Exotic, fantastic and above all ideal for energy efficiency. We talk about bamboo, often relegated in our memory to guard the banks of rivers and streams, or used both as an improvised flute, and as a weapon of order when playing with the Indians of Amazonia. In fact, nowadays even a fair is dedicated to His Majesty the Bamb, “Orticolario” at Villa Erba, on Lake Como, scheduled until October 2. An exotic and fantastic plant worthy of a “Fairy Tale” – the leitmotif of this edition of Orticolario -, because it has a transforming virtue and an ability to adapt to different environments, which make it absolutely unique. Suffice it to say that there are 1,200 species and 70 kinds of bamboo.
The plant, widely used in the East, is the great protagonist of the Villa Erba fair, on Lake Como, until October 2. It can absorb up to 15 tonnes of Co2 per hectare per year. Landscape architect Lorenzo Bar, Given the importance for the environment and the economy, now is the time for an Italian bamboo supply chain
By the way, there is a bamboo, the “Phyllostachys bambusoides” which flowers every 120 years, all over the world: the luckiest eyewitnesses noticed its beauty in the mid-1960s (unsurprisingly, we are talking about the era of the “Flower Children”). But to see its new flowering it will (have to) wait until 2090. Year more, year less. And then there is another peculiarity: the bamboos all have a different height. Thus, while strolling in the spaces of the fair of Como, it can happen, once arrived at the Bambouseraie, wanted by the Visconti family, to admire from top to bottom or vice versa, bamboos of more than two meters high.
Tall, low and strong as steel
But, beyond the aesthetic beauty of a plant whose stem can even exceed 20 centimeters in diameter, its energy and its lasting resistance (bamboo also called “Green Steel” because it is resistant like steel) gives that extra touch. And to be held in high esteem, given the times in which we live. Too bad then that in Italy his followers were considered preachers in the desert: We have been repeating this for a long time: bamboo and the plant of the future. And Italy, due to its geographical, climatological position and its small and medium-sized structures, whether agricultural or commercial, scattered throughout the territory, would be one of the most favored countries for a complete chain of cultivation and bamboo supply.explains Lorenzo Bar, president and founder of the Italian association for children.
The champion of “climate change”
Then let’s talk about climate change and bad weather as if bamboo were the right plant in the right place: Thanks to the dense network of rhizomes (the underground plant of the stem, editor’s note) which composes it, it improves the quality of the soil, preventing the risk of erosion and subsidence. In practice, in case of earthquakes and water bombs can resist, protecting the ground, adds Bar, according to whom the adaptability of bamboo to any climate is its real strength: It can withstand both high and low temperatures: I planted it myself in Alta Langa, where in winter the thermometer can drop even below 20 degrees. But the “miracle” of bamboo is its ability to absorb carbon dioxide: It can absorb up to 15 tonnes of CO2 per hectare per year, generating 30% more oxygen than trees. Not only. Given its speed of growth, new product and use strategies are already in place (from parquet to biomass) that qualify it as an alternative plant to cutting and consuming wood from forests, especially tropical ones” .
In the labyrinth of Franco Maria Ricci
There is no doubt about the growth rate of this plant. And there is an important story that testifies to this. Lorenzo Bar was one of the advisers of the publisher Franco Maria Ricci in the realization of his famous “Labirinto della Masone” in Fontanellato, in the region of Parma. At first, we thought of using boxwood to create these famous green flows up to two meters high, but boxwood would take too long to grow: that’s why we preferred to do it with 200,000 bamboos, between 30 centimeters and 15 meters high. A crazy thing, remembers the agronomist and landscaper, for whom there is no time to lose to embrace the cause of the child: The Dutch buy land in Portugal and Spain, with the aim of creating large bamboo plantations: highly sought after as wood but also in the food world.
From recipes for chefs to reviving the economy
And among chefs rethinking typically Italic recipes with bamboo (see Marianna Ziliati, 30, of Castel Rozzone in the Bergamo region, who cooks organic food from bamboo shoots), an engineering project for vertical bamboo wind turbines (edited by the University of Pesaro) and the largest European cultivation of bamboo only in southern Italy, in Lavello, in the province of Potenza, the economic interest in this plant is growing growth. Of course, in Europe, we are still far from the figures and the use of bamboo in the Chinese and American markets, but if we looked at myself on our small scale, it would not take long to realize how important it is to do for wasted time. Some time ago we tried to make a forecast of regional bamboo production for Piedmont alone: the figures? According to a crude and underestimated estimate, the economy around this extraordinary factory alone would have represented 2% of the gross domestic product.concludes Bar.
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