary qualities of various bamboo species, check the list compiled by the Guadua Bamboo company. The company looked at 110 species, designating 33 as “delicious.” In addition to many in the Phyllostachys genus, these include (with their respective cold tolerance and cane diameter indicated): Acidosasa edulis (5 degrees; 2.5 inches); most species in the genus Chimonobambusa (varies, but most hardy to around 15 degrees; .5-1.5 inches), Chimonocalamus delicatus (10 degrees; 1.5 inches), and Gigantochloa levis (30 degrees; 6 inches).
The most cold-hardy bamboo species are found in the genus Fargesia, which includes varieties that are hardy down to -20 degrees. While this group is not generally known for its culinary qualities, at least two species are sometimes consumed: Fargesia spathacea (-10 degrees; .5 inches) and Fargesia robusta (0 degrees; 1 inch).
Edible Bamboo Growing Conditions
Bamboo, which is essentially a giant grass, is very easy to grow. Plant it in rich, well-drained soil in a sunny or partly shaded location. Like all grasses, bamboo grows most lushly when supplied with ample moisture. And the lusher the growth, the more abundant, sweet, and tender the shoots. Irrigate your bamboo whenever the top inch of soil becomes dry, or more often if you wish. Just don’t overdo it if your drainage is poor – waterlogged soil is a death knell for bamboo.
As long as you plant it in fertile soil, there is no need to fertilize bamboo. But you’ll produce more shoots if you do – especially with nitrogen-rich fertilizers. While it is tempting to fertilize bamboo with animal manure because of its high nitrogen content, it’s not recommended due to the potential for the shoots to come into contact with pathogens in the manure as they emerge from the ground. Store-bought organic fertilizers are a safer bet.
How to Prevent Bamboo from Spreading
In the world of bamboo, there are “clumpers” and “runners.” The former do not spread aggressively, but form compact clumps. The latter, as the name implies, is what has given bamboo a bad reputation. The species classified as runners spread via long underground rhizomes, sending up new canes all over the place, quickly colonizing large areas.
The bad news is that the bamboo species with the best culinary qualities tend to be runners (the Gigantochloa and Fargesia species mentioned above, both clumpers, are an exception). The good news is there are a variety of ways to prevent the spread of running bamboo. The easiest is simply grow it in pots or raised planters. If you’re growing it in the ground, be sure to install an underground polyethylene barrier to restrict its spread. This should extend at least 18 inches below ground and 4 inches above ground.
Underground barriers, which are expensive and laborious to install, are best suited to small plantings. If you intend to establish a large grove, surround it with a wide swath of grass or other vegetation that may be mowed regularly. By mowing, you’ll keep the canes from becoming established beyond their designated area.
Harvesting the shoots is another tactic for stemming the spread of bamboo into unwanted areas, as every shoot removed is a cane that is prevented from growing.
How to Harvest and Prepare Edible Bamboo
Follow these steps for a successful harvest.
- Keep a close watch during the brief spring harvest season, as the shoots must be harvested as soon as they emerge from the ground. Smaller diameter species should be cut before the shoot reaches 6 inches in length; large diameter species may be allowed to grow up to 12 inches. As a general rule of thumb, the younger, and thus the shorter, the shoot is, the better it tastes. Bamboo can grow 6 to 12 inches a day during this time – meaning the optimal harvest window for each shoot is no more than 24 hours.
- Harvest the shoots by slicing into the soil with a sharp spade to detach them from the root system (you can cut them several inches below the soil level). With the stiffer, more brittle shoots of larger diameter bamboo species, it’s often possible to break off the shoots simply by twisting and pulling with your hands. Harvest only 30 to 50 percent of the shoots each year so that enough new canes may grow to keep the plants healthy.
- Peel the dark outer sheaths from around each shoot until to you have exposed the soft white interior – this is the edible portion.
- Layer harvested shoots in damp paper towels inside a paper bag in your refrigerator to preserve freshness.
