Drying Process, 11/2

The martin gourd continues to dry out quickly.  It’s getting good and ugly, developing a good layer of mold.  It’ll start smelling soon (Which is why we strongly recommend setting them outside to dry.  And the other gourd, the gooseneck, is now showing real signs of drying.

Here’s a question: How do they dry out?  How does the water get out through that think, hard skin?  Well, thick and hard as it is, it is still a plant and the skin is porous, so some gets out that way.  A lot of it, though, goes out through the stem, which is very porous.

When you see raw, fresh gourds, take a look at the stems.  They’ll have about 2” of stem, and it will be a clean cut.  The stem will not look like they were twisted off the vine.  That’s because twisting the stem renders it useless for helping dry the gourd, and twisting the stem can allow infection in, which will make it even more difficult for the gourd to dry.

Here they are, right off the farm.

November 2

Drying Process, Part 2

The martin after 1 week

It’s only been about a week since we first showed you the gourds and already, there is noticeable change.  You may recall from earlier posts that it will take pretty much the entire winter for them to dry completely, and that they may get moldy and even smelly during that time.  As you can see, the martin gourd is already showing that.  It’s happening with the gooseneck gourd, too, but not as quickly, and it’s not as easy to see because of the darker coloring. You can still see some spots of discoloration on it, though, when you compare it to the earlier picture beneath the current one.

Stay tuned throughout the winter for more!

The gooseneck after 1 week.

Here they are, right off the farm.

The Drying Process Begins

Surely you can come up with something more creative than our Billy Jack family.

Hello, everyone.  First, just a reminder about this weekend’s Open House activities.  You can always pick your own pumpkin or gourd, but this is the second weekend for our Create Your Own Jack-O’-Lantern activities.  You pick the gourd, your draw the design, and our artists carve it on your gourd for you.  You can enter your creation in our contest, if you like.  Maybe yours will be the one chosen to be in our new catalog!  Click here for more information.

We’re starting a project on our blog.  We’ve talked about drying, cleaning, and crafting a gourd, and we will continue to do that.  But now we’ve got a couple that you can go through the process with us, step by step.  On the right

Here they are, right off the farm.

are two gourds, a martin and a gooseneck.  What is in front of them for scale is the case from an audio cassette tape (Remember those?).  They’re just off the farm and we are beginning the process of drying them.  As we’ve suggested you do, we have them set up off the ground.  It will not hurt them to sit directly on the ground, it just slows the drying process.  Periodically throughout the winter, we’ll check back on these and show you the gourds at the various stages of drying.

If your weather is anything like ours right now, it’s beautiful out and a perfect week to pick a pumpkin and create a Jack-O’-Lantern.