Bamboo as fuel and building material in small garden
I have been thinking about buying a bamboo plant for my garden; the garden measures about 7m x 7m. I'm not looking for a bamboo plantation, since most of the garden is already used, but by planting a clumping bamboo and harvesting it frequently I believe I can keep its size in check and gradually build up building material and/or fire fuel.
Dutch settlers brought bamboo from South East Asia to South Africa in the 1600s and so we have bamboo species that have adapted to our environment.
The bamboo will have to be dried after harvesting, which will require additional space; I thought of hanging bamboo sections in existing trees and so using vertical rather than horizontal space for this. I'm still researching the time it would take to dry but as long as it's shorter than its growth time, I should be able to cope space wise.
If my stash becomes too big I can always use the bamboo for barbeques or just give it away to others.
Of course the shoots are edible and the plant has some medicinal uses too. One could argue that growing more everyday food crops would make more sense and I'm about to plant my first potato (yes, one potato), but I feel far more confident in my abilities to manage bamboo than other crops.
Every year I spread our compost on the lawn and use whatever comes up there (usually tomatoes and butternuts) and that's about as far as I get with the food gardening.
Has anyone else here tried this sort of thing? How did it work out? What do you guys think of the idea in general?
Wishing you all just the right amount of sunshine and rain :-)