MGC’s February meeting hosted Julia Tudor, a member of the Wisconsin Gourd Association, to discuss gourds. She reviewed information on how to grow them and the different ways to decorate them.
Julia explained that gourds are the oldest cultivated plant on the earth. They are used for storage as well as maracas and bird houses. Gourds need 120-140 frost free days to grow therefore it is best in the southern states but can be grown carefully in the north. There are male and female flowers on the plants and therefore require self pollination. The plant is a vine that has very shallow roots and needs a trellis or phone pole to grow on as there have been plants that have taken over an entire tree due to them not being cut after they have grown 10 feet in length.
Julia brought a wonderful collection of gourds to show the club. They included those that were painted, different varieties such as an apple gourd, and those that had been carved into bowls with decorative beads. She brought gourds for purchase, and our own Helen Waltmire bought a beautiful green bird house to take home.