Monday, September 21, 2009

Gourdgeous Gourds

It is almost time to harvest my gourds. This is what they looked like in August.


Here is a close-up. Pretty Impressive, don't you think?

They aren't through growing, though. Just look at this one. I finally noticed this one last week. It seemed to appear suddenly. These gourds are sneaky like that.

This last picture is a shot of the same three in the picture at the top of the page. Not only have they grown dramatically in a few short weeks......they don't even look like the same gourds.

I have tried several different methods of curing these gourds. I read a lot about them and found that some are left to dry in the fields naturally. In this method you lose some. Since I don't have a whole field of gourds...... Another method suggests that you scrape the green skin off, this will hasten the drying out. The easiest method is to put them in a cool dry place and let nature take it's course. Mold will form and eventually slough off.
You will not be using them this season with any method. They need to dry inside also and you will know when they are ready. They will sound hollow when you tap them and some of them will rattle when you shake them.
I learned the hard way.... if you decide to scrape the green skin off, don't touch your mouth! Bitter doesn't begin to describe it.... and it lingers forever. Also remember to wear a mask and eye protection if you decide to drill or cut a hole. The dust inside will escape and go everywhere. Learned that the hard way, too.
The gourds aren't through growing just yet. They won't be ready until the vine withers and turns brown. They grow a lot in the last few weeks. they seem to appear suddenly...... like a nice little surprise. I think they are gourdgeous. Don't you?




15 comments:

luksky said...

Those are impressive! I have not seen gourds in years....I wonder if I could grow them in drought ridden Central Texas????

Jilly said...

You are so cute. I miss you.

ellen abbott said...

So what do you do with them after they are dried and ready? They are very cool. My sister grows gourds also. And loofahs.

The Good Cook said...

I am growing gourds too and hope they dry well. I plan on making bird houses out of them.

Brian Miller said...

those are quite large gourds. will remember to keep my hands out of my mouth...will remember to keep my hands out of my mouth...lol.

Pat said...

They ARE gorgeous, especially against that red fence! I like the spots all over them. What are you going to use them for? Bird houses or decorations or what?

Living on the Spit said...

How cool is that? I can not wait to see further updates with the progress. I had always wondered how gourds got to be gourds...and now I will see first hand.

Nancy said...

Very cool. I had no idea gourds are grown one year and used the next.

Eternally Distracted said...

They are definitely lovely looking ... but I have NEVER heard of them before ... they look like a weapon of some kind?!!! ;0)

Kathy's Klothesline said...

luksky-I bet they would grow there, mine didn't grow last year because it was too wet.....

Jilly-Miss you, too, my sweet girl

ellen-I have some I simply painted, like the one that was shaped like an apple. I used a dremel to carve a witch one for Halloween. Vases....?

Good Cook-Bird houses for sure. I had some dry in a weird fashion with lots of splits up the side. I am going to make some suet for the birds with seed and lard and peanut butter and "stuff" them and hang in the trees.

Brian- yes, repeat the mantra...

Pat-Those spots all go away and they will all be the color of butternut squash when dry.

lots- Stay tuned for more updates!

Nancy-The insides have to dry and that takes time. I tried carving a fresh one like you would crave a pumpkin. The shell is much harder than the pumpkin and I couldn't get the knife through. You can etch into the green skin at some point during the growth and it will leave a design, though.

ED-They are very interesting and I had never grown them until 3 years ago.....the seed was free! The vine is quite lovely and wil climb and cover quite a bit of territory if you want to hide a part of your landscape, which I did. Then I had all these gourds, so I began to research a use for them. They are very versatile and who knew I had retained all this knowledge in my old brain!

Hit 40 said...

My sister left me a message about a pumpkin shortage??? Your gourds are looking great. I have no idea about the pumpkin thing. She said to grab a few cans of filling now before it is all gone.

lovelyprism said...

Very pretty! I wouldn't have a clue what to do with them but I have seen some finished products that other people knew what to do with. Have fun and let us know how they turn out... someday lol.

Naqvee said...

hi there.. i am new to your blog as well as your follower list! read about you in your profile .. i am an Indian and fan of big families. they have their own joys and sorrows.. your gourds are quite impressive.. and may I know the name of these gourds.. in India we eat gourds a lot... but never saw that one !
love Naqvee
faheimgul.blogspot.com

Meggie said...

I really like those gourds. Good luck with them!

Kathy G said...

Nice!

I'm visiting Son #2 in Columbia tomorrow. If everything falls into place, I'm going to try to make a short side trip to your place to say hi.