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! :)

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