Bamboo a less likely perennial food

bamboo shoots boil in hot water
Bamboo shoots boil in hot water

Bamboos is a member of the grass family and is one of the largest members of the grass family. There are about 1,000 species of bamboo, of which more than a hundred are edible.

Life Span

  • Bamboos are a set of woody-evergreen that’s perennial.

Growth Habit

  • Succulent plants – herbaceous or herbs (succulent seed plants possessing self-supporting stems)
  • Vine – a climbing or trailing herbaceous plant (Liana – a climbing or trailing woody plant)
  • Trees – having a single central axis
  • Shrub – having several more or less upright stems

Hardiness

bamboo can be found in diverse climates, from cold mountains to tropical climate. However, in the United States, geographic locations best suited for bamboo would normally be determined by your geographic locations hardiness zone.

What exactly is a Hardiness Zone?

Where can Bamboo be grown in the United States

They are found in diverse climates, from cold mountains to tropical climates. In the United States bamboo can be grown from hardiness zone five and above.  Basically, this means US hardiness zones 5 through 10.

Appearance

Bamboo is a tall treelike grass with woody ring-stems, called culms, which grow in branching groups coming from a thick rhizome underground stem.  Among the edible species, the size and shape of the shoots vary.

Bamboo used as food

Yes, bamboo may be eaten. Bamboo shoots and young tips are the most commonly eaten portion of the plant and are eaten as cooked vegetables. However, the seeds may also be eaten like a grain in those rare time in which bamboo flowers.   The seeds may be boiled, ground, or mix in cooking foods like other seeds. If you are looking for creative ways to use bamboo shoots in your cooking please see Asian cuisines, because bamboo shoots are frequently used in their recipes.

How to prepare bamboo shoots for eating

bamboo shoots must be thoroughly cooked before being consumed regularly. To prepare your shoots for eating they must be peeled and cooked, normally, boiled for 20 minutes or more.

Caution: if you’re going to use bamboo as food please make sure that it is cooked thoroughly to prevent unintended poisoning.

Bamboo Uses in the Kitchen

bamboo can be used in the kitchen and a number of ways which is only limited by your creativity. Among the common ways of using bamboo in the kitchen are:

  • as utensils (e.g. chopsticks)
  • as cooking utensils (e.g. steamers)
  • as food wraps to cook food in, normally, this is where the leaves are used.

 Bamboo used as paper

Pulped-fibres of a little bamboo species, mainly Dendrocalamus strictus and also Bambusa bamboos, are widely used to make fine quality paper.

Use Of bamboo as wood, building and construction material

The jointed stems of bamboo have many possible uses that are numerous the biggest stems provide planks for houses and rafts, while both large and tiny stems tend to be lashed collectively to make the scaffoldings used on building construction internet sites.

How to obtain bamboo as food

Commercial availability

Bamboo is readily available in the marketplace and can be readily obtained online, in your local Asian market or the specially second section of most local grocers.

Bamboo shoots as forage food

However, it is also a forage food if you happen to have a stand of bamboo freely available to you of the correct type. Actually, there are two or three stands here in Texas near where I live, which with the landowner’s permission could be forged in the spring for bamboo shoots.

Grow your own bamboo for food

Growing your own bamboo for food may well be the best way to ensure you have the correct variety for eating, but may take some management to ensure that they don’t spread too far.

How to start A bamboo

while bamboo may be grown from seed, bamboo seeds are not normally readily available. Therefore, it is much easier to obtain a living plant from a friend or from a commercial source and plant that in your prepared area. Once established, bamboo will provide a perennial source of food year after year, provided it is suitable for your geographic location.  I would avoid planting it too close to structures such as your house or outbuildings. Bamboo does and will spread and planting it too close to other structures you care about could cause problems later.

Bamboos is a fast-growing in some species can grow as much as an inch in a day. To grow grown bamboo:

  • Bamboo should be spaced less than six feet apart to create a screen or a small dense cluster.
  • Use garden compost or manure to your workplace into the earth around your new bamboo growing.
  • water regularly during the first growing season, this includes winter while the ground is still not frozen.

Related References

What Are Perennial Foods?

Perennial Food, Perennial Food Gardening, edible landscapes
Perennial Food Gardening

Perennial foods, on the whole, are low maintenance sources of food once they’ve been established and their production can be improved with a little tender loving care. Many perennials will be in our backyard trees and/or are landscaping. Their form can be very ranging from bulbs, to berries, it’s to trees and bushes.  When thinking of perennial foods, we must keep an open mind. Many edible foods are ignored by commercial markets, even though, many if not all were eaten by media and/or ancient peoples throughout history.

Please keep in mind that what is a perennial in your area is dictated by your area USDA Plant Hardiness Zone and the hardiness range of the plant itself.

Here is a starter list, which I will update as I have more time.

