Goose Gourds?

clickermel(z6a SW Ohio)October 10, 2005

I was at a farm market the other day and fell in love with this beautiful dark green mottled gourd shaped like a goose or swan. I was told it was a goose gourd.

It is currently gracing the top of one of my tables in my front room. What can I do with it? How long can it sit on the table before it starts to rot, or will it? I'd love to dry it and do something with it, but I don't know what. How would I dry it, and how long can it stay on my table as decoration before I need to do something special to dry it?

I was also pondering whether to harvest the seeds (to grow more goose gourds!) or just buy a packet of seeds on-line . . . I'm guessing that I can't both "do something with it" and get the seeds in a viable form, correct?

Sorry about the newbie questions, but this is actually my very first gourd that I've had any interest in keeping! (It's also my first year growing veggies, and I have a pumpkin still growing as we speak, and am still harvesting yellow squash and beans, yum.)

I bought some smaller gourds (*no* idea what they are called; one looks like a mini pumpkin, another is a mini white pumpkin, another is a pumpkin-shaped orange and white striped, another is a crookneck-shaped gourd that's green and white). Would the answers to the goose gourd questions also apply to these gourds?


:-) Mel

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sundae(NW Iowa)

Greetings Mel, Your swan gourd should last quiet awaile for your eyes to look at it. As long as it stays "hard" it will remain good to keep and dry natually. If it starts to get soft, mushy then get the seeds from it, if they are white seeds then they are probaly no good, you want them to be a little tan to even brownish in color. Once this fantastic gourd of yours starts to to color from drying or getting moldy, which it will do, as long as it is still "hard" keep it. At this time stick it in your garage or outer building some where and wait tell spring and check on it, it may be dry then. It will look ugly at this point, you will have to scrub the mold off. You can then cut a hole in the side, make a bowl and harvest the seeds or leave whole and make something fantastic out of that gourd, good luck and you'll find lots of advice around here if you keep on reading.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2005 at 7:57AM
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clickermel(z6a SW Ohio)

Thanks, Sandy! I'll do as you suggest and hopefully I can do something cool with it once it dries!

:-) Mel

    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 8:45AM
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Mel, Sandy gave you wonderful advise on drying the swan gourd. In answer to your other questions--growing more goose/swan gourds. Well, yes and no. Most folks allow their gourds to be open pollinated meaning that the other parent of your seeds could be another swan gourd or another shape all together. In order to keep them from being cross pollinated the blossom must be covered or tied closed after the fertilization is completed to ensure that an insect doesn't come along and add pollen from another shape gourd blossom. But there is also a good chance that the seeds will produce something of the general size and should be interesting for you to work with next year.
As for removing the seeds for use and "keeping" your gourd--that is a simple one. I have learned the easiest way to remove the seeds is to cut a triangular shape from the side of bottom of the gourd, remove the innards and glue your triangular shaped piece back in the gourd. It can be almost invisible if you paint it or such.
And your third question was can you "keep" the small gourds. Actually very few of those can be successfully dried for use later. A couple of types do dry (nest egg, for instance) but for the most part those smaller ones commonly found in the produce department of the local grocery do not dry well, but do last for several weeks.
Good luck and enjoy your gourd. Yet another garden addiction!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 7:00PM
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The Swan Gourds do not dry well? I have some very large ones growing. I would be so disappointed if I could not get them to dry. I placed mine on a plastic milk carton to keep it up off the ground, with the neck up in the air. Is this not good to do? And I have a basket gourd, growing, it is as big as a watermellon, right now, but I only have one. I was disappointed to see that only one came. Actually very few of the plants gave me full gourds. Lots of Flowers which are beautiful and lots of vines all over the place, but not a lot of gourds.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 8:52PM
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They can be dried and turned into birdhouses(I heard from a farmer today at the pumpkin patch). He didn't go into detail, but maybe you can find some stuff online. I added a link that had drying info for gourds.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gourd drying info

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 5:37PM
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magickiwi(Zone 5 Michigan)

Hi - you can go here - to check out the chart of different types of gourds.
You can go to Amish Gourds and there you will find everything you would ever want to know about growing, harvesting and drying gourds ... what to do with them and how to do it! Set aside plenty of time as once you get there you will find time simply flies by. Enjoy yourself as you roam around.
Cheers - Rita in Michigan

Here is a link that might be useful: Amish Gourds

    Bookmark   October 12, 2007 at 3:10PM
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Great info, thank you. I am growing these this year and am trying to figure how to reliably harvest the few that have come in.

Here is a link that might be useful: Great Swan Gourds

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 12:36AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Old thread.

Swan gourd like any other gourd, if it was mature when picked , should dry/cure fine. You nedd to hang it somewher that is not too warm, like in garage, barn, ... to dry and cure slowly. Once it is done, it can last for ever. You can do all kind of artistic works on them; paint, burn, carve...
I have made musical instrument from them.

here is a picture. SG is cut in half, on the left

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 9:04PM
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The instrument thing is really neat - they are such natural resonators when dry. This season I've made two instruments - an mbira and a three string gourd banjo, and I started from never having made an instrument. This is cheap classic fun and there's a whole lot to learn too. The mbira link below points to the banjo link. Feel free to ask questions.

Here is a link that might be useful: New Gourd Mbira

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 4:01PM
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Spring comes slowly now to just north of Boston. My swan gourds have wintered but I am not sure that they will become the type of sturdy solid blokes that gourds can become.

Here is a link that might be useful: The wintering

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 9:34PM
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