My neighbor, Carl Tumblin had a field
across from our house that hadn't been worked in several years. I wanted to
plant a small patch of something so I decided to search about pumpkins. I talked
to several local growers but decided not to pursue pumpkins because of the
disease and insect problems associated with them. My wife would probably leave
me very quickly too!! I then thought about cantaloupes
and did an internet search on them. I read about how you pick them at 1/4 slip or
1/2 slip or full slip. This had to do with how ripe they are. I got to thinking,
how in the world am I going to harvest an acre or two and find a place to market
them. I don't really know how I got on to gourds. I read that some people think
that they are rotten and throw them away when they start curing out. The article
said that you can leave them in the field until they dry which can take a couple
of months. I thought, hmm, this is just up my alley. Sometimes I don't get in a
hurry making decisions. I got on to a Gourd Education Day in Savannah, Georgia.
I talk with David Wuttke who was teaching a chip carving class. The last thing
David said was to bring plenty of Band-Aids with me. I asked why and he told me
to they were to stop all the cuts from chip carving. I really didn't know what
to expect from the week end trip. .
I had talked with Mrs. Lena Braswell and decided to stop by her farm on the way to Savannah. We had a good chat and I really liked Mrs. Lena. She was very frank during our conversation. I also developed a true respect for gourd growers. It was more than just throwing out a hand full of seed and waiting for the gourds to grow.
Back to the Gourd Education Classes, I think that I was the only male in a gourd painting class. I still remember one lady taking the gourd out of my hands and finishing what I was struggling to do. I felt like a fish out of water. I was in Ronna's wood burning class and she really loved showing us newbys how to do it. Charlotte Durrence invited me over to her house for a supper get together after the classes. Well I was a little uneasy about going. This was a crazy friendly group of people there. Charlotte and Darrell and the group really made me feel at home. I really enjoyed the week end.
Linda and I started growing gourds in 2002. We live on Ghost Creek Road so we took the name Ghost Creek Gourds and it has become a family operation. We have really enjoyed meeting many people as well as other gourd growers from across the country. It's also breath taking to see what artist and crafters can do with a gourd after it's dried and cleaned. We've come to realize the gourd is just another canvas to work on.