Bamboo. It’s not only the star of the Villon logo, but it is also a pretty amazing plant. Bamboo’s resume is impressive. It’s touted as being one of the fastest growing plants in the world, one of the strongest materials in the world, and is considered by some to be a superfood because of its high nutritional density. Bamboo grows everywhere with the exception of cold climates, including the United States, but it is thought to have originated in China.
Bamboo was referenced in Chinese records dating back seven thousand years where it was used to make arrows, paper, building materials and books. The Chinese have a long history and love for bamboo. It is deeply rooted in their culture and represents virtue. It’s thought to reflect people’s souls and emotions. Bamboo has become a symbol of traditional Chinese values. It is an example of the harmony between nature and human beings #findyournature. Its deep roots are said to denote resoluteness, its tall and straight stems represent honor, its hollow interior signifies modesty and its simple exterior typifies chastity.
Like all grasses, bamboo grows quickly because it produces all of its cells when it’s a bud. Therefore, the cells don’t have to split while the plant is growing, they can just expand. This is why you have to mow your yard more frequently than you trim your bushes. You can essentially watch bamboo grow. We have bamboo in our backyard that can be seen from the kitchen window and it’s entertaining to watch and track its pace. Moso bamboo can take as little as sixty days to mature completely making bamboo more renewable than wood.
Bamboo is the fastest growing canopy for re-greening degraded areas and generates more oxygen than the equivalent stand of trees. It plays a critical element in the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Lowering light intensity and protecting against ultraviolet rays, bamboo is an atmospheric and soil purifier.
Because of its strength, bamboo, the poor people’s timber, is commonly used as building material. Superman might consider updating his moniker to the Man of Bamboo because, surprisingly, it’s stronger than steel. Guadua bamboo poles have a tensile strength of 28,000 pounds per square inch versus steels 23,000.
In the tropics it’s possible to plant and grow the materials necessary to build your own bamboo home. In a plot 20m x 20m two 8m x 8m homes can be constructed from the harvest in 5 years. Every year after that the yield is one additional house per plot. Another benefit of bamboo as a building material is its flexibility. Costa Rica has been experimenting with building homes out of bamboo to withstand earthquakes. All 30 bamboo houses in the epicenter of the 2012 7.6 magnitude earthquake survived without any damage.
Bamboo has been used for centuries in Ayurveda medicine and Chinese acupuncture. The powdered hardened secretion from bamboo is used internally to treat asthma, coughs and can be used as an aphrodisiac. In China, ingredients from the root of the black bamboo help treat kidney disease. Roots and leaves have also been used to treat venereal disease and cancer. Medical research has also discovered bamboo's potential in a number of medicinal uses.
Individual bamboo plants demonstrate an uncanny connection with each other. Similar to how all coral spawns at the same time, most bamboo species flower concurrently once every several decades prior to dying with the entire population. This occurs regardless of location, climate, or any other known factors and for reasons scientists have yet to discern. The absence of similar environmental conditions among the flowering bamboo indicates an instinct of sorts. This phenomenon, known as gregarious flowering, occurs among species deriving from the same mother plant. Following the flowering, the plant produces seeds, dies, and entire swaths of forest are eliminated for a several year period.
Intrigued by some of these incredible properties, a local company is investing in bamboo. I recently spoke with Brock Hall, Owner and Operator of Florida Fields to Forks (“FFTF”), about why he chose to partner with OnlyMoso Corp to grow bamboo as an investment opportunity for their business.
“Bamboo was always very high on the list [of things we had an interest in growing]. Worldwide bamboo is a $60 billion crop and right now America imports 75,000 tons of it for food each year. The demand is very high. We can achieve crop yields in excess of $25,000 per acre. It doesn’t require herbicides or pesticides, and it grows quickly. Bamboo absorbs 5 times the carbon monoxide and releases 37 times more oxygen then trees. It’s considered to be a super food with high antioxidants, potassium and fiber and is hurricane and flood resistant as well.”
FFTF chose to plant Asper, a tropical clumping variety. They’re planning on harvesting the shoots and hard woods of the mother plants within the next couple years. They have planted 1200 plants on 3 acres.
“The bamboo shoots will be grown for edible purposes, you can eat it raw or cooked, also there is some sort of processing they do with the shoots to make a gluten free product for baking and cooking. The hard woods will be used in apparel, furniture, bedding and more.”
FFTF is strictly a grower for the OnlyMoso Corp USA. They have nothing to do with the marketing or selling, yet.
“As for now, the bamboo venture is completely separate from FFTF, maybe in the future we can integrate some of the bamboo products, but for now, with a strict contract, we grow it and they take it.”
You can now see why bamboo truly makes a great logo. From its speed of growth, to its strength and flexibility it is a great metaphor for how we’d like our business to be built and operated. Now when you look around and see the Villon logo you’ll have a little more appreciation for the interesting grass that bamboo is.