The Bambu Batu story
The first and only store of its kind, Bambu Batu of San Luis Obispo opened in 2006, with a room full of bamboo tables and bar stools, a stack of bamboo t-shirts, and a patio full of Phyllostachys. The brick & mortar shop closed in 2020, but the spirit lives on.
Today we work with bamboo growers, producers, and stakeholders around the world, making their projects more profitable and sustainable. We offer consultations and workshops to guide farmers and beneficiaries as they navigate the exciting and fast-changing bamboo industry.
Fred Hornaday: Bamboo Ambassador
Fred’s passion for bamboo and renewable resources dates back to the early 90s. He founded Bambu Batu in 2006, the first all-bamboo boutique in California. A decade earlier, he opened one of the state’s very first all-hemp stores. Both shops ran successfully for many years in the charming town of San Luis Obispo.
Now he focuses on helping farmers, investors, and individuals at all stages of the bamboo journey. His consultation services address all areas of cultivation and monetization, including species selection, plantation set-up, product development, sourcing of supplies and machinery, as well as finding ways to achieve sustainability goals and generate carbon credits.
Fred has spoken at numerous bamboo seminars and webinars, both in-person and online. He has also produced a vast series of free educational videos on YouTube. As a consultant, Fred has provided guidance and instruction on bamboo projects of all types and sizes, in India, Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe and North America.
A prolific wordsmith, Hornaday has written thousands of articles about bamboo, green living and world travel. And he’s published three volumes of metaphysical limericks. You can peruse his thought-provoking poetry at KingOfLimericks.com.
Natalia Reategui: Bamboo Ninja
Born and raised in Peru, Natalia developed a precocious fascination with montane bamboo at an early age. After earning a master’s degree in forestry in Tharandt, Germany, the birthplace of forest science, she went on to study bamboo farms and forests across China, Mexico, and Africa.
A two-time recipient of the Ned Jaquith Research Grant, Natalia’s level of expertise is rivaled by few in the English-speaking world. Furthermore, her facility with languages allows her to bridge the knowledge gap between North America, Latin America, and Portuguese-speaking Africa.
In addition to her keen ability to identify obscure bamboo species by the shapes of their culm auricles, she also has a special knack for rendering bamboo shoots to a state of culinary perfection. I highly recommend the Ceviche d’Asper.
Natalia is a regular contributor to the Bambu Batu blog and YouTube channel. She is also available for individual consultations, site visits, workshops, and speaking engagements.
Paulino Botao: Bamboo Champion
A Mozambican living in Germany, Paulino works as an environmental consultant, facilitating climate solutions and bamboo cultivation. In addition to his small bamboo nursery in Mozambique, he has experimented extensively with bamboo propagation in the less tropical climes of Frankfurt, Germany.
As a founding member of ASSAMBA, the Association of Friends of Bamboo, Paulino promotes bamboo as a commercial crop, an alternative to deforestation, and a tool for land restoration.
In October 2023, ASSAMBA produced its first Bamboo Workshop in Maputo and Ponto do Ouro, Mozambique. The event lasted two weeks and brought together bamboo experts from all specializations and geographical backgrounds. Local communities enjoyed in-depth trainings and presentations on bamboo construction, bamboo propagation and cultivation, biochar and charcoal production, edible shoot collection and preparation, and carbon credit generation.
Speak with an expert
Although I continue to provide an abundance of free content on this website and through my YouTube channel, I’m no longer able to respond to every message individually.
To speak with me personally, please book a call through Calendly: $100/one hour or $55/half-hour. If my schedule doesn’t work for you, just e-mail me and we’ll set up a convenient time that works for both of us and as many of your team members as necessary. I’m happy to use Zoom, Google Meets, WhatsApp, or the platform of your choice.
I’ve worked with bamboo growers and producers pretty much everywhere, except Russia and Antarctica. Visit our Testimonials page to hear what other satisfied customers are saying.
For close to three decades, we have been advancing the cause of natural, renewable resources through activism, education and commerce. Sustainability is way more than just a selling point. For us, it’s a way of life. It’s how we get around, how we shop for groceries and how we raise our children. At Bambu Batu, we strive to inform the public about the amazing properties of bamboo as an abundant resource and a life-giving alternative, as well as provide a platform where conscious consumers can support the kind of sustainable, local and ethical economy they believe in.
Living a socially and environmentally responsible lifestyle doesn’t require perfectionism. And it’s not about changing our habits out of guilt, or shaming those who are reluctant to follow our lead. It’s about healing the planet because we love it. We love the giant trees of the forests, the soft sand on the beaches, and the clean air of the mountains. We love the snowy plovers, the giant pandas and the disappearing orangutans. We believe the Climate Crisis is not the result of one enormous mistake, but billions of individual actions. And if we each strive to take small but positive steps, on a daily basis, then none of us has to be perfect. And with a little luck, and a lot of love, our children can grow up in a world of thriving forests, pristine waterways and abundant wildlife.