|A versatile plant, tender bamboo shoots make a delicious pickle|
An incredibly versatile perennial plant, bamboo makes strong garden trellises, fishing poles, flooring and furniture and is an effective crop to control soil erosion. Tender shoots are delicious edibles, but rapidly mature, so it is necessary to act quickly in order to enjoy this seasonal treat. Armed with gloves, pruning shears and a wicked machete, our group harvested emerging shoots for pickling and several long poles for my friends to use in their gardens.
|Karen wields the machete to harvest a tender shoot|
Many years ago, my family discovered the delicious taste of bamboo pickles when we visited Whippoorwill Academy and Village, in Wilkes County. Created by Edith Ferguson Carter, artist, historian, land preservationist, writer and immediate friend to all who met her, Whippoorwill boasts several historical buildings that Edith moved to her family farm, including a chapel, art gallery, Tom Dooley museum, Daniel Boone replica cabin, jailhouse and many more interesting structures. Often, Edith could be found at the Village, digging footings for another building or giving tours to some of the thousands of school children who visited there. A woman of boundless energy, Edith passed away on May 12, 2014, and her death is a loss to us all. Fortunately, her daughter, Margaret Carter Martine, shared Edith's mother's recipe for pickled bamboo with me and as I made the pickles this year, I fondly recalled happy times spent with Edith and her family.
|Sorted by size, these bamboo shoots will yield thousands of pickles|
|Kim demonstrates slicing a bamboo section|
|Karen, Kim and I with our bamboo harvest|