Surprise in my Garden

Bushel Gourd - Found these gourds growing among my pumpkins, these two each measure about 24 inches around currently and are still growing.
@byfaithonly (10716)
United States
August 25, 2008 6:33am CST
A few days ago I posted a discussion about my pumpkins maturing I felt too soon. I was concerned that I would not have pumpkins to sell in the fall. Well, one of the great advantages to the pumpkin plants dieing off is I found a great surprise - 4 bushel gourds:) I had planted some but with my battle to stop the chickens from pulling up my young plants I thought I had lost the bushel gourds which I had hoped to use for crafts or sell to others to use. If your not familure with bushel gourds just like the name says they are known to get the size of bushel baskets, their a hard shell gourd so will last for years and years once dried, and they grow on a large vine like pumpkins, watermelon, and other gourds (not something you want to try growing in your kitchen window). I would have liked to have gotten more than just 4 but at least I'll have seeds to plant more next year - I've seen 15 seeds selling on eBay for as much as $5 a pack. To help discussion along: Have you heard of or raised bushel gourds before? What kinds of gourds are you familure with? If you grow gourds what do you do with them? With the new found discovery of these bushel gourds I now have 5 different types of gourds growing in my garden.
3 people like this
5 responses
@sweetdesign (5151)
• United States
25 Aug 08
I haven't heard of those type gourds before. I am going to try my hand at ornamental gourds and birdhouse gourds. I have never grown gourds before but I wanted to give it a try to see if I can't sell a few to other crafters and maybe try my hand at painting a few and then selling them. I am not the greatest painter but I can do some nice paintings if I work at it lol.
1 person likes this
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
25 Aug 08
My ornamental or mini-gourds are doing good but my birdhouse gourds have gone crazy - I have a good 80 feet of fence covered with them, I'm doing the same, growing them to sell to crafters and for my own crafts - also I am not the greatest painter but you can see the ones I've painted on this page if your interested. http://natureinspiredhandcrafts.com/Birdhouses.html
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
26 Aug 08
Oh dear I would love and greatly appreciate the link - I didn't know you had a web site, I'll have to check it out, is it on your profile here? I have been working on getting the site going but it's been slow getting links, it's listed on search engines but not pulling high, I'm afraid I've found not a lot of interest in crafts but am hoping to branch out more into the 'natural craft supplies' in the future.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Aug 08
My site is at www.sweetdesigninc.com I am in the middle of some revisions and additions and such so it will be changing slowly (I am so bad at sitting down to work on it) over the next few weeks. Then it will be revised again the last week of september as I head into santa letter order time. I will be adding your link today.
@slickcut (8141)
• United States
25 Aug 08
I have never grown gourds but with your discussions ,you have gotten me very interested and this next year I am going to plant some...I have never heard of bushel gourds though.My step dad gave me a bird houes made from a gourd & it is as cute as can be,so i have had it for years ,he painted it and you are right it has really lasted & still it is very good..I do need to ask though where do you buy the seeds,at a farm store or any store that sales seeds.?..I would appreciate knowing where to get them..Then next year we can discuss our gourds...
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
25 Aug 08
Swan Neck Gourd - This is the only swan-neck I've gotten this year but am hoping to have more in my garden next year.
I remember you mentioning the birdhouse your step-dad gave you - I have 30-40 of them on the vine right now :) As for seeds, I got them from a seed company (Burpee)this year but will save my own for next year. When cold weather comes on I'll be bringing all the gourds in the basement to dry out so the seeds will be fine for next spring. Attached is another gourd you may be interested in Swan Neck Gourds - I only have one on the vine but this one is over a foot tall and I messed up, next year the Swan Necks won't go on the fence because my neck is too straight - on the ground the neck will actually curve to look just like a swan (body, neck, head).
1 person likes this
@slickcut (8141)
• United States
25 Aug 08
Thank you i will look up (burpee) on the net..i have heard of them before ..i might even have one of their magazines..
