Mongrel Gourds

Last year we came into possession of a gourd.

The gourd sat around the house all winter, slowly changing colors, getting harder of shell and lighter of weight.

Spring came, and with spring came a question.

What to do with the darn gourd?

We don’t usually grow gourds, you can’t eat them.

They’re interesting to look at though.

In a moment of destructive whimsy, we broke the gourd open, and found a few score seeds.

“Just for grins”, as an old midwestern (Ohio) friend might have said, to see if they were viable, we planted a half dozen little pots with the seeds. Some of them were. In June, we planted a couple of them at the edge of the corn patch, where they were soon shaded over by the maize, and we soon forgot about them.

But after the corn was ready, and the corn harvested and the plants removed, a couple of the vines were still there, struggling along. As soon as they got light, they grew. And grew and grew and grew. They spread from top to bottom of a twenty-five foot stretch of nine-foot high fence. Late in the season, fruits began to appear.

We had visitors at Wishetwurra Farm recently.

We gathered a handful of the gourds, and admired them.


The gourds were worth looking at.

Worthy of admiration, even.


Mongrels all. If you have ever looked at the gourds section of a seed catalog, you will have gotten glimpses of the mix in this handsful of gourds. “Crown of Thorns” is where those perimeter “horns” come from. The green circle under the thumb is a classic gourd color pattern. None of the gourds have the same number of horns.
But: all the hands holding the gourds have the same number of fingers.

Up close, the gourds have nice colors.


And shapes.


And markings.


Maybe one of these gourds will have viable seeds.

And maybe we’ll grow some again next year.

“Just for pretty”.


One response to “Mongrel Gourds

  1. Pingback: Vegetable portraits at Wishetwurra Farm | thetompostpile·

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