Archive for October 2013 | Monthly archive page

Industrial Hemp

For decades, farmers and environmental activists have been trying to legalize nonpsychoactive hemp for cultivation in California. The plants require far less water and fertilizers than cotton, need no herbicides or pesticides, and produce fibers that can be used in everything from paper to clothing. The crop can renew itself every 90 days, making hemp and excellent natural and biodegradable material. Last week, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 566 into law allowing hemp to be grown domestically. California joins nine other states and over 30 countries in its decision to raise hemp. Already a $500 million industry in the state, California will now no longer have to rely upon importing hemp to support manufacturing demand.

The bill was introduced in 2005 by Senator Mark Leno. Since its initial proposal as HR 32 in 1999, the legislation was vetoed  four times by three different governors. Governor Brown struck down the bill in 2011 citing a gap in state and federal policies, although he acknowledged it was “absurd” that the state had to count on Mexico and Canada to provide hemp. With his approval, farmers will now be able to raise “nonpsychoactive types of the plant Cannabis sativa L. and the seed produced therefrom, having no more than 3/10 of 1 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) contained in the dried flowering tops.”

“I have great confidence in a recent statement by Attorney General Eric Holder,” Leno told the SF Bay Guardian. “He’s said that if a state puts into place a legal allowance and regulatory scheme, that the federal government would not interfere with marijuana. Now, we need clarification between hemp and marijuana, but there’s no sensical way that that could be interpreted that hemp is excluded, given that hemp’s not a drug.”

Bambu Batu offers a few hemp items in the shop, but we look forward to seeing more sustainable, locally-grown fibers on the market!

To learn more about cannabis hemp and its potential as a non-toxic, renewable resource, check out these other articles.

Hemp vs. Marijuana: What’s the difference Hemp vs. Bamboo: The ultimate comparison

Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curriculum is crucial in preparing our children to live and work in a modern world. Not only do these disciplines support an economy reliant on a well-educated population, but they also open young minds to the beauty and complexity of their surroundings. To make STEM a national priority, associations have created lesson plans, taught master teachers, and lobbied the government for education reform.

Last year, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo helped present the Central Coast STEM Collaborative with a $50,000 grant to assist in their community outreach and develop their programs. The organization is a collaboration between non-profits, educators, and businesses dedicated to ensuring that the children of the Central Coast are ready for college and workforce. Presented in partnership with California STEM Learning Network (CSLNet), the money is seen as an investment into the future of the state.

CCSTEM continues to hold fundraisers in order to provide grants to students, write curriculum, and hold public events. CCSTEM’s next gathering will be held at the Exploration Station in Grover Beach for the Chemistry of Cocktails. The event will take place on Sunday, November 3, 2013 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m, and tickets are available online for $45. This scientific soiree will feature ten local bartenders battling in a mixology competition, food, live music, and silent auction. All proceeds will go to the Exploration Station’s educational program that serves all ages.

Looking to get involved in STEM education? Check out CCSTEM’s page to see how you can build a relationship with SLO’s brightest minds and donate to the cause.

Poppy Soap Company

These days, Lindy LaRoche is one popular lady. As the owner of the Poppy Soap Company based in Los Osos, she has seen the demand for her amazing handmade soaps skyrocket. Adding new accounts almost every day, the business has attracted the attention of wellness centers and stores across the country. The Four Seasons recently discovered her creations and have started featuring them in their spas. Her Bar for Bar program, which donates soap to a women’s shelter of the customer’s choice, has grown to include organizations nationwide. As of the beginning of October, she has donated over 3,000 bars of soap!

In an effort to expand their operation, Poppy Soap Company has launched an Indiegogo campaign. Those who make minimum donation of $24 will receive three of their fantastic soaps at a cost below their website price. Gifts will be shipped in December, just in time for the holidays. Of course, you can always find her therapeutic soaps here at Bambu Batu! We are proud to carry her Bamboo Charcoal, Peppermint Pine, Sea Buckthorn Satsuma, Lavender Lemongrass and Lemon Poppyseed soaps.

Poppy Soap Company pays it forward

Local Central Coast resident Lindy LaRoche create the Poppy Soap Company back in 2011 out of a desire to start a home-based business that she could operate without being away from her son who was just a toddler at the time. And equally important, Lindy wanted to be part of a business that gives something back to the community. Always a creative and motivated individual, soap making is just one of Lindy’s many skills. When she learned the soaps were the number one item on the donation wish lists for Women’s Shelters, a great big light bulb came on. “What if I give the Women’s Shelter a bar of my delicious homemade soap every time I sell one?” And so the Bar For Bar Program was born. Bambu Batu is thrilled and delighted to have such a thoughtful and wonderful woman as one of our business partners in our ongoing effort to raise consciousness and heal the soul of the planet.

Kale salad

Recipe serves two simple meals or four lip-smacking kale salad appetizers. Prep time approximately 15 minutes. No cooking involved.

