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Eric Muehlbauer

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I just ate my first home grown bamboo shoot....a Phyllostachys nigra that extended too far into my garden...and it was delicious! (Yes, I know......I shoudn't plant Phyllostachys bamboo in my garden...but Wayside described it as "not as invasive" and what wayside was selling for $150, I bought on eBay for $15......). My youngest son got hung up on bamboo a few years ago, even making me take him the the NY Bamboo Show (a mini bamboo version of the GNYOS)...and P. nigra is so beautiful (my neighbor has one) that I couldn't resist when I got a good deal...after 3 years its now going to be over 10' high on the newer growths, and those that spread beyond where I want it will be controlled by eating it! So, my question is...how long will fresh bamboo shoot keep? I ate it right away, but obviously that doesn't make for much bamboo at a time....but hopefully, it won't be soo invasive that I'll have too much to eat...Take care, Eric
 
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MoreWater

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sounds yummy!

I believe the shoots turn bitter if you don't eat them pronto. They will keep at least a week in the fridge without turning bitter if you boil them first and store them in water - change the water daily. Or store submerged in water and air tight. Or freeze in water for longer storage (not sure what happens to the consistency). Or store in salt water in the fridge (for a year ... ) - soak in clean water for at least a day (to get rid of the salt) before using.

But fresh is the best!
 

Hien

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Eric Muehlbauer said:
I just ate my first home grown bamboo shoot....a Phyllostachys nigra that extended too far into my garden...and it was delicious! (Yes, I know......I shoudn't plant Phyllostachys bamboo in my garden...but Wayside described it as "not as invasive" and what wayside was selling for $150, I bought on eBay for $15......). My youngest son got hung up on bamboo a few years ago, even making me take him the the NY Bamboo Show (a mini bamboo version of the GNYOS)...and P. nigra is so beautiful (my neighbor has one) that I couldn't resist when I got a good deal...after 3 years its now going to be over 10' high on the newer growths, and those that spread beyond where I want it will be controlled by eating it! So, my question is...how long will fresh bamboo shoot keep? I ate it right away, but obviously that doesn't make for much bamboo at a time....but hopefully, it won't be soo invasive that I'll have too much to eat...Take care, Eric
The very young shoots are very smooth almost no fiber so you can eat them as bigger chunk. Usually saute with beef.
The older shoots usually about 6 to 9 inch long, and 3 inch diameter at the bottom, you have to thin-slicing it across the fibers. the vietnameses use them in pork stew, along with bean thread vermicelli, galangal (only for spice flavor), shiitake mushroom.
 
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Leo Schordje

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Ki & Hien, thanks for the cooking and preservation tips. I printed them for later reference.
I have had a grove of bamboo along side my house for 25 years now. (zone 5 north of Chicago) It is a high maintainance planting, but it is not overly invasive. I get enough shoots each year for a side dish for one meal. Rest of out of bounds culms get dug up, potted up and sold. Demand always out strips supply.
Bamboo has a bad reputation because people plant it in too small a space, and then forget about it. You need to plan enough room to let it do the things bamboo does. Minimum bamboo planting space should be at least 100 square foot. Otherwise you spend too much time fighting back into bounds. You have to baby it for the first 3 years to get it established. Then you have to keep after it to keep it in check. Once or twice in spring, and once in fall you need to walk the perimeter of the planting and cut off out of bounds canes. The other is you need to regularly remove dead canes, and any canes that are looking ratty. To see the lower part of the canes, trim up branches off the lowest part of the canes. If canes come up clustered together, you need to thin them out for better appearance.
For a Privacy Screen keep the lower branches and let the canes come up dense.
Mulch your planting in fall with leaves, mulch in spring with composted manure. Water at least once a week if you don't get rain that week. The first warm sunny day in late April invite friends over for beer or tea to watch the shoots grow. They really do grow fast enough you can see and hear them move. They shoot up ground to 20 feet in 3 weeks or less. Amazing.

For crafts and furniture - 4th and 5th year canes have the strongest wood. 1st & 2nd year canes are weak, good for tomato stakes, thats about it.

so far proven zone 5 winter hardy are:
Phyllostachys aureosulcata. normal and yellow forms. I get 15 to 20 ft canes every year. About every 5th winter it is cold enough I get die off to the ground, but rhizomes are fine, and send up full size shoots. My favorite.
Phyllostachys atrovaginata - a newer planting but proved hardy this winter, and we had a very cold winter.
Phyllostachys bissettii, and P. nuda - time proven standards of hardiness - both are plain green, nice background as a 12 foot hedge.

Fargesia nitida and Fargesia muriellae- these are not invasive at all. delicate, they really resent heat. The F. nitida is the only "black" bamboo hardy in zone 5, its canes are dark purple-brown. Both stay evergreen, they keep their leaves even through -25F. Quite a sight, soft green leaves against he snow.

The more common black bamboo, Phyllostachys nigra just does not survive temps much below 0 F. I've tried several times.

So if you haven't guessed I love bamboo. And I really think it does not deserve its bad reputation. BUT it is a high maintainance planting. Nothing more beautiful than the shadow of bamboo, cast upon my living room wall by the setting sun. Nor ths late night sound of the bamboo blowing in a winter storm. Really, the neat noises of bamboo in the wind have to be heard to be appreciated.
 

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