Preparing our gourds for drying!!

A few months ago I came across gourd seeds on eBay and decided that we needed to grow them!

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The kids and I looked up some crafty things that we could use them for and thought that bird houses would be fun and cute!

So when the seeds arrived we found a great spot, planted them, watered them and waited —  now they are ready to collect and dry! 

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After a little research we found the best way prepare them for drying.

How to dry gourds

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1. Rinse and disinfect the skin. Drying them so they don’t rot means you need to reduce the exposure to bacteria and fungus.

Disinfect with bleach solution or full-strength vinegar. We chose vinegar because bleach is not very kid friendly! I only had brown vinegar so I am hoping it does the job!

_MG_5508-Edit _MG_5519 Rinse with clean water

_MG_5517  Dry with a clean cloth

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2. Choose an area for Drying. The environment is crucial so that gourds don’t rot. The area must be:

Dark

Cool

Dry

Ventilated

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The kids and I decided to put them under our house on an old bookcase, it is covered in dust and cobwebs but is seems to cover our list! I hope they get enough air circulation in the bookcase but if it looks like they aren’t I will rig up some sort of open shelf thing.

 3. Positioning in drying area. Do not allow them to touch each other to ensure adequate circulation.

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Now we just need to have a look at them every week and make sure to scrape any mould off (if they get mould we also need to re-disinfect). If there is a soft spot (rotting) we remove that gourd from the area. And wait until they are all completely dry and rattle when shaken (which can take a few weeks up to months).

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Then we create cute little bird houses! When I decided to buy the seeds I had no idea how much dedication we would need to get them from seed to craft but it has been fun finding out!

 

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