Start with one hearty bunch of kale — Tuscan, dino, curly, any variety will do. Carefully remove the leaves and tear into more-or-less bite sized squares, discarding the fibrous stalks into your nearest compost receptacle.

Mix the following in a measuring cup: 1/4 cup olive oil 1/4 cup lemon juice 1/4 cup Braggs® aminos

Then add roughly 1/4 cup of minced red onion, to taste. Let the onions soak in the juices for about 10 minutes if you want to take the edge off of the raw onion flavor.

Pour the dressing over the bite-sized strips of kale and massage gently and evenly until the kale feels tender. NOTE: it is important to actually massage the kale, rubbing and squeezing with your hands to really get the oil and lemon juice in there and soften up the leaves.

Finally, sprinkle with roasted pepitas and call it done. You can add a pinch of salt and pepper, but it’s really unnecessary. You can also add other salad toppings, depending on what’s in season. Our summertime kale salad often has fresh tomatoes and avocado. Serve it up with some homemade sourdough bread, and you’re good to go!

Mothers have reported that “the teenagers just devour it!” But rest assured, ordinary children and adults clearly crave it as well.



What could be a more appropriate use for salvaged wood than use in a recycled greenhouse? Once a thriving organism in its own right,timber rescued from wine barrels, barns, old doors and retaining walls can become a shelter for developing seedlings. Based right her on the Central Coast, A Place to Grow recognizes the potential in scrapped wood and bestows upon the material a new life as an environmentally conscious greenhouse, shed, or outdoor studio space.

Operated by San Luis Obispo residents Dana and Sean O’Brien, the company prides itself on finding a solution to construction waste and creating beautiful bespoke structures. Dana boasts a finance degree from Cal Poly SLO, over 20 years as a government employee, and an active role in Habitat for Humanity. Sean graduated with a degree in computer science from Cal Poly, has been a software engineer for more than 25 years, and possesses a California contractor’s license. Together, the O’Briens created their business to pursue their passions for eco-friendly building.

A Place to Grow has been honored by the Martha Stewart American Made Contest, and has created greenhouses for Sage nursery in Los Osos and private residences up and down the Central Coast. For more information, contact A Place to Grow through their website, or email Dana at

Gin Tasting at Bambu Batu


Halloween must be one of the year’s best holidays. Children and adults alike have an excuse to dress as the characters and creatures they most wish to embody, and go house-to-house in pursuit of treats. For the kids, candy is the reward of choice. For those over 21, a good cocktail helps celebrate the night of spirits. For Bambu Batu’s next Art After Dark Celebration on November 1 from 6-9pm, we will be holding hard alcohol tastings from Re:Find in Paso Robles. The evening will also feature astrology readings from celestial superstar Harry Farmer and Tarot card reading by Francesca, plus live music and prizes for the best costumes.

Re:Find Handcrafted Spirits from Paso Robles uses saignée, or the free-run juice from grapes removed prior to fermentation, to produce their vodka, gin, and brandy. The juice is triple distilled to create the highest small-production spirits.  The company is the result of Alex and Monica Villicana’s efforts to promote sustainability through using an often ignored artisan product. While most gins and vodkas are made from grain and sometimes potatoes, grapes produce glycerol which are responsible for the “legs” found in wine. The unique base accounts for their unique flavor profiles as well as providing locavores a handcrafted option for their liquor cabinet.

For more information, or to find a location where Re:Find is sold, check out their website, call: 805.239.9456, or  email: Tours and tastings are offered from 11:am to 5pm daily at their distillery located at 2725 Adelaida Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446.

As human beings, we walk around the world as intelligent filters, taking in information and sensations to inform our thoughts and feelings. To make sense of such a gigantic universe, we create narratives. Being social creatures, we share these stories with one another to form community, pass along information, and reinforce cultural ideals.

Central Coast storytellers Zette Harbour and Grisel Puig Snider have teamed up once again to present the 2nd annual Peace Love Story Fest in Los Osos. The event whose theme is “Transforming Community” will take place on October 19th and 20th. The festival kicks off at 6pm on Saturday, followed by a community marshmallow roast sponsored by the Los Osos Valley Nursery. On Sunday, yarns start spinning at 10:30 am. Workshops, story swaps and performances will take place throughout the day at the Los Osos Community Center.

Zette Harbour started the PLSF in 2012 to celebrate the power of traditional storytelling. She joined Grisel Puig Snider, a native of Puerto Rico, who enjoyed weekly storytelling during her childhood. Both recognized how oral traditions helped to strengthen neighborhoods and ignite imaginations. Placing their celebration of oration in Los Osos, they have ensured that their yarns would be set in one of the most magical and beautiful areas in the state.

Tickets are available now and space is limited. Prices range from $5-24 and can be purchased through their website. For additional information contact Zette Harbour (805)441-6688 or visit


There is no doubt that the earth and human beings are intertwined. However, our species certainly has a knack for pretending as if this were not the case. The Bioneers Network brings together leading thinkers from around the world to help heal the divide between nature and people.

→ Read more