“When we moved in, there was bamboo for the length of our fence, and it was 4’ deep. We wanted to put up a fence, so we cleared out a bunch of it. Look at the ground. You can see how far it came out. If I let it go, it would probably take over the whole backyard, which would be less to mow [laughs]. Whenever I was stressed out about my old job, I would take a machete and just whack cane. Start chopping bamboo. It was very therapeutic, and really good exercise.
“I took a machete and sliced down the sides and cut all these out last year, so they’d kind of hang and create a little more of the shade. I’ll do that again with some of these short guys. I want the shade canopy. I know that they serve two purposes: they’re really good for erosion because they grow right under the topsoil, and they are also, aside from shade, a poor man’s privacy fence.
“It gets to the point where, like, I will walk around and I will trip on them. This guy I mowed over; he’s still not dead. This was John. And over here is Jimi. I originally started with the Beatles. Jimi popped up and I didn’t notice him ‘til later. This is Paul. Wait- No. This is George; this is Paul. Ringo didn’t make it; he’s not done well. This is Matthew and Gunnar (Nelson), this is Les, and then I just about tripped over these two guys. Once I got to the point where I was like, ‘There’s no way I’m gonna remember all these names,’ I just stopped. Even under this pergola, there’s six. You get a good rain and they’ll shoot up 2 or 4 inches in a night.
“The best thing is, you just pull it off and they’re wet and hollow inside. When you burn ‘em, they pop like firecrackers. And allegedly, you can peel these outer layers off and get to the tender, inner layers, and you can cook them. I have not tried that yet.”