Friday, September 24, 2010
Ga Ga for Gourds!
It's almost time to pick the gourds! Once we've had our first mild frost, which will kill the rampant foliage, it will be time to harvest the unique variety of gourds that we've grown this year. It will be a bit more difficult this year as the gourd trellis (thanks to Hurricane Earl) imploded on itself and now the various types are growing in a tangled pile.. We have 3 to 4-foot long snake gourds, mini-birdhouse gourds, baby boo pumpkins, spinning top gourds, apple gourds and more! I'm not sure who likes them the most - me or the kids.. probably me, no the kids, no me.. either way, growing gourds is so much fun!
Once they're all harvested, we take them to the schools to show the various classes. The kids love the gourds - especially the HUGE snake gourds.. then, I go back to the classes around the 1st of May with packs of gourd seed that the kids can plant and then take home.. I'm sure the parents are so thrilled! Ha!
Once we've shown the local school, we then use the gourds on our front doorstep as part of our spooky halloween decorations.. everyone who comes to the door wants to know if they're real! The spinning top gourds are especially fun.. They really spin and they're also pretty tough - important if 20 kids are going to be playing with them.. Plus, the vines are very vigorous and produce at least a dozen gourds per vine.. we let them ramble under the deer fence (at least we did before Hurricane Earl knocked the fence down!) and out into the woodland and up the nearby trees.
Even the snake gourds escaped the confines of the garden and climbed a nearby 20-foot tall spruce.. the huge gourds look like holiday ornaments dangling from the evergreen.. very pretty! Not a great photo, but you get the idea.. the front gourd is 2 1/2 feet long and the one hiding behind is almost 4-feet long! Snake gourds are also edible - one of the few edible gourds - and once we've shown them to the schoolkids, my mother-in-law will chop them up and cook them into a delectable Lebanese feast.. they're one of her favourite veggies..
Speaking of feasting, I chopped up a big pot of mixed heirloom tomatoes this morning and have a huge pot of sauce roasting in the oven, along with homegrown garlic and onions.. soooo fragrant! (Thanks for the idea on the radio show last weekend Craig - http://nctomatoman.weebly.com)