1 person likes this
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
25 Aug 08
LOL - I ment to add if you want to wait until next spring just give me a yell and I would be willing to share a few of mine as long as I have them :)
@mflower2053 (3227)
• United States
25 Aug 08
Thats awesome. Hopefully you will be able to sell some seeds on ebay that would be nice. You must have a pretty good size yard to grow all kind of things. I wish I had more room. I just cleaned out my garden pot yesterday and I want to go and get a pumpkin plant. Since I am so late I want one that has already started growing lol. Yep I cheat. I never could grow anything from just a seed. I don't have a green thumb at all. You have chickens also. That is awesome. My dad use to live on farm land with my grandparents and we would wake up to the rooster crowing and we would go pick fresh eggs. It was so nice to have that right there and to be able to experience it. I would love for my girls to be able to do that but he doesn't live there anymore. :"{ One day maybe I would have the land I have always dreamed of. Good luck on selling your gourds or making something with them and maybe selling that. It would make a nice thanksgiving centerpiece.
1 person likes this
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
25 Aug 08
Where I live now there is 9 acres so I have lots of space for gardening :) just a matter of how much work I can manage the strenth and time for. I have at least 27 pumpkins ready to go right now and still have some green :) The chickens are a new experience for me but my landlord/housemate bought 50 laying hens a month ago and I now have eggs coming out of my ears - am trying to sell those too but so far have given away far more than I've sold. My daughter and family live in a small apartment and she doesn't garden anyway but when the grandkids come to visit my 3 year old granddaughter has given herself the name 'Garden Girl' she helps grandma in the garden and even shelling peas and picking beans - I think it's a great experience for kids.
• United States
25 Aug 08
That is great that she gets to help you out in the garden and learn how to do things. I think they learn alot when they garden themselves and get to learn where does that pumpkin come from. Even though we have alittle garden my daughter gets to see and learn that some things grow on plants. She likes to go look at it and says it growing lol. She also likes to break off a leaf when people come and visit and gets them to smell the fresh herbs lol shes so funny. Shes learning though and not many kids get that kind of experience. I would love to have 9 acres to play with but I bet its alot of work.
1 person likes this
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
25 Aug 08
Last things first :) Yes our garden this year is a lot of work but although next year we plan to add more it will be easier because this space had never been worked since 40 years ago when it was a hay field - lots and lots of weeds :( I think it is very important for kids to learn about 'life' in the garden. My 5 year old grandson has put himself in charge of picking strawberries and he yells at his sister if she tries to pick them. He even corrected his mother one day when she started to pick one "Mom that ones not ready you have to wait til tomorrow". Both grandkids have been involved in the garden since day one this year (3 & 5 and have done more work than their parents). Picking up rocks, raking, planting seeds, weeding, watering, and havesting. I just show them what needs to be done then go about my work, if they want to help they do and if not that's fine but most times they just want to be right there with me.
@terri0824 (4991)
• United States
26 Aug 08
How neat to have found your bushel gourds! I have heard of gourds but not that size of them. When growing up we grew gourds on a few occassions. They were the size that people use to make bird houses and such from them. I remember one year my mom made different things with them. But hadn't given them much thought about them until I read this. Have a great day!
1 person likes this
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
27 Aug 08
I have tons of the birdhouse gourds - I painted a few that were laying around the house but I'm growing them this year to sell to crafters. All together I have 5 different kinds of gourds but the others were all on the fence so it was easy to see them - the bushel gourds have obviously been growing underneith the pumpkin leaves which are dieing off.
@squaretile (3833)
• Singapore
26 Aug 08
wow I have never heard of bushel gourds. thanks for informing me about this! sounds like a huge pumpkin but more hardy? I think pumpkins don't last that long even after they are dried. Best if you could post a picture of these bushel gourds. Any idea what crafts you are going to make with them? I am familiar with bitter gourds. these are edible vegetables that have a very rough exterior light green skin. they are bitter to the taste but the bitterness can be removed from rubbing the top after it is sliced off. a tad hard to explain, but this vegetable is often used in chinese cooking - the gourd is sliced into fine strips.
1 person likes this
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
26 Aug 08
I had never heard of the bushel gourds until this past winter I was looking through a seed catiloge and found them. Now I'm hooked and can't wait till next spring when I can plant more. These grow just like pumpkins except they are or at least the 4 I have now, perfectly round. You are right the pumpkins are soft skinned where these gourds and several others are hard shelled and last for years once their dried - which it takes sometimes as much as a year for that to happen.