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Archive for November, 2010

We’re getting there.

After twenty years, starting from three little pots of Aussie seedlings from the world-wide flowering of  the late eighties…

What was a stand, became a grove. Now it’s got the feel of a true forest, even at shooting time, when the foliage yellows and thins for “bamboo autumn”. This is the glamour of moso.

That’s the glamour, which is about to increase dramatically as the canopy thickens toward Christmas, and all grows darker and stiller.

But there’s also the utility, and agricultural potential. Millions of eastern NSW hilly acres are suited to moso. There aren’t many ideal biomes for the species across the world, but this is one. The shoots and timber yielded in this region are superlative. Moso here has been held back by lack of understanding, the shock of the new and so forth. It’s also been held back by what I’d call “presumptuous expertise”: certainly, nearly every suggestion I’ve received for growing moso in my locale is wrong, and fatally so.

But the potential is huge, and I’m starting to realise that an important new industry won’t be brought forward by me, a none-too-young eccentric lacking in practical and manual skills.

In the last year I’ve realised that I’m going to have to let go to send it forward. My hope is that it will end up in the hands of true experts and hungry entrepreneurs, and if they happen to be Chinese, that’s likely to be a good thing in this case. We have to take moso out of the realm of “hippiness” and send this marvellous species mainstream. Look at the last week of growth of these pioneers growing in view of my front deck:

It’s a performer!

The mid-coast of NSW was once the centre of a massive timber industry, with red cedar as its precious showpiece. I say, let’s forget the fairy dust…

…and do it again!

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Here’s the photo of my eastern “picket” from October 21. (See post.)

Here’s the same picket eleven days later, from a different vantage point, (because it’s hard to fit in a photo from the first vantage point).

In case CO2 ever comes back in fashion, please be assured that this insane carbon gobbling will level out a bit in a couple of weeks. After the culms bend at the top and form branchlets, they will never increase their height by so much as a hair’s breadth.

Most of the animal hazards are now past. There’s still the chance of an acrobatic possum finding it’s way along a stray tree branch to eat out the briefly luscious top of a new culm.

Nonetheless, if there is no wind above 50k an hour for the next couple of weeks, I’ll get to keep most of my 2010 vintage…

But there’s sometimes a big wind, and some of those massive columns of water will likely snap. The trick is to just enjoy this wild feast of growth every October…

And with God be the rest!

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