Three gourds started to dry in no time at all. As a bit of fuzz would pop up on them, I would just wipe it off with my finger tips and they dried looking really pretty. The one in the above picture did not begin to dry so pretty. I had not checked on it for a few days then I discovered an icky mess. It was wet and slimy and a bit gross to the touch. Oh no, will I loose this gourd to rotting?
I was excited to have a crop of 7 gourds of various sizes. I planted one packet of seed that were simply titled "Gourds". It looks as though the packet had at least 4 different types of gourd seed.
Step one for anything new to arrive in the house is; the Sheba "Cat Scan"! Click on the video to see this process in action.
Being a novice with gourds, I asked our In the Garden, Master Gardener, Tina for advice. Her advice was to leave them on the vine until the end of the growing season which I did. Then to just simply lay the gourds on the garage floor. Only one problem to this process, we don't have an attached garage to the house but a 3-sided open carport instead! So the gourds would freeze in the garage or the shed. Hum, lets get the brain to thinking here shall we...
My solution: Hang them in the guest bedroom closet out of sight! I took Chenille sticks (fancy word for Pipe Cleaners) and carefully hung the gourds by the clothes pole of the closet as you see in the above picture. At this point, the larger gourds were so heavy that I feared they may fall to the floor. The brain worked and found a large piece of foam rubber from a crafting project laying around. To the floor the soft foam went along with some Fiber Fill (fake snow) still in bags. Good thing I did this because two gourds fell! Nice soft landing and they were not harmed from their fall.
*The picture of the hanging gourds was snapped on Oct. 29...
While vacationing in Jamestown in mid-Oct, I saw a interpreter scraping gourds. I inquired as to what she was doing and she explained that if you remove the thin outer layer of the gourd, it will not mold and will dry quicker. Then while at Yorktown, I noticed the gourds were hanging to dry as the ones in my closet. I inquired as to why the Living History folks in Yorktown do not scrape them as the folks in Jamestown. She explained that scraping is a tricky process and one can scrap too deeply thus making the gourd more apt to rotting. I decided that if I left this gourd alone as was, it may rot and if I scrap it, it may rot. Hum, what's a gal to do? What the heck, Lets experiment and scrap it! Out came my crafting knife (a knife that once belonged to my grandmother and has assisted me in many craft projects) and I began to scrape the slimy goop off the gourd.
The picture to the left shows you the pretty color below all that slimy messy stuff. The picture to the right is the finished product. It did not take long to scrap as it came off with ease but I was still careful to not harm a second layer of skin below the mold. I hope so but time will tell.
I did the scraping job over the sink with a paper towel in the bottom for easy clean up. I decided that mold in the drain and septic tank may not be a good idea. To the trashcan it went with easy clean up! Back to the closet the gourd goes to continue drying with the others. As you can see I have 2 more large gourds just starting to yellow and dry a bit while one small one is yet to start drying.
*This picture of the hanging gourds was snapped on Dec. 19, 2008...Now we jump to Jan. 8,2009 and find the scrapped gourd has been drying really well for me! How happy I am to find a drying gourd rather then a rotten one! I think this gourd will make a nice bird house this spring.
No seeds can be heard rattling inside the gourds so the gourds continue to dry in the closet. Now the larger two are turning that icky moldy brown color with some white fuzz. Should I scrap them since the other one seems to be okay?
Notice the one small gourd is still green? This thing was picked on Oct. 29 along with the others and here it is Jan. 9 and it has yet to start drying. Whats up with that?
I was not sure scraping would help or harm the gourd but this GOURD DRYING NOVICE, found out it worked for me! I am sure to grow more gourds, In the Garden...