Over the past decade we have studied a wide range of species of bamboo diligently. Our knowledge and understanding of how to grow bamboo for commercial purposes and at scale comes from a variety of sources including but not limited to:
Our own experience as a company working to develop bamboo plantations in Nicaragua, South Africa and Ghana, using species that have never been grown at scale. During our early days of developing commercial bamboo nurseries and then taking these seedlings through transplanting into a field setting, we relied on widely available information and many self proclaimed bamboo experts. However we soon came to learn that few people had attempted to grow bamboo at scale and even fewer of those who had tried had been successful. We therefore quickly realized that in order to succeed we were going to have to develop our own knowledge, science base and silvicultural management techniques for bamboo, through research plots, trial and error, careful analysis and subsequent learning.
In addition to our own plantations and projects we have developed a robust network of research trials and access to planting projects across multiple continents and within many countries and different contexts. On going, multi year trials, based of rigorous scientific and statistical analysis have provided us with invaluable information on the prescription that different species and growing contexts require.
Similarly, we have developed a network of access to natural bamboo forests, both directly and through our network of partners. Such forests provide invaluable learning experiences as they provide an opportunity to work with already mature bamboo, and remove many of the additional influencing factors.
And of course, a robust set of relationships, learning opportunities and research plots in China, covering both the traditional Moso bamboo growing areas of eastern China as this has been critical in understanding how and why many of the bamboo myths that lead to misinformation have come from, as well as a detailed understanding and relationship with key partners in the often ignored southwest of China where the production of tropical clumping bamboo species has been ongoing for decades.
The more we have learnt, the more this constant plagiarizing, copy and pasting and replication of incorrect and inaccurate information surrounding bamboo growing methods, and the simplification of bamboo into a "miracle plant" has frustrated us. Bamboo is not a miracle plant, nor is it easy to grow, nor is it inherently green and environmentally friendly. However IF and only IF bamboo is grown correctly, under a fully deforestation free scenario on highly degraded land, and under a strict framework of sustainability, the wide range of species that this plant family has to offer DOES have the potential to revolutionize many of the world's current industries, disrupt many of our currently unsustainable supply chains, and be a major player in contributing significantly to a number of the world's most pressing social and environmental concerns.
We hope you enjoy our posts, and more importantly, engage, interact and assist us in moving away from the myths that today haunt the progress of bamboo as a commercially viable plant.
EcoPlanet Bamboo's "New Generation Bamboo Plantation" in Nicaragua, Central America
EcoPlanet Bamboo's Kowie Bamboo Farm in South Africa's Eastern Cape -
The first bamboo plantation globally to successfully utilize tissue culture plantlets at scale
EcoPlanet Bamboo's First Year of Bamboo Planting in Ghana, West Africa