Here at amaZulu, we love bamboo! We’ve been helping you incorporate bamboo into your homes and businesses for over 13 years. We love being global bamboo suppliers! But have you ever wondered where our product comes from?
We wanted to send you straight to the source to see just how it is harvested! Keep reading…maybe you’ll even be able to grow some of your own!
The best time to harvest it is between its 4th and 7th year, sometime between the rainy and dry season. This is important because it is extremely high in sugars and starches. In the dry season, the starch content is considerably higher and can cause bacterial growth and problems with pests. In the rainy season, the starch content is very low, making the bamboo susceptible to cracking and splitting. Most bamboo suppliers understand that between the two seasons is the perfect time to harvest bamboo..
It’s simple to tell the difference between young and matured bamboo. A young plant’s outer layer is bright green, shiny, and it has bright white bands. A matured one’s outer layer is a dull green color with less noticeable white bands around the diameter. In contrast, our harvested and cured bamboo is a light tan color.
First, farmers cut the stalks with a saw or machete above the first or second node above ground level. They use this technique, so water does not settle inside the shoot and rot the wood.
It’s important to note that the bamboo should not be dragged or thrown onto the ground. This damages the outer layer and renders it unusable for construction purposes.
After the bamboo is cut, it needs to be cured. There are multiple curing methods. In one method, it is submerged in water and soaked for 90 days. Then it is left to dry in a sunny area for two weeks. This is common in India.
Another common method is to leave the branches and leaves intact on the stalk. You then prop it vertically against other stalks or a vertical surface. This is then left to dry for a few weeks.
The fastest method is used in Japan. Here, the culm (stem) is heated over a charcoal fire at around 120 degrees Celsius. Due to the heat, the resin rises to the surface and is then wiped off with a towel. After this, it is set aside to dry for two weeks.
When bamboo is harvested in countries such as South Africa, this can be valuable for the local economy and well-being of its citizens. Its cultivation can create thousands of jobs, from the harvesters themselves to product processing, manufacturing, distribution, and finance.
At amaZulu, we understand that our products make a difference. We have hand-selected manufacturers who produce our eco-friendly, high quality, synthetic roofing materials to present a dynamic list of options when considering the environment.
As a highly respected bamboo supplier, we also work to maintain a “resource responsible” reputation while investing in opportunities that create economic opportunities that reduce poverty both in America and overseas. We help improve the lives of the people who grow and produce our products.
If you are looking for a bamboo supplier, make sure they adhere to the harvesting guidelines above. Not all bamboo suppliers are ethical and it’s unfortunate. If you’re interested in using bamboo in your upcoming building construction, we would love to help you!
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