- Cook shoots as soon as possible, as they quickly become bitter in storage. Simply slice and boil for 10 minutes. If they are still tough or bitter after 10 minutes, change the water and boil again for another 10 minutes, repeating until they are tender and tasty. Bamboo shoots may also be preserved by canning, pickling, or freezing.
Best Timber & Shoot Bamboo!
The large timber bamboo is often the most delicious and kg heavy shoots you can buy. If you don’t use it to build with, then why not eat it each year or supply top restaurants who seek out these delicious fresh shoots.
Bamboo is stronger than hard wood and it only takes 7 years to grow a clump. Each year you will be able to harvest 3-5 year old poles (culms) for 100 or more years, compared to hardwood being cut down and usually requiring 100 years to grow strong.
Bamboo is the Future! And it is beautiful!
Did you know India uses the large Balcooa below for most of its paper? Did you know Bali, Brazil, Costa Rica and Vietnam are leading the way with large bamboo – creating exquisite contemporary buildings and harvesting large bamboo for composite (flooring, panels) being 2.5 x stronger than hardwood composite. Bamboo is becoming increasingly popular with architects, interior designers and homeowners because it has unique textures and colours and is a breathtaking alternative to hardwood flooring. Bamboo is also proven as a sustainable and environmentally friendly option.
The below information is provided by Kirsten, Bello Bamboo and Kaye at Byron Bamboo. Buy online from Kaye at Byron Bamboo for Australia wide delivery or contact us for local delivery in the Mid North Coast area. Come learn how to BUILD with bamboo in Bello or have an eco holiday learning how to build and create products in Bali with us in 2014.
Here are our top 5 timber bamboo’s (clumping varieties) and note the shoot taste!
“Asper” – Dendrocalamus Asper “Petung” (Bali)
15 – 20 metre height
The Green School Bali’s, large building bamboo
Grows beautifully in Bello! A beautiful clumping bamboo that is used for large buildings. Strong and golden in colour when cured/dried. Able to last for 20-50 years with good treatment and oiling. Famous as the ‘Green School’ and ‘Green Village’, Bali’s’ chosen bamboo with amazingly large single culms (poles) 3 stories high.
Kaye’s description: A favourite for look with cream/ blonde velvety finish on mid green poles, has large dark green foliage, grows in a tight tidy clump over 15 metres. Used in Asia for construction and craft its large culms are also used as outriggers on fishing boats. New cream and pink shoots are amazing in size and colour, and texture. A great edible shoot bamboo.
The ‘black’ version of Asper, “Hitam” is beautiful also and used as large poles in Bali’s architecture too (see next).
Asper – Dendrocalamus Asper “Hitam”
15 – 20 metre height
This is the black version of Asper. It remains black after drying (see image in Bali above). Beautiful for ceremonial pergola or as per the photo, a large ceremonial area at a Bali resort. Great for splits to create walls and flooring as per another photo here. Eye catching for a medium to large property as a stand alone feature or amongst your landscape.
Kaye’s description: Huge soft hair beige brown fur covers brown/black culms have aerial hairy lighter cream bands circling the nodes. Highly regarded in Indonesia where it is know as “Pring Betung Hitam”. Excellent shoot bamboo. It’s soft velvety & awesome.
Some culms will reach 200mm and be skyscapers . This is also a wonderful ornamental feature plant for a large property. For timber the walls are thick and has good culm strength, durability. A reasonably cold resistant species, which can withstand frost. In colder areas ensure a good medium is used to plant – fertilise and mulch well – offer protection until this plant establishes. Our plants are grown in a traditional way – not from seed or tissue culture so they will grow to resemble their mother plant here.
Java Black – Gigantochloa Atroviolacea
Height: 10 metres plus
Gorgeous and strong. Timor Black seems similar but is not as large in diameter, is not suitable for timber bamboo and is shinier than this matt black bamboo. If you wax or put water on Java Black, it shines brilliantly. Near instant sooty black colouration to culms and a cream nodal colouration. Longer internodes than Timor Black. Leafs are also larger. Used for structure (minor), furniture and musical instruments.
