Daily planting series - some rare bamboos


Planting is an emotional and practical pressure from within. Emotional because I can’t resist planting during this beautiful monsoon. Practical because my nursery is full, plants there are anxiously waiting for their turn to settle on ground. I can conveniently use buzz phrases like ’30 day planting challenge’ in this Facebook era, which communicate a meaning easily since others here understand such phrases. I am not too fond of those slightly urbane sounding phrases simply because planting, harvesting, milking, growing and eating farm fresh items are part of every day routine in a homestead living system. But I would still use the coin that circulates!. It does no harm than some 'romanticisation'  of what we do, and after all 'romanticism' is the most urgently needed emotion in agriculture.

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We visited Uravu bamboo society last summer. There is a beautiful collection of around 45 bamboo species in their nursery and a nice PDF catalogue of what they have too, which they give in advance through e-mail if requested. Dr. Abdulla (an MBBS doctor previously practicing medicine) is now the full time in-charge of the nursery and the Bamboo society as a whole. They also show the grown up version of these plants as we can hardly make them out when young.

Uravu has a unique scheme for farmers and artisans. They give out bamboo plants to farmers for growing and they buy back their harvest, use it to make items of utility or art or both. Sell these items at various locations and earn back the money they pay to artists and growers. Things seem to be working really well there and why not if there are people like Dr. Abdulla and others!

I got nearly 25 species from them, some of which I was longing to grow. I finished planting most of them (before this Daily planting series).

These are the ones I planted today:

Schizostachium beddomi 
A slender flexible bamboo variety which bends outward without the presence of other trees around for support. Makes beautiful small clump (see the composite picture above. Grown up clump is that of Beddomi. Dr. Abdulla at right-bottom).

Dendrocalamus longispathus
A strong larger growing variety (than beddomi), contains characteristic spathe (scale leaf covering bamboo culm internodal area). The scale leaf persists for a long time and gives a unique look to the clump.

Ochlandra Travancoria
Honestly can not remember the appearance and Internet is most untrustworthy when it comes to Bamboo identification.

I have planted the above 3 and earlier ones (at least some 25 plants already before this ‘Daily planting series’) around a new check dam I am building which will be put to practical use from next year. I will write a different write up about the dam in future.

My ambitious checkdam to be in use next year





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