It seems the stranger the shape, the more popular they are. Gourds are a sure sign that Fall is here, as much as I hate to admit it. Every farmer's market, pumpkin patch, and store with Fall decorations has a variety of ornamental gourds, and most people purchase them stricktly for decoration. As it turns out, most of the ornamental gourds are edible - not that I'm particularly interested in trying them. Properly ripened, and washed gourds can be cooked and eaten - who knew?!
Most gourds are purchased in the Fall, then set out for display until they either rot, or are taken down for Christmas decorations. If you find particular ones you'd love to keep, you can dry them and keep them for years to come.
Wash the gourds with soap and water, and rinse them with some liquid disinfectant. Carefully towel dry them. Place them in a warm, dry location, on an absorbant surface such as paper for about a week to dry.
Wipe the gourds once more with some disinfectant, and spread them on fresh paper in a warm, dry, dark location for about four weeks. After this drying period, they're ready to keep for years. You can leave them as they are, cover them in clear shellac, or paint designs on them.
Posted by Tom Gill at Thursday, October 02, 2014