Before the Civil War, the South was dominated by large plantations. One family, who owned 46-acres of land, was gifted a few clumps of Japanese timber bamboo from their neighbor. In just 20 years, the bamboo had grown almost 60 feet. An employee on the farm wanted to protect the plant from being destroyed by future owners of the property, so he petitioned the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The land was eventually used by the USDA as an introductory research station for “economically important agricultural plants for the Southeast.” A much longer story short, the farm, accompanying bamboo grove and surrounding land are now called the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens, operated by the University of Georgia’s College of Agriculture and Environmental Science.