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Choosing a Stalk

In choosing an agave stalk the main thing to look for is something that you will be able to have the proper sized mouthpiece and the length desired. It is real nice to find one that fits these requirements and also has a nice bell at the end too, however these are not all that easy to find. One of the things that happens while the stalk is dying is all the juices flow to the bottom, the bell. This usually causes it to wet rot and makes salvaging a nice bell pretty difficult if possible at all. The 'bell' of the stalk is actually the base part of the plant itself so if you do find one intact you will have to harvest it lower and remove all the leaves from the base. This proves to be much more difficult than just sawing the stalk just above the base, but it is much more rewarding as well. A nice bell really makes an excellent agave
didj, but not required. In the picture above you can see some of the bases of the dried leaves still attached to the stalk near the bottom. These should be removed  to get them out of the way when you are ready to start Splitting the stalk. They are much easier to remove when they are dry than when they are still a little wet. They can usually be removed just by 'peeling' them off with your (gloved) hands, or sometimes a nice sharp knife can help. Do not clean the exterior of the stalk beyond just getting some of the big leaves off.

Next clean up the ends by sawing them off straight, as below.


(need picture)

Construction of an Agave Didjeridu
Choosing a stalk

Author: (dead link)
Last updated: 11/02/07

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