Siciliano's Market News, August 6 Edition

This week's list of new and returning products follows a few words about our big stand of bamboo

The stand of bamboo

Preamble by Steve Siciliano

Barb and I see a small menagerie of wildlife in our backyard and lately I’ve been wondering if it has something to do with the bamboo. We have a pretty impressive stand of the evergreen perennials stretching along the entire length of our backyard. Deer bed down there for the night, we frequently see a red fox poking around the edge and every so often our two resident turkeys, we named them Fred and Wilma, amble out for a stroll. If pandas were native to west Michigan I’m sure a couple of them would be hanging out back there too.

We planted the bamboo about twenty years ago shortly after moving into the house, starting with three shoots that we transplanted from our former neighbors' yard. They in turn brought the bamboo up to Michigan from their former home in Virginia. I had doubts at first that the plants would take to the clayish soil but they survived. The following spring I saw a number of new shoots popping up and spreading out from the original plantings. New shoots have been popping up and spreading out every spring ever since.

Species of bamboo spread by either "clumping" or "running". Ours are the ones that run. The plants can spread out their rhizomes north, south and west but Barb has given me strict orders not to let them take over one more inch of the yard. When they begin popping up in the grass they get whacked over with a mower.

Since bamboo are some of the fastest growing plants on earth, some species can grow thirty-six inches in twenty-four hours, they supposedly had been used to exact a particular heinous form of torture in the Far East--victims were tightly tied over a shoot and over a period of days it would penetrate the body and eventually emerge out the other side.

Of course bamboo has benign uses too. It's high strength to weight ratio makes it an excellent building material. It's used to make furniture, textiles, musical instruments and fly fishing rods. I would love to own a split bamboo fly rod someday but I doubt that will ever happen because a good one can run a cool seven G's. There's no chance in hell that my wife/comptroller would ever sign off on that.

Featured Wines of the Week

Cardeto, Orvieto, 2018, Itlay, $10.89/750ml- A blend of 45% Trebbiano, 40% Gr