Thursday, December 15, 2011

Yes You Can Grow Bamboo in Ontario

Despite BC bamboo " expert" Carolyn Mayo's assertion that bamboo is unlikely to survive in South Western Ontario, my bamboo is thriving. Planted in 2008, my bamboo has thrived in poor sandy soil and under extreme weather conditions. I rarely fertilize and I only mulch in the autumn when I dump my shredded leaf refuse around the base.
My "let it be" attitude has paid off. My bamboo is now over 5 1/2 ft tall and healthy.
If I can grow a hedge of bamboo in London, Ontario, surely other species should thrive in the balmy banana belt of Norfolk County.
Norfolk County was a proverbial dirt bowl, reminiscent of Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath in the 1930's. When I was a child, my father relayed stories about sand storms and farmers struggling to make a living before the advent of tobacco as a game changer crop.
Since the 1980's, Norfolk County farmers have survived due to their open attitude towards farming new to Canada crop species. Norfolk farmers have switched from tobacco to ginseng, peanuts and most recently created a new wine industry.
Norfolk County farmers are hardy and flexible entrepreneurs.
The area survives and flourishes because of their take no prisoners attitude.
A couple of so called "experts" from a nursery in British Columbia should not halt a research study into the viability of growing bamboo in Norfolk County.
Senator Doug Finley touted the merits of growing bamboo in a 2010 Sun media article, " Finley touted the plant as a possible alternative crop for the area, noting research has found an extract from bamboo has industrial use.He called bamboo the new "Microsoft" of the business world and said it could give the county the "value-added" agricultural product it needs, spawning research and development as well as manufacturing jobs in the county."We know from research we can grow this in Norfolk County,".
A couple of naysayers aside, it at least warrants a research viability study.
The appeal of bamboo is an extract from the plant called nano-chrystalline cellulose, an extract from the substance inside the plant. Using nano-technology, it can be added to materials, such as plastic, to make them thousands of times stronger.It has obvious potential for widespread industrial use in the auto and aerospace industries.
It's a game changer crop that could possibly boost the local economy and well worth government and/or private research dollars.
How about it ?