The Gourds at Wishetwurra Farm, September 2014

Each gardening year, Wishetwurra Farm allows itself at least one experimental or useless attempt, usually a new crop or a new variety of something we’ve never tried before. Last year we grew artichokes, and actually harvested three teensy ones. Despite heavy mulch, last winter was too much for them. Considering the work involved and the space occupied, those little ‘chokes had a market value of about a hundred dollars. Apiece. As the cliché says, “Chalk one up for experience…”

This year’s experiment was to plant two hills of gourds on the East fence. We’d gotten a package of mixed gourds from Fedco, and then, in a moment of indiscipline, squandered eighty-seven cents on another packet of mixed gourds, whose package picture showed different gourds than what was advertised for packet number one. Mixed “Crown of Thorns” was the prospect.

Six or seven seeds from each packet went into large pots. After kicking the seedlings around the greenhouse for weeks, we finally stuck them in next to the fence to let them grow or not. They poked along through the summer, and then about six weeks ago, started growing with astonishing vigor. The plants have grown nine feet high and take up thirty or more linear feet of fence space.

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Great galloping gourds. Also in the photo: the brown area is a soilbuilding project: 8-12″ of aged horse poo, freshly seeded with buckwheat and oats. The green in the right foreground is a patch of winter storage carrots.

Fruit is setting.

Fruit?

Weird looking fruit…

Let us present to you a rogue’s gallery of 2014 Wishetwurra Farