Are there any Michigan gardeners here who grow or work on gourds? Would love to get in touch with some and learn about which ones grow well here in zone 5.
Keep warm :)
I live near Ann Arbor MI and grow gourds for my own crafting. I know someone here tried to organize a small gathering last year-they were from Kalamazoo-reread some of the old threads. The large bushel gourds that I grew last summer have all rotted by now. Even the 1/2 basketball gourds are rotting-but they were sitting on the lawn--as I was ill, and didn't put them on a board. I also do not water, so that may have been another issue.
I usually use a dremel and carve my gourds as a lidded bowl, with different designs. When the insides are awful, I glue inside a co-ordinating scrap booking paper. I will do a musical instrument one soon and put music notes paper inside.
People keep telling me to join with my friend (who paints gourds) to have a craft booth. But after thinking about it: getting a license, table, tent, sitting for 2 days, paying the entrance fee $$$, hearing the people negative comments (I could do that!), asking $40 for about 10 hours of work on each one-besides buying more stain, dremel bits & spray sealer--I just give them to friends who enjoy my work. I am currently working on 4 open-fret-work translucent fall colored leaves for friends.
I did a quick presentation for my garden club on how to do them, and a basket weaving group asked me to do a class for them near Lansing. For the class, I spent hours make a hand out and developing a presentation, and making samples of good & bad gourds--besides the actually doing the 3 hour class-but I enjoyed it.
what happened to the gourd forum? I was not on the computer for a month and it is gone?
Hi Chris - nothing seems to be working with gourds etc on here any more! Sometimes I can get to the gourd forum and other times I can't. Who knows!
We are trying to get a gourd group going again where we can meet on a monthly basis, in person, in the Lansing area - since that is about the center of the State. When we get together it will be from about 10am to 3pm (dodging the rush hour traffic both times). There is more about it on the Michigan Gourds group ... will attach the link.
Congratulations on the presentation you set up. Sounds like it was a wonderful time - as well as a lot of hard work. I would love to see your work. Sorry to hear about your big gourds rotting out - it was a peculiar year for growing gourds. Kathy, on Michigan Gourds, grew a dozen or so of the big African Wine Kettles and a couple of those have rotted - she is watching the others closely for sure! She lives in Paw Paw and grew a lot of gourds last summer. (The deer ate mine when they were still tiny seedlings! grrr.)
Drop me an email when you have time!
Rita in Kalamazoo
Here is a link that might be useful: MICHIGAN GOURDS