I often say that I only like to plant things that I can eat. I have a couple of exceptions to that rule that I'm trying this year. I posted on it earlier, but I have an update on the two types of gourds I have planted on the last row closest to the barn.
The first type is Birdhouse Gourds. Birdhouse Gourds grow fast and furious and you end up with a lot of them if your goats don't eat the ones that grow on the fence. Doggone Goats! Here's a little one that is just starting to grow. You can see the remnants of the flower on the end of it.
|A Baby Birdhouse Gourd|
As I was looking at the one below, I guess if you cut half of the bottom off, you could made a dipper with it. You know, like in the movies where you'd see people dipping it into a bucket of water to get a drink? I've never grown these before, so we'll see how it goes.
|The Big Dipper?|
I have no problem growing them, but due to our tropical, oppressively hot and humid climate, getting anything to dry without molding, mildewing and rotting is next to impossible, but I'm going to give it a try and we'll see if we meet with success. The gourds in the photo below are getting close to the end of the growth stage. What will happen next is that the stem will turn brown. At that point I'll get it off the ground and allow it to hang, getting plenty of airflow around it. Drying and curing is not for the impatient as it takes several months of drying before you put a hole in it for the entry to the birdhouse.
So homeless birds in the area, if you need a house, you'd better look elsewhere as it will be several months before I'll cut a hole in these. Move in date is quite a ways off and I'm a novice at doing this, so your birdhouse might be a 'fixer-upper'.
Another type of gourd I have growing in the same vicinity is the Luffa Gourd. While the birdhouse gourds will be used by the birds, hopefully the luffa gourds will be used by us. Once they are dried, you peel back the skin, shake out the seeds and they make wonderful bath sponges and are great for exfoliation. I'll show you that process when they fully dry.
|Luffa Gourds growing away|
After reading more on luffa gourds, I learned that these CAN be eaten! When they are 7 inches long are less, they can be used as a substitute for cucumbers. I've got my eye on this one and I'll let you know how it tastes.
|Bath & Body Works?|
If it doesn't taste great, I do have some Fall seedlings of cucumbers that I'll be putting in the ground, so hopefully we'll have more cukes on the way.