  • Alliums

    • Bunching onions
    • Chinese leeks
    • Chives
    • Elephant Garlic
    • Egyptian Walking Onions
    • Common Garlic
    • Garlic Chives
    • Potato Onions
    • Shallot

    Berries

    • Cranberry
    • Grapes
    • Blackberry
    • Blueberry
    • Elderberry
    • Gooseberry
    • Huckleberry
    • Musk Strawberry
    • Raspberry
    • Salmonberry
    • Strawberry
    • Turkscap

     

    Bushes & Shrub

    • Autumn Olive
    • Blueberry
    • Cherry
    • Gooseberries
    • Lingonberry
    • Nanking Cherry
    • Sea Buckthorns

    Cactus

    • Prickly Pear Cactus

    Cereals

    • Perennial Buckwheat
    • Pearl Millet
    • Indian Ricegrass

    Herbs

    • Angelica
    • Anise Hyssop
    • Balm (Lemon Balm)
    • Basil (Holy Basil, African Blue)
    • Bunching onions
    • Burnet
    • Chicory
    • Common Oregano ( aka wild marjoram)
    • Egyptian Walking Onions
    • French Tarragon
    • Ginger
    • Horseradish
    • Lavender
    • Lovage
    • Marsh Mello
    • Mexican Oregano
    • Mint
    • Parsley
    • Rosemary
    • Sage
    • Sorrel
    • Tarragon
    • Thyme
    • Winter Savory
    • Yarrow

    Edible Flowers

    • Bee Balm
    • Elderberry Flower
    • Hibiscus
    • Mint
    • Purple Coneflower
    • Rose Hips and Flowers
    • Saffron Crocus
    • Turkscap

    Fruit Trees

    • Apricot
    • Apple
    • Mulberry
    • Cherry
    • Fig
    • Loquat
    • Nectarine
    • Pawpaw
    • Peach
    • Pear (Asian)
    • Pear (European)
    • Persimmon
    • Plum
    • Pomegranate
    • Quince
    • Sour Cherry

    Grasses

    • Bamboo
    • lemongrass

    Legumes

    • Kudzu Bean
    • Winged Bean
    • Honey locust Tree
    • Mesquite Tree
    • Pigeon Pea
    • Scarlet Runner

    Nut Trees

    • Almond
    • Black Walnut
    • English Walnut
    • Hazelnut
    • Pecan

    Vegetables and Greens

    • Angelica
    • Artichoke
    • Asparagus
    • Cardoon
    • Fennel
    • Rhubarb
    • Seakale

    Vines

    • Chayote (Squash)
    • Common Grape (European)
    • Fox Grape
    • Muscadine Grape

Many perennial Forage Foods sources are available, also.

Related Topics:

What Are Forage Foods?

Foraged edible dandelion flowers and greens in bowl

Forage foods, are foods which grow wild, or have escaped into the wild and are readily found along roadsides, in the fields, forests, and Meadows. They are an excellent way to supplement the foods you put on the table and/or preserve for winter, or later consumption. Forage foods can also be used to supplement foods raised in your home garden and backyard fruit and nut trees.  These food include the food long use in subsistence living and others.  Forage may also include animals (e.g meat) and animal produced foods (e.g. Honey). 

I have many fond memories of my youth where we forged in the forests fields and roadsides where we lived. These could range from wild berries to apple trees found in an old homestead on our property or neighbor’s property with permission.

Here is a quick list of forage foods that I can think of off the top of my head. Some of these foods, especially mushrooms, will require some special handling and special knowledge to be safely eaten.

Quick List of Forage Foods

  • Acorns (Nut)
  • Alpine Strawberry
  • American Persimmon
  • Autumn Olive
  • Bamboo (Shoots)
  • Barberry
  • Beechnut
  • Black Walnuts
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberry
  • Butternut
  • Cattail (Typha latifolia)
  • Chamomile
  • Chickweed
  • Chicory
  • Chili Peppers
  • Curly Dock
  • Damsons
  • Dandelions
  • Dewberries
  • Duck-potato (Sagittaria latifolia)
  • Elderberry
  • Epasote (Spanish Bean Herb)
  • Ferns
  • Fox Grape
  • Garlic Mustard
  • Gooseberry
  • Hickory Nut
  • Juniper Shrub
  • Kelp / Seaweed
  • Kudzu
  • Lingonberry
  • Mesquite
  • Mulberry
  • Mullein
  • Muscadine Grape
  • Mushrooms
  • Nettles
  • Paw Paw
  • Pecan nut
  • Persimmon
  • Pine Nuts
  • Prickly Pear Cactus
  • Rose Hips
  • Salmonberry
  • Sassafras
  • Sheep sorrel
  • Sloes
  • Sumac
  • Tepary Beans (Phaseolus acutifolius)
  • Watercress
  • Wild Asparagus
  • Wild Cherries (Prunus species)
  • Wild Onion
  • Wild Rice (Zizania Aquatica)
  • Wood Sorrel

Related References