Today began a new tradition here at Tyndall Acres. It seems like gourd washing should be one of those old-fashioned farm chores that only happens every so often: barn-raising, lard-rendering, candle-making, etc.
For the last couple of years, we have purchased gourds at a local farm for Lydia to decorate and enter in the fair.
Last year we grew our own crop of birdhouse gourds. They spent the winter drying out in the garden right where they grew. Then in the spring I moved them to the porch, where they finished drying.
Gourds lose quite a bit of water as they dry out over several months, and they get moldy and gross-looking.
The first step to getting them cleaned up is to fill some rubber tubs with water, then put a few gourds in.
Since the gourds are dried out and hollow, they float. So we soaked some towels and placed them on the gourds.
Once they had soaked a while (one resource said 15 minutes, but we found that longer worked better), we scrubbed the mold and other icky stuff off with metal dish scrubbers.
These gourds are now clean and ready to be used for projects! They are a little stained from the mold, but that is part of the natural beauty and variety that comes with gourds. We actually only cleaned part of them. You can see the dirty gourds behind the porch rail. This is a time consuming task!
My dad and Loretta were here visiting and enjoyed watching the process. Having them here made Gourd Cleaning Day feel more like an actual festival or event. 😉
Lydia got soaked while she scrubbed the gourds and later got changed and took a well-deserved break.
Next step: homemade birdhouses!