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Bamboo Farm holds first annual festival
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The Southeast Chapter of the American Bamboo Society has chosen Savannah's own Bamboo Farm & Coastal Gardens for its first Bamboo Festival.
The free, all-day event will be from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.
"We have had enormous success with our strawberry and fall festivals," superintendent garden Dr. Stephen Garton said.  "A Bamboo Festival is a natural for us. Over the years, we are seeing an increased interest in bamboo as an element in the home garden, so we expect a strong response to the first annual Bamboo Festival."  
Society experts will present  lectures in the morning  and demonstrations throughout the day, including the basics of growing bamboo, and share techniques for  bamboo crafting. Experts will lead tours of the farm's bamboo groves that feature 130 different types. It is the largest public bamboo garden in the United States.
Vendors will offer bamboo plants and bamboo crafts.
"Aside from bamboo's ornamental value in the garden, it's very eco-friendly, absorbing more than twice as much carbon from the air as any other plant,"  Garton said. "Thanks to bamboo's remarkably efficient growth, its value in manufacturing-from flooring to T-shirts- is just beginning to be appreciated.
The non-profit society is dedicated to gaining knowledge and educating the public on bamboo. More information is available at
The Bamboo Farm is part of the University of Georgia College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.  It also includes collections of camellia species and palms, a formal rose garden, lotus ponds.  It is at the intersection of Highway 17 Canebrake Road north of Richmond Hill. For more information, call 912-921-5460. The farm and garden is open weekdays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

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