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Bamboo Growing Workshop

October 20, 2012 @ 9:00 am - October 21, 2012 @ 5:00 pm

$2 – $270

“Bestowing the beauty, bounty and abundance of bamboo”

This workshop is for those who appreciate bamboo and all its beauty, bounty and abundance; its strength and structural ability; its flexibility to bend and not break; its multi-functionality and usefulness; and its sustainability. And for those who want to grow, propagate, and use or create bamboo products, structures and landscaping in their home, farm or community to become more self-reliant and sustainable.

About the workshop

BAMBOO, the planet’s most versatile and multifunctional plant species with over 5,000 uses, plays an important role in the home garden or farm in many ways. It is a renewable, environmentally friendly and sustainable material that can be used for multiple functions for food; construction material; craft; land repair and landscaping.

Bamboo is a delicious, nutritional and healthy food source for people, plants and animals. Its edible shoots are low in fat and calories, are a good source of fibre and potassium and contain lignins (which have an anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral activity). It is also an nutritional animal fodder.

Bamboo is an excellent construction material for building homes; studios; carports; garden gazebos, greenhouses and other structures. It is also an excellent material for craft with which a huge range of personal and household products can be made, including bread boards; baskets; jewelry, furniture, and many more.

In land repair bamboo is a carbon sink; it reduces high water tables; takes up waste and produces silica-rich mulching materials. It is excellent at soil stabilization; erosion control; soil regeneration; and uptake of nutrients and pollutants from grey and black waste water systems or from other production areas on your property (egg dairy or fish farm).

And of course because bamboo is such an aesthetically pleasing plant it lends itself beautifully to landscaping, performing an important element of aesthetics in a small garden or broad-acre property. It can be used as a feature planting; fencing or garden trellis; windbreak; shelter-belt; animal shelter; shade and cooling; screening out unwanted views (from person to apartment block heights); pond or dam plantings and much more. Recently we saw the valuable contribution bamboo made in saving people’s lives in natural disasters such as floods, tsunamis and earthquakes.

Workshop Outcomes

There are hundreds of species of bamboos and selecting the right bamboo to achieve specific effects and functions is important. This workshop will help you do this and more. In fact this two day practical workshop covers all the important basics you need to know about bamboo including species selection, propagation, growing, harvesting, preservation and management techniques. It introduces you to the wonderful world of bamboo and aims to dispel any fears that running varieties planted inappropriately or wrong species selection have created. It will give you the confidence to use bamboo to fulfill all those functions that only bamboo can perform with such grace, majesty and ease.

You will learn the relevant terms and gain a general working background knowledge of the plant, its potential, how to select species and maintain them. You will gain confidence to design bamboo into your garden or farm so its graceful form can perform important functions for you and the environment.

You will also gain practical skills in: species identification, planting regimes, and how to maintain the clumps through practical application on the beautiful Bandusia Country Retreat and on the neighbouring Pumpkin Farm.

Participants are encouraged to bring maps and photos of their own properties so that we can suggest planting sites and aesthetic treatments for their own properties.

Some bamboo plants suitable for the Sydney basin will be available to purchase as well as species and price lists from several Australian Bamboo Growers.

In essence, growing your own bamboo will:

  • Provide you with an important, versatile and delicious food source
  • Provide you with a source of income.
  • Increase your self-reliance, energy efficiency and sustainability
  • Provide you with many household and personal products
  • Enable you to achieve specific landscape functions such as feature fencing, screens, and trellis, tee pees, grey water treatment and so on.
  • Assist you with soil repair and regeneration.

This twoday workshop will provide you with the knowledge, skills and confidence to go home and grow, manage and use your own bamboo. It will be fun packed, informative, hands on and very practical. You will discover how simple bamboo is to grow and manage as well as how you can integrate this amazing plant into your daily life. Don’t miss it!

About the Trainer

Durnford Dart “Mr Bamboo”

‘Mr. Bamboo’, as Durnford Dart is popularly known today throughout Australia, is generally acknowledged as this country’s leading Bamboo growing and marketing expert. His thirst for knowledge has led him to China, Thailand, Japan, U.S.A, Costa Rica and many other countries world-wide where he has lived and worked on farms in most countries and collected valuable information to share with Australians. He was contracted as a consultant by the Bank of China to assist in the supervision in the planting of a 300 m2 garden of Moso (Phyllostachys pubescens) in the bank’s new headquarters building in Beijing. Such is his global recognition.

