This year some friends gave me a few Bird House Gourd seeds to plant - which is really exciting because I am always on the look out for non toxic crafting projects...and here is one you can grow from start to finish! I am enthralled with the life cycle of most squash varieties and the gourd is one that really mystifies me cause I don't plan on eating it. Here's how it all begins...
These delicate, almost lacy white flowers open up all over the vines waiting to be pollinated. It's best if you let gourds climb up some kind of trellis so that the flowers are more accessible and so the gourd itself will dry out better.
After pollination a yittle tiny gourd will appear! Not all of them will make it, some start to rot before they have a chance to grow and I am not really sure what causes this?! (Does anyone out there know- is it for lack of good pollination, or some invisible infestation???)
I would say this gourd pictured below is in it's Tween stages of life... not small, but not an adult either. Most likely it will beg you to let it listen to Miley Cyrus cause it's SOoOooooooooo bored just hanging there with all these dorks all the freakin' time. I think it's ok to give it this, in moderation - a happy gourd is a healthy gourd! ;)The gourd will get rather heavy and large till finally the vine will turn brown and die back, which is when ya cut it off and take it inside a dark ventilated room - after a long long & nasty time (6 months or so) they will dry out and you can make eco crafting fun with them! If the gourd gets smooshy just save the seeds in it for next year and throw the gunk in your compost pile- only the ones that dry hard can be used. I want to make some of their name sake, and turn them into cute little organic bird houses. I will show ya'll part 2 to this sometimes next year! :)