Flowers

Flowers

Monday, January 14, 2013

Curing gourds

During summer and autumn I post a lot of photos that chronicle the many gourds we grow.. This past year was an outstanding growing season and we ended up with PLENTY of gourds! I don't usually have a lot of luck curing them and they tend to rot, rather than dry. Over the years, I've managed to successfully cure only 3 gourds. Not such a great record, eh?

So, I did some reading.. and more reading and asked questions of gourd growers.. I got a lot of different answers - often conflicting - and so I decided to try things a few different ways. First, I left some of the gourds in the garden (buried under the snow now, so no photos yet sorry!), a few others I put in the basement to cure in a cool, dry spot (rotted quickly) and finally, I left the majority of them on an out-of-the-way corner of the front porch (see above photo). I gotta say, the front porch gourds are doing MUCH better than I expected. My huge cannon ball gourd has rotted, but the majority of the others - snake, long dipper, apple, speckled swan and so on, have actually maintained their shapes and although the outer skin has rotted (a natural process that give the finished gourds their lovely mottled appearances), I think they're going to successfully cure.

It's also seed catalogue season and I've been busy checking out the daily catalogues in my mailbox and scouring websites online trying to decide what to grow this year. I really want to experiment with the wide range of Asian vegetables, but I also want to trial many of the heirloom pole beans that I've yet to taste.. Of course, the deer fence comes first and I think this is the year we go electric. Yep, I've said that before, but this year I really mean it!

What are you going to grow this year..? I'd love to hear some of your must-have's and perhaps add them to my own growing list.. like I need any more seed! :)

6 comments:

  1. I am upping the purple/red factor in whatever I grow. It is clear to me, they are not bothered as much by slugs and cabbage butterfly. Looking forward to trying some new Asian greens myself...but in the purple range )

    So interesting about the gourds...I had no idea they were a challenge to dry...well if you don't live in Mexico that is!!

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    1. Great observation Bren!! I haven't ever considered the colour/slug connection, but I think you're totally right.. So glad you mentioned it and I will have to investigate it further as well.. I just love those Asian greens.. so many veggies, so little garden space, eh? :)

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  2. I plan to grow some gourds myself this year, I'd like to make a bird house from it :) I'll look in your archive for your gourds. Best greetings!

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    1. Best of luck with your gourds.. they are so easy to grow and so much fun as well.. We grow both the baby birdhouse and the regular large birdhouse gourds. They tend to dry a bit easier than the snake and dipper gourds I've found..

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  3. Reading in your blog about seed catalogues brought up a question I had from reading in your book about Green Manure Cover crops. Where do you buy theses seeds? I live in NS too (up in Cumberland County) and haven't seen them around and noticed they aren't in the seed catelouges either. I am very much a newbie gardener. :)

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    1. Great question!! I get mine at Halifax Seed, but the co-op's and farm supply stores will also have them. There should be a few of those in the Truro area! :) Keep me posted..

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Please feel free to leave comments. I welcome your tips, questions, thoughts and ideas (and suggestions for new veggies to grow!)