Exclusive bamboo … difficult to produce. Grows well in sub-tropical or tropical areas but of the two Java will handle the cold better than Bambusa Lako (timor) and is also are better timber.
The pink shoots are small but sweet.
Image: Jim Hood, local property owner of 300 bamboo plants and 57 varieties. His favourite is Java Black!
Balcooa Bambusa Balcooa (origin India)
Height 25 mtr. Thickness 15cm
Originally from India and still the main paper pulp bamboo, Balcooa migrated around the East Coast of Australia early this century as animal shelter and great fodder. It often stands as a very large messy thick clump, un-managed as you drive the east coast – little do the farmers realise it has the potential to earn much for the owners. The bitter shoots are highly regarded by the Vietnamese consumers yet it may not appeal to the westerner. Poles are used as a building material for houses, bridges, fishing floats. Most popular as scaffolding it is also used for baskets, woven mats and for agricultural and fishing implements. This bamboo species also serves as a raw material for the wood chip industry and paper pulp. It is high in starch, prone to decay faster if untreated, but recent treatment processes (see www.abari.org in Nepal) are bringing the best out of this strong bamboo. The Bello Bamboo Company uses a similar treatment and opens up opportunities for the world to re-think this important clumping bamboo’s value. This plant is proposed as the best pyrolysis bamboo plant for its density in an initiative in our region (biochar). Unmanaged it has gained a bad reputation as being hard to deal with and harvest and it does require skill to harvest. Our team are reviving the value of this plant and managing the clumps to make harvesting easy.
Image: Michael (Kirsten’s son, at our Bamboo Retreat and accommodation property, Bellingen, Australia)
Check out India’s recent strategy to become a world leader in the use of Bamboo.
Latiflorus “Taiwan Giant” – Dendrocalamus Latiflorus
20-25 metres height
There are 2 types of Latiflorus. We talk about the large leaf version with beautiful lime green culms and hardly any lower branches. Straight culms with large leaves. Top shoots… very delicious and main shoot industry for bamboo in Australia and many countries. When the bamboo is cut, it drys in a very beautiful way … orange, to dark brown stripes to golden.
Kaye’s comments: A giant bamboo native to China, with culm walls over an inch thick, it is majestic in appearance with large foliage often 25 cm long, vibrant green huge culms with long internode, growing in a tight clump formation. This is an excellent timber bamboo for house construction, crafts, and DIY projects. The pole (culms) internal wall can measure 2.5cm and poles 100-140mm in diameter. This bamboo dries to a lovely clean sheen.
Also a principal commercial variety for shoot production in Asia, the shoots are incredible in colour orange with purple tops that shoot up at a rapid speed growing this year 1 metre in a week.
Latiflorus at Bello Bamboo’s Retreat
Oldhamii Sweet Shoot Bamboo. Bambusa Oldhamii
20-25 metres height
Oldhamii is a perfect very tall bamboo for pathways, timber and delicious shoots. It is one of the most straight growing bamboo’s with no lower branches and a gorgeous green culm (pole). It has been used in flood areas to rebuild soil from over used agricultural practices. See Geoff Lawton’s Permaculture video about ‘Power of Bamboo’ and the usefulness of this bamboo.
Kaye’s description: Native to Southern China, this is one of the straightest growing bamboo species – widely used for timber – has strength and durability. Widely cultivated in Taiwan for edible shoots. Economical fast growing attractive large screening species. Grown in shade is a darker green with silver powder on new culms. In sunny conditions will take on a more orange hue. Large straight poles, dark foliage with powdery new culms. Will handle wet feet – and also dry spells. A frost tolerant plant – performs well in temperate climates. Oldhamii makes a good acoustic and/or wind barrier.
Not recommended for smaller suburban properties – a great attractive larger hedge for acreages. Sweet shoots are highly regarded.
Ideal for large TeePee – specially cut and treated poles can be ordered in advance and measured to your size needs.
