See the results of our Bamboo Mitigation efforts – and help cultivate wildflowers!

Check out the fruit of our bamboo mitigation efforts in this beautiful weather!

January 31, 2021
Hello All,
I just wanted to update you on the latest phase of “bamboo soji,” because I find it a most joyous event (especially in these times).
Under Sherry’s guidance, the back plot has been cleared (see pic) and the lawn mowed. She is going to plant wildflowers next week, weather permitting.
I hope we will all be able to join together when the wildflowers bloom, even if virtually.
PS I found this shell last week in the bamboo area which I think bodes well…

Sherry: That shell is very interesting.  The way those holes are placed makes me think it was perhaps a decoration either worn or hung up like a mobile.  This was a fun project and hopefully it will culminate in a small pollinator-friendly wildflower garden.  


January 24, 2021

704 house update. The bamboo barrier is complete. Ben and Bill have leveled the ground. A clean slate for designing an outdoor area if anyone would like to take this on. Otherwise we can simply disperse wildflower seeds. No Sunday in the Garden today because of the weather.

December 23, 2020

Hi All,
I just wanted to share today’s bamboo milestone. We have finished the trench and installed the liner. It still needs to be filled in with dirt and cut down a bit. Sherry and I laid it out today.
I hope Dave will be happy with this effort as he departs for North Carolina. He was inspirational in this project and we will carry on with his spirit. I recall fondly the 100 degree days that he and many sangha members cut down the forest! Great soji. 
Peace to all and happy new year. 

November 12, 2020

Hello All, Just wanted to let you know how the bamboo situation at 704 is progressing. We are in the final stage of bamboo eradication although next spring we will probably have a bit of new growth to remove. Bamboo grows in cycles but it will be manageable. There was no evidence of a single bamboo shoot this past Sunday! Cheers!

Now we can turn our attention to completing the trench and installing the flexible polyurethane barrier. This barrier will permanently prevent the bamboo rhizomes which are growing in the neighboring properties from reentering the backyard. The trench will need to be twelve inches deep and widened so that the barrier can be placed at a 45 degree angle.     

The bamboo barrier has been donated to AZC and will arrive in approximately two weeks. We will need volunteers to finish the trench. Folks can sign up on the Discord app (building and grounds tab) either working as a small group or even individually. The good news is that the preliminary trench dug several months ago is already about eight inches deep (thanks Bill!).  

Once the barrier is in place and the ground leveled, attention can be turned to making the 704 backyard not only habitable again, but a fun place to be.  

Bows to all,

BTW:  Since the shield is being place a few feet from the property line, the neighboring bamboo will fill in overtime to create a nice bamboo screen. Note that the barrier extends above ground a couple of inches. That way any rhizomes attempting to breach the barrier can be nipped off.  

This photo is an example…

July 9th, 2020

Hello garden warriors and shop-keepers,

Thank you for your willingness to help make the 704 property more inviting (and productive).  AZC is very fortunate to have this space and the work we do there is in part an expression of our deep gratitude to the donor and our sangha.  
Regarding the bamboo project, here is a preliminary timeline:
(1) Shallow (4-8 inches) digging along the trench line to sever rhizomes can be done at any time.
(2) I will contact the city so they can do an inspection and flag any potential hazards (gas/electric/water lines). *these utility lines are usually much deeper than we plan to ultimately dig; this is a safety precaution.
(3) In the fall (cooler temps) we can expand and deepen the trench and install the barrier.
Tools for digging and severing rhizomes are located in the shed behind the main building or people can bring their own shovel/clipper.  Texas summers aren’t the best time for laboring outside.   Doing work practice in the early part of the day, drinking plenty of water and limiting time to under one hour would all be safe practices.   
Thanks everyone for your practice!
Bows, Sherry 
AZC Head of Grounds

MARCH 2020
Hey intrepid weed/bamboo controllers!
Bamboo Project: Thursday Noon Update
Greetings all. I hope this finds you and yours safe and well. The back yard bamboo clearance is progressing nicely! Many thanks to the Bodhisattva who separated the concrete and stones and stacked them. (You can see the difference in the before/after pics). Now Mako will be able to take what she needs. The main debris pile has been chopped into manageable pieces and is ready for bagging. Wendy and Nick’s magic blue bagging shoot really helps (pic). I don’t know the day for yard trimming pickup but I’m assuming bags and the plastic garbage pails can be dragged to the curb. There are some bags there already.
There are still a few bamboo stumps that need to be removed or cut down to ground level. But very few.
A bit of raking to fill in the holes and Sherry can begin her grass planting… perhaps by Sunday. 
Wishing wellness, calm, and gratitude for our interconnectedness!
Bows, Bill
From Dave P:
Bill Harnew was deputized to lead the team tomorrow since I am sheltering in place with my family in CA. Not sure when I’ll be flying back to Austin. 
Bill plans on being there at noon on Sunday. He will make the call if it is still raining.
Covid-19 procedures – please use gloves when sharing tools and maintain six feet distance. 
Updates: Bill purchased a mattock. It is in the toolshed. If u open the shed and have never seen a mattock, compare the multitude of tools available to the picture Sherry shared below! It may be very helpful for pulling up roots where required.
Carrie, Bill, and others have been busy with removing weeds around the yard and exposing all of the stumps.  They removed 20 bags of weeds so the offending stumps ate visible and ready for cutting/uprooting. Thank you all for completing this! See progress pic below.
Bill has already wielded the mattock and notes that the user quickly tires. Please take breaks… If I could be there, my challenge would be to not establish a deadline and work too hard to meet it. My practice would be to just work while being aware of my body…
If we are not finished by the end of Sunday and you want some aerobic exercise next week, check in with Bill and feel free to work alone or with a small team.
There are more clues how to work the issues – remember the main goal is to cut all old and new bamboo stalks to ground level so that we can use a lawn mower.  Improvise on technique and  if you find a better way – please share it with team when you find one. Pictures of progress are most appreciated!
I hope y’all are maintaining through the Coronavirus crisis. We are all being affected and are in “This” together.  If u need anything during this time, please ask. 
I am grateful for our caring Sangha.
Dave P
After a successful Phase I of bamboo eradication last year, the yard behind 704 is now a fertile field for weeds. A few things need to be addressed so that we can mow the yard periodically.
1) Gas-powered weed whack the knee high weeds down to dirt level.
2) Rake the whacked weeds onto a compost pile.
3) Cut all bamboo stumps with a bow saw to ground level – there are more than 100 stumps that prevent use of lawn mower for easy mowing
This effort can be staged as long as there is very little time between whacking and sawing. The weeds are fast growing.
If u can spare some hours during the week or on a weekend in March, let me know and I’ll  coordinate. If we can get 6 folks or so over a couple of weeks, this will be short work. And our future maintenance will be greatly reduced.
The stump removal phase (#3) is heavy work and a mattock from the shed may be needed to get the really large stumps.
Email or text me with availability. We’ll communicate as a team when assembled.
Contact Dave P.