Growing gourds can be a very exciting and interesting adventure!
Start your gourds inside by planting up to but no more than 2 seeds in a 3″ container or pot. When you are finished potting your seeds-THOROUGHLY soak with water until it flows out the bottom of the pot. After the initial watering, water like you would a normal house plant. Soil for gourd seedlings can be on the dry side but do not let it dry out completely. Keep seedlings in sun. The more sun they receive, the stronger the plant you will have. If they receive less light, you may have thin, less hearty plants. You do not need to fertilize seedlings while they are still inside. Then around June 1st or AFTER THE THREAT OF FROST (this is very important, frost will kill your plants), plant outside in full sun.
Gourd vines will take over fences, trelises, and other plants if left alone.
Click here to order your seeds!
Today we’re sharing a little behind the scenes action in our gourd fields! These pictures show trial runs of a gourd sorter designed to help us sort our small gourds. This is somewhere around the tenth model we’ve built in the last twenty years. Most models never make it to field trials, since they end up being an idea that just didn’t work.
This particular model has doubled our sorting speed without compromising accuracy. It does show some flaws with getting the gourds out of the hoppers, however, so model number eleven might replace this one in about a week. Although this is a huge step in the right direction, we bet we can build a better one. Once we get the design flaws fixed we will have a much larger metal unit built for us.
The sky is blue and the ground is dry. Although it might not feel like Spring weather just yet, it is time to harvest our dried gourds! This is always an exciting time since we have been growing and drying this crop for ten months. At this point, we are able to find out just how good of a crop we have. Our production team has been anxious all winter for this crop to be ready. This should keep them quiet until next winter.
Spring is here!
A little something interesting for your Monday morning!
These gourds spent the winter in a bin outside. We got anxious to sort and size them only to find they were all frozen together when we poured the bin out! Sights you will see only at Meadowbrooke Gourds.
Sometimes when we don’t plant enough of a particular gourd variety the year before, the need arises to speed dry the gourds in our greenhouse in order to use them sooner. When our inventory of raw, dried gourds is gone we just can’t wait for spring to come and the gourds to dry outside. Instead, we bring them in to be speed dried. This allows us to craft them about two months sooner than naturally drying them outside during the winter.
This particular circumstance is occurring with the pictured gourds.
The white spots in the picture are not snow – they are mold. It is critical to allow this mold to cover most of the gourd . If a gourd is dry before the mold has broken down the skin, the skin literally super glues itself to the shell and creates a nightmare for our washers.
First step: Freeze the gourds.
Second step: Mold the skin.
Third step: Place in a hot, dry room and hold your nose!
Final step: Wash all the mold and skin away with ease.
It’s fascinating how ugly these gourds need to get before we can turn them into something beautiful. In about a month these moldy gourds will be shiny Christmas tree ornaments!
We are very excited about February’s product of the month – Gloria bunnies!
The bunnies pictured below are as a result of our designer’s effort to create this new product. Ben does the cutting and putting together, Ashley critiques them and adds color, then Denise adds the bows and finishing touches.
It all starts with the idea to create a new bunny. Our goal is always to reinvent ourselves and innovate what we currently produce. As we start to make them, each one takes on a personality of their own. Some creations turn out worse than we expect and some better. The bad ideas head for the trash and the very best ideas go into production. We are then left with one of a kind gourds looking for a home. The next hop for these bunnies will be to our retail store as the February product of the month!
The finished Gloria bunnies…
Our Gloria gourd bunnies will be available February 1st! We are holding a pre-order sale right now! Read more about the sale here.
Our gourd crop has been under snow for several weeks and we went for a walk to inspect them. We were please to find them happy as ever and starting to dry nicely. This time of year always has us anxious for spring when it’s time to gather them up. We also took along some buddies to help. The little one is Lucy – she has a great nose for rodents that may be enjoying the gourds from the bottom side. If it were up to her, we would check the field for mice everyday!
Introducing our November Product of the Month: Holiday Candle Light Gourd.
This new gourd is approximately 7″ in diameter and comes with an amber light. The candle, spark and stars are cut out so the glow of the light shows through the gourd. At the bottom of the candle is green holly with three berries that glow red when lit. The Holiday Candle Light Gourd will bring the warmth of the holidays into your home this season. Click here to learn more and purchase.
At Meadowbrooke Gourds we craft and create huge hard-shell gourds that stand many feet tall to tiny gourds of just a few inches. Our Party Treats Collection features small gourds that add a whimsical, rustic touch to your Halloween decor. These small gourds are great for decorating a Halloween tree. They also make great treats for your fall parties. Each piece is approximately 3 inches in diameter.
Click on the photos to learn more about each gourd:
Party Treats Pumpkin Face
Party Treats Sitting Ghost
Party Treats Pumpkin Basket
Party Treats Scarecrow
Meadowbrooke Gourds will be hittin’ the road and heading to the following locations this September for fall-oriented events. We hope to see you there!