A visit to Wuertz Farm
As we traveled around the area near Casa Grande, AZ, we passed by a gourd farm several times.
One day we finally decided to pull in. Wow! This place is unreal! The proprietor, Waylon Wuertz, is a wonderful, personable guy who answered all of our questions. When he was in college he began growing gourds on his Dad's farm...
which was also his Grandpa's farm...
which was also his Great Grandpa's farm....He wanted to make a few extra bucks to help with student loans, so he planted a few rows of gourds in the fields next to the cotton, or hay, or whatever was growing in that field that particular year. The next year he grew a few more rows. The demand kept growing. Currently, Waylon harvests over two dozen different sorts of gourds on almost 30 acres!
Photo from Wuertz Farm Web Site
Gourd shopping is easy. Grab a wagon with a tub on it and head to any of the large wire bins filled with gourds of different shapes and sizes. There are apple-shaped gourds here, "Dipper" gourds over there,
cannon ball gourds,
crown of thorns gourds,
tiny bottle gourds...
there are too many gourds to keep track of!
Photo from my iPhone!
Now, we Dreamers have to figure out what to do with the gourds we bought! Although, between examples at Waylon's farm and those online, we have plenty of ideas. Here are a few examples I found online:
This is a small part of a desert diorama at the Wuertz farm
where all of the animals and many plants are made with gourds.