His 130 acre farm “Bamboo Australia” has approximately 65 acres of mature (or near mature) bamboo plants consisting of some 250 species. The species selection acts as a gene bank to preserve both common and rare species that are under the threat of extinction in their local Asian environment. The nursery propagates in excess of 50,000 new plants each year, offering the established plants to individual consumers, farmers and landscapers.

Over the years “Mr Bamboo’s” Bamboo Australia has supplied clumps of bamboo (in excess of 15 metres tall) to the Chadstone Shopping Centre in Melbourne, as part of their refurbishment program, sent full 40ft container of poles from China to the city centre of Berlin where the Melbourne performance group “Bambuco” erected a structure for Aerial performances, procured other similar containers for performances in Melbourne, Moscow, Singapore, London, Manchester, Antwerp & Lille. He also sold a container of Bamboo curtain rods to a company in Dallas and bamboo fishing poles to Western Samoa. He regularly supplies bamboo poles to the Australian Antarctic expeditions.

Durnford has campaigned successfully to educate the populace on the benefits of growing our wonderful environmentally friendly renewable resource. He is a Bamboo educator, author and consultant. He regularly provides educational workshops on all facets of bamboo growing & utilisation locally, nationally and internationally. Over an eight year period he conducted some 40 workshops and open days at “Bamboo Australia” Belli Park and regularly conducts workshops with a range of organisations including METI & the Dept of Environment & Agriculture on the Island of Samoa. His specialist knowledge has proven to be beneficial to all the bamboo enthusiasts with whom he has had contact.

Durnford established The Flooring Division of Bamboo Australia during November 2003. It supplies the imported flooring, bench tops and other associated bamboo products to national distributors and local consumers in ever increasing quantities. Substantial quantities of fresh Bamboo shoots are being seasonally harvested for the Sydney and Melbourne markets.

Janet Millington

Janet Millington will be facilitating the weekend. Janet and her family have been developing their Bamboo Rural Retreat near Noosa over the past 18 years. Janet has worked with many of the most experienced growers and contributed to the industry by undertaking research and writing papers blending her knowledge of Permaculture, Aquaculture, Farm Forestry and Bamboo into an interesting and sustainable enterprise that can be enjoyed by visitors and students.

Recently returned from 18 months in Cairns and 3 moths in Malaysia, Janet has returned with a new passion for the bamboo plant and its myriad of uses across all climatic and soil types.

Bamboo to me is a wonderful solar pump. The leaves are solar panels and transpiration surfaces. The root system creates pegs of the soil, as well as a filtering system. And at the end of the day you can harvest fences and gates, musical instruments and furniture. If your water source is clean you can have animal fodder and stir-fry. The chickens love to shelter under it and the leaves are natural insect repellents and a wormicide. Bamboo loves chickens too. Mine in the chook pen are powering as well as taking up nutrient before it gets into the nearby dam. So keep it in mind when designing or retrofitting – Bamboo is a unique and valuable tool.

Course details

When and where: A weekend workshop Sat 20th & Sunday 21st October, 2012. 9am – 5pm

Bandusia Country Retreat, 1056 Upper Macdonald Rd, upper Macdonald, St Albans. (2 hours from Sydney CBD)

Who: Janet Millington, bamboo grower and educator for over 18 years.

Costs and inclusions: 2 days $270. Cost includes all course notes and materials, organic lunches and morning and afternoon teas. Every participant will take home bamboo plants they have propagated. 10% discount for PSI members, and LETS accepted.

Accommodation & meals: A range of on-site accommodation at “Bandusia” is available for all budgets for the Friday and/or Saturday evenings. The morning breakfasts and evening dinners are also included in the accommodation fee.

Bring: A Map; design or photos of your place to discuss bamboo options for your place; gum boots; gloves; hat; sun glasses; insect repellant; camera; water bottle. All other materials will be provided and included in the workshop fee.

Bamboo Workshop Program

  • Bamboo background, history, general biology
  • Uses of Bamboo in site design and products
  • Useful species and species Identification
  • Propagation (Theory and practical)
  • Planting strategies and spacing (Theory and Practical)
  • Managing Bamboo
  • Harvesting
  • Preservation techniques
  • Tools
  • Bamboo books and resources
  • How you can integrate bamboo into your design and situation.

Especially if you are staying at Bandusia, you may wish to bring some refreshments to supplement those available locally but in limited supply at the St Albans café and pub.


October 20, 2012 @ 9:00 am
October 21, 2012 @ 5:00 pm
$2 – $270
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