Posts Tagged ‘seattle’

The people at Big Dipper Wax Works of Seattle are crazy about honey bees, and for many good reasons.  Aside from being keystone species that pollinate a number of plants including the fruits and vegetables we consume, these hard working insects produce such miraculous substances as beeswax honey, propolis, royal jelly and bee pollen. Bees have complex codes of communication, are expert engineers, and master navigators.  It is no wonder that Big Dipper has such respect for the labor and amazing biology of the humble bee.  This ethic permeates the business, and is evident in the care and consideration they take when producing their candles.

Big Dipper sources its wax from beekeepers throughout the Pacific Northwest where crops contain the lowest levels of pesticides possible.  The wax Big Dipper uses is filtered by a natural clay  process that removes impurities while retaining color and aroma.  Depending on the the flowers the bees are pollinating, the candles can range in color from bright gold to dark brown.  Beeswax is naturally dripless and smokeless, allowing for a clean burn that produces negative ions that help to clear the air, instigate seratonin production, increase oxygen flow to the brain, and regulate the endocrine glands.  All dyes are eco-friendly and cruelty free.

Like a good hive, the Big Dipper Wax Works values a commitment to the community and the environment.  As  Green America Approved Business, the company values social responsibility and ecological awareness.  A total of 10% net profits from candle sales are donated to promote sustainable beekeeping and support local schools, community health and research organizations, animal shelters, and sports teams.  All of the materials used in making the candles are locally sourced, biodegradable and undergo no chemical processing.  Big Dipper recycles and reuses reuses shipping materials, uses minimal packaging that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, encourages their customers to reuse their glass and tin containers by selling bulk refills, and composts organic matter.

Bambu Batu is proud to carry Big Dipper’s candles!  Choose from tapers, tea lights, pillars and garden candles that come with seeds and biodegradable pots!  Give the gift of warmth and light this holiday season with beeswax candles from a great company with a clean conscience.

Thinking of getting into the bamboo business?  Excited by the idea of growing the wonder-grass for food or construction projects?  Dream of a shady, peaceful zen grove? Whether you are looking to plant for fun or profit, you may want to seek advice from Daphne Lewis.  She is the author of several books including Farming Bamboo and Hardy Bamboos for Shoots & Poles that are great reference guides for the beginning farmer.  The publications cover the essentials, including species and site selection, irrigation and pest control, as well as harvesting and marketing your crop.

Residents of USDA zones 7 and 8 (click here to see which zone you inhabit) will be delighted to hear that their warm, humid climates are ideal for successful bamboo cultivation. As a rule, if corn will do well in your soil, so will bamboo.  This grass likes more summer than winter rain, and soils that are not easily saturated.

Many Southern states are beginning to experiment with bamboo, and Lewis herself has been involved with collecting data on American production.  In October of 2010, Lewis moved to Perry, Georgia from Seattle, Washington to investigate how many pounds per acre several different species of bamboo would yield.  For those interested in the particulars of variety and pound per acre, visit the ongoing study at her website, bamboofarmingusa.com.

Lewis is involved in all aspects of raising and selling bamboo from germination to fabrication.  Through her site and contributions to the American Bamboo Society’s blog, Lewis aims to educate farmers as to the many commercial advantages to their crop.  Whether it be selling the young shoots to restaurants for special dishes, bagged for charcoal or kindling, used as fodder for livestock, mulch, or building material, farming bamboo can be a profitable endeavor.

At Bambu Batu we are excited to see more bamboo grown on native ground, and look forward to seeing what her research and advocacy will produce in the future!

 

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