“WE’RE EXCITED TO BE THE FIRST COMMERCIAL FARMER IN THE COUNTRY TO PLANT AND HARVEST BAMBOO FOR FOOD,” says Janet Mixon, co-owner of Mixon Fruit Farms.  Having planted the first Asper bamboo in 2017, Mixon’s initiated its first harvest last month, with considerable crowds showing up to take the tractor ride out to see for themselves the exotic plant groves behind Bradenton’s beloved family farm shop. The burgeoning intrigue has also attracted more than 200 farmers the past year from all over the Southern states—wanting to explore and learn more about growing the woody cane and tropical grass as a crop. The peeling, processing and packaging operations take place at Mixon’s partnered South Florida facility, OnlyMoso US Corp. Janet often uses bamboo as an alternative for artichokes in a spinach and bamboo dip. “I also love air frying slices,” she says. “When they come out, they taste just like potato chips, but better, and healthier.” Mixon admits how much her grandchildren dig the taste too. “I sneak the bamboo pesto into their peanut butter and they absolutely love it.”