Monday, November 2, 2009

The Gourds are upon us

The Gourds are upon us !

Well if you have been to the grocery store or an open air market lately, you have probably noticed that fall and the holidays are just about upon us. Why you might ask? That's easy, gourds are every where in all those cool shapes, colors and sizes. So why do you suppose we only see them around the holiday season? It could be because they are a fall harvested type crop. Coupled with their autumn type colors they are a perfect way to bring a touch of nature into our homes. We have latched on to them in a big way and that's a nice tradition to have.

There are two different groups of the gourd family. The curcurbita a day blooming plant which produces a yellow flower and the lagenaria a night blooming plant with a white blossom. Together they make up hundreds of different species of some of the coolest looking fruits found around the world. Gourds are not at all on the edible side of life as we know, so don't try eating your holiday decorations, not such a good idea.
Of coarse here's a little factoid
Did you know that pumpkins, squash, cucumbers, cantaloupe, watermelon and honey dew melons are derived from the gourd family.
If you think about it you can see the resemblance.

So what do we do with gourds? It takes about 140 days from planting till harvest. That's a lot of vested time for something we can't eat. Well the truth is there are many different uses found around the world. From painted art objects, musical instuments to utensils such as bowls, cups, pitchers or ladles. Here in the good old USA we use them more for bird house, crafted art work and of coarse holiday decor.
The truth is that gourds have been around for a long time and there is a lot of history with gourds and mans utilization of them. It's still nice to see that with all of our modern inventions and technology gourds still have a place in our world.

So the next time your visiting friends or family over this holiday season, you might just see some interesting gourds being displayed on the kitchen counter or table top. They really do bring a sense of change and holiday spirit into the home.

If you've never tried them at your home well it really is a nice inexpensive way to decorate for the fall season, Halloween and Thanksgiving. Just check them out at your local grocery or farmers market. It can really be a fun adventure for the kids too.
Just a little non- food for thought.

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