So… is it time to get some bamboo on your property ready to build with in a few years for your next shed or extension? Will you use it to restore land or create more high protein animal fodder? Will it act as a wind break or beautiful lane way along your driveway? Will you think long term and help ensure Australia has enough timber for the future or pulp or biomass necessary for the various products and energy needs we will need? If so, there are many nurseries near you. In Australia, you can check the Bamboo Society website:
Bamboo Society of Australia
or check out our package deals for local delivery and pick up in the Mid North Coast, NSW, Australia:
Bello Bamboo Plants
or check out Byron Bamboo and have Kaye and her awesome team give you delivery throughout Australia through her online shop and expert service:
Bamboo Plantation is a necessary new industry in Australia. Check out our PDF Brochure about Bamboo Investment and Plantation in Australia. Ideas, Vision and we would love your input.
Oz Bamboo Plantation
What about running bamboo?
We will cover the amazing benefits of running bamboo as a timber, furniture item and especially as a source of shoots. Most clumping bamboo require shoots to be boiled 2 x whereas most running bamboo shoots can be eaten raw or with no preparation besides slicing into the next meal or stirfry. See future NEWS or join BOO NEWS to be kept informed.
What’s the difference between running and clumping?
Clumping is non invasive and reaches a set diameter. Running bamboo has roots (rhisomes that continue outward… forever! or at least until it seeds and dies which can be 100 plus years!). The key is to use the bamboo. It likes to be cut after years and many Asian countries will never leave old poles (culms) in the groves – always eating or using the bamboo for some purpose. If we were to use it regularly, running bamboo would never be an issue. It is a better shoot, it is less susceptible to bora beetles and decay, it is often lighter to harvest and work with yet just as strong… We looooove running bamboo and are deeply grateful for the people who planted it (not realising its expansion rate) in our region. Luckily we don’t have to plant any more as it is an abundant resource… but as more people get practical with bamboo, we recommend it is one of the top bamboo’s for timber, products and shoots. More on this later!
Bamboo Shoot Stock Photos
Bamboo shoot. The close-up of bamboo shootBamboo shoot. Little bamboo shoot in bamboo gardenBamboo Shoot. And yellow bamboo, taken in Largo botanic garden, FloridaBamboo shoot. In The garden home from Chiangmai ThailandJapanese ryokan breakfast appetizer dishes including mentaiko, pickle, seaweed, bamboo shoot, hot plate, other side dishes. Green tea pot, cup and warm towelBamboo Shoot. Fresh Bamboo Shoot on white background. Bamboo shoots or bamboo sprouts are the edible shootsà¸ºBamboo shoot. The bamboo shoot at farmBamboo Shoot Tips. For sale in bunches of three, tied with a thin piece of bamboo, at a local market in Luang Namtha in northern Laos Bamboo shoot isolated on white. It is bamboo shoot isolated on white Bamboo shoot curry. With Yanang leaves Thai herb, Tai Dam food or Lao food isolated on white background Bamboo shoot curry. With Yanang leaves Thai herb, Tai Dam food or Lao food Bamboo shoot on white background. Stack Bamboo shoot, root, organic, object, isolated on white background Bamboo shoot salad. In Northeastern of Thailand style with grilled chicken and sticky rice Bamboo shoot. On white background Bamboo shoot. Close-up bamboo shoot in the garden Bamboo shoot. Food is delicious Wooden Floor Bamboo Forest Shoot Serenity Nature Concept. Bamboo shoot. Curved bamboo shoot pointing upwards on white background Bamboo shoot. On white background Bamboo shoot. In Kyoto, JAPAN Bamboo shoot in plate on white background. Bamboo shoot in plate on a white background Bamboo shoot at the forest. Nature The fresh bamboo shoot. In bamboo grove Bamboo shoot. Sold in asian market It is bamboo shoot. Isolated on white background