Friday, November 7, 2014

Oh, Lord… Gourds!

We Dreamers never touched the gourds. 
They sat in our garage, 
in the very same bag in which they were packed when we bought them.

It is time to get to work and do something with them!

The skin on the gourd has to be taken off.
The very thin, 
very stubborn,

There are two ways to accomplish this.
Too bad, but they all involve
"elbow grease"!

The traditional way is to soak the gourds for about 24 hours.

Have you every tried to cover an air filled object in water?

Underneath my tipsy tower, in the light grey bucket,
there are about a half dozen gourds soaking in water. 
(It would have been much easier if I still had the tops to all of the buckets!)

Another option is to float the gourd in water
and drape a wet towel over it.

The gourds can be buried in wet potting soil for 1 -2 days.
The soil must surround the gourd, but many gourds
can be layered in one bucket.

The soil must be moist, but not sopping. 
If you figure out how to do that, let me know!
Even though I used my garden moisture indicator,
my first attempt left some gourds nestled in dry soil.
My next batch bordered on 'sopping'!

Regardless, both methods softened the paper-thin skin.

A dry gourd,
A gourd after soaking,
A gourd with the skin removed.

Here is where the elbow-grease comes in.
The wet gourd must be scoured to remove the softened skin.

Scouring round gourds is not for the feint of heart.
It will leave your fingernails in tatters
and your knuckles just might have their own
thin layer of skin removed!

I used steel wool and a stainless steel pot scrubber.
I also thought a small steel brush 
(if I could find one around the house)
might have been helpful, 
especially for tight areas around the stem.
(Scrub the stem, too.)

After all of the skin is removed, the gourds need to dry, but not in the sun as this could cause the gourds to crack. The gourds soaked in soil may have absorbed more water than those receiving the water treatment. It is recommended that you drill a small hole in the gourd to help it dry completely.

Here are some of my gourds, 
standing pretty and clean, 
all in one line.
What next? I try to decide.
At least drying buys me some time!

 Information about cleaning gourds came from the Wuertz Farm Web site


  1. Oh my, Dreaming! You are one determined gal! I can't wait to see what you do with these gourds! Have a happy Friday night!

  2. Cool, I't will be interesting following your progress

  3. I love gourds almost as much as rocks.

    All these years I have worked with gourds and never "skinned" them. Learned something new today.

    I learned from a gourd supplier this year if you spray vinegar on the gourds before they start curing you will not get the mold and spot that come with drying. I have not tested that yet.

  4. We grew them a couple of years, we hung some in a basement crawl space to cure for a year. I think they are best if they mold on the outside. I think we drilled some holes in them has been a long time...and yes I recall scrubbing them. Then I let them dry some more. I still have two in the garage drying:)


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