Putting away the gourds

Today is one of those days for getting ready for the new year. After we took down and put away our Christmas decorations, I checked in the workshop on the irises I potted for next year’s Master Gardeners’ sale. I like to pot them up in fall when I still can identify them. I’ll write more later about my irises, but I was so surprised to find 25 different irises here at Happy Acres. And I’ve added more since then.

After checking on the irises, I looked to see if the gourds I harvested earlier were curing. I had moved several already to the garage, and was just waiting for the last of them to dry out a bit before moving them inside. They still aren’t as dry as I’d like them to be, but they are now inside with the irises.

Waiting to be picked
Waiting to be harvested this past November

I’ve been interested in crafting with gourds since MG Debbie taught a short seminar at our SWIMGA (Southwestern Indiana Master Gardeners Association) meeting several years ago. I never thought about buying gourds from local farmers or online, so I assumed I’d not be able to craft with them. At that time, I lived in a little peach house on a small piece of ground with very little sunlight. I had just enough sun for a few herbs, definitely not enough room for these sprawling guys.

Fast forward to this past spring. I ran across some gourd seeds and convinced hubby (really, no arm twisting was necessary) that I’d love to grow some gourds this year for crafts. Of course, being the crafter he is, he was more than happy to plant the gourd seeds (bushel basket, bottle, and Corsica) down in the area in front of my labyrinth wannabe area. (I’ve not made any progress on this prayer walk since my poison ivy outbreak last March!)

Our selection of gourds drying before moving indoors
Our selection of gourds drying before moving indoors

I’m excited about our gourd haul. It will be fun to work with them next spring. Meanwhile, I’ve already hounded hubby about planting some other different ones next year.