Bamboo shoot isolated. On white background Bamboo shoot. Tender, young bamboo shoot in a garden Bamboo Shoot. Close up of fresh green bamboo shoot on the ground with green background of bamboo tree Bamboo Shoot. A fresh green Bamboo shoot growing in a garden in Zhujiajiao, China Panda Eating a Bamboo Shoot. Feeding time. A Panda eating a bamboo Shoot Bamboo shoot, Bamboo sprout Bamboo shoot T is bamboo shoot. Isolated on white background Bamboo Shoot Isolated on White. One bamboo shoot with skin closeup Bamboo shoot. In the garden Bamboo shoot, Bamboo sprout Bamboo shoot Food. Bamboo shoot for chili paste is food thailand Bamboo shoot Food. Bamboo shoot for chili paste is food thailand Bamboo shoot. From thai bamboo Bamboo shoot boiled. With pork Pickled bamboo shoot. Thai Pickled bamboo shoot Food preservation Bamboo Shoot boiled with pork bones ,Thai food. Bamboo Shoot boiled with pork bones ,close up shot.Thailand food Bamboo shoot or bamboo sprout. Isolated on white background, clipping path included Bamboo shoot spicy slad. Soup Nor Mai (Bamboo Shoot Salad Northeastern of Thailand style Bamboo shoot. Close up Bamboo shoot in the rain forest Bamboo shoot. Close up Bamboo shoot in the rain forest Bamboo shoot. Close up Bamboo shoot in the rain forest Bamboo Shoot. One Bamboo Shoot near by the ground quickly growing Bamboo Shoot. At bamboo forest Bamboo Shoot on White. A bright green bamboo shoot with leaves isolated against a white background Water Drops on Bamboo Shoot. Water drops on the slender end of a bamboo shoot Group bamboo shoot in market. Close up group bamboo shoot in market Boiled Chinese bamboo shoot with pork bone soup. On bowl Bamboo shoot,Bamboo sprouts start to pop out of the soil near a tree. Lettuce salad, eggplant, red pepper, bamboo shoot, peanuts and Parmesan cheese. Bamboo shoot sale. Bamboo shoot for sale market Local Asia for food Dry bamboo shoot. Dry young bamboo shoot in Thai market Sliced bamboo shoot for cooking. Sliced bamboo shoot on wooden plate for cooking, Asian food Bamboo shoot,Bamboo shoots during the rain season. Bamboo shoot soup and mushroom herbs and spices ingredients Thai food served on table / Tradition northeast food Isaan delicious. On bowl with vegetables – Thai Bolied Coconut Milk Soup , Prawn , Bamboo shoot , Bitter bean And Senegalia pennata. Southern Thailand delicious food Bamboo shoot isolated on white background. The bamboo shoot isolated on white background Bamboo shoot isolated on white background. The bamboo shoot isolated on white background Dried bamboo shoot for sale. In the chinese market with indoor low lighting Bolied Coconut Milk Soup , Prawn , Bamboo shoot , Bitter bean And Senegalia pennata. Southern Thailand delicious food Bamboo shoot growing on ground. In the bamboo forest Coconut Milk Curry with bamboo shoot and green mussel in bowl on wood table isolated on white background. Coconut Milk Curry with bamboo shoot and green mussel in bowl on wood table,Top view. Thai food, Spicy stir fried bamboo shoot with fish ball in a wooden bowl. Oblique view from the top Thai food, Spicy stir fried bamboo shoot with fish ball in a wooden bowl. Oblique view from the top Bamboo shoot. Small bamboo shoot fresh,green and yellow color in market for sell, Thailand Bamboo shoot. On white background Thai bamboo shoot spicy salad served on plate on the wooden table and ticky rice / Bamboo shoot dry soup shredded cooked with. Herbs and spices ingredients and Sliced bamboo shoot for cooking. Sliced bamboo shoot on wooden plate for cooking, Asian food Sliced bamboo shoot for cooking. Sliced bamboo shoot on wooden plate for cooking, Asian food Bamboo shoot soup and mushroom herbs and spices ingredients Thai food served on table with sticky rice / Tradition northeast food. Isaan delicious on bowl with In a hole, a bamboo shoot is secretly growing. I found it, a beautiful background image Bamboo shoot. A bamboo shoot in natural light Detailed view of a yellow bamboo shoot. In the middle of a natural tropical forest Bamboo shoot on the canal at thailand