Bamboo and Australia

This prophetic word is a bit different from my usual. It's one I've sat on since January 2020 not quite sure what to do with it, but I wanted to finally get it down so anyone could have access to it.

Southern Hemisphere Summer 2019/2020 I'd been praying for our sister nation Australia as they battled sweeping fires, drought and farmers taking their own lives because they could not financially survive the conditions they were met with. It was such a harrowing time for the nation.

One morning out of the blue the Lord woke me from my sleep almost with one almost audible word, BAMBOO! Bamboo? What about bamboo? Bamboo is an answer and strategy for Australia. Knowing nothing of bamboo other than Pandas like to eat it and it's hard to get rid of, the Lord then led me down a path to understand how bamboo could help Australia in a number of ways.

I saw farms planted with bamboo around it's perimeters providing shelter and protection, and also farmers with bamboo fields for harvesting where the bamboo was then sold for eco friendly manufacturing of products. I saw what I'd describe as bamboo belts or corridors that would stretch from nearer the coast to inland territories drawing moisture inland to dry parched places.

How does bamboo provide so many possible solutions?

  • Bamboo is the fastest growing land plant in the world. It can grow up to a metre in just 24h.

  • It doesn't need fertiliser, pesticides or much water to grow.

  • When it is harvested it will continue to regrow, no need for new planting.

  • Bamboo crops, like other plants, absorb carbon dioxide, it can sequester up to 11 tones of carbon per ha per year and can also generate up to 30-35% more oxygen than other crops purifying the air.

  • Bamboo can cool the air temp by up to 8 degrees.

  • Bamboo heals the soil, it has a very high uptake of nitrogens from the soil which can treat wastewater run off from farms, and it can help remove heavy metal toxins from the soil.

  • Bamboo can mitigate erosion and improve the water holding ability of soil.

  • Not only can it be a good shade cover and a wind breaker, but if looked after well green, young (living) bamboo can act as somewhat of a fire breaker. When dry leaves and leaf litter are cleared, bamboo is not as easily flammable due to high amounts of silica and water. Some would argue against that, but it seems to come down to good maintenance and management of the bamboo.

  • Bamboo can be used for manufacturing a multitude of items in a more sustainable way, while also providing an alternative to items that are more harmful to the planet, and a source of income to be tapped into.

  • And surprisingly snakes are not too fond of bamboo! That's a win for me.

While bamboo has been considered an invader, this is not completely true as there are two types of bamboo in terms of how it grows and spreads. While yes, running bamboo will spread rampantly and cause problems, clumping bamboo on the other hand doesn't and is easier to manage.

I am sure bamboo is just one of many helpful avenues to pursue for solutions, and that it requires in depth research to be effective in the right ways. Some of which are already used around the world. But one worthy of exploring.

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