First edible bamboo harvest on the Suncoast
BRADENTON- It’s been a year since SNN visited Mixon Fruit Farms to talk about the first ever the first crop of edible bamboo was planted in the United States.
What once were small bamboo cones are now tall bamboo shoots, ready for harvesting.
“So now they’ve grown up and they’ve got a canopy shade the ground and we go ahead and trim it," said Dean Mixon.
Mixon Fruit Farms is celebrating 80 years in the farming business, but after years of farming citrus, they branched out into edible bamboo.
“We had trees that were planted in the 1800’s, now we don’t have a tree older than ten years old," said Janet Mixon.
Dean and Janet Mixon say they’ve spent years fighting diseases threatening their crops and took the risk, planting the first edible bamboo crop in the country, hoping their business and their crops would blossom.
“We pray about everything we do. It was kind of one of those things where we’d been trying to find out what is something we could do that wasn’t affected by the bugs," said Janet Mixon.
The Mixons say they planted the bamboo for its health benefits.
“You can add it to almost anything you’re cooking and you’re getting vitamins its high in antioxidants, helps fight cancer, heart disease, cholesterol, it’s a megavitamin," said Janet Mixon.
According to the Mixons, they were told to expect a first harvest three years after planting, but they are planning their first in just a few weeks.
“We’re excited to be able to produce something that’s going to be good for the community and good for the country," said Janet Mixon.
“We’re looking forward to being able to say we did it," said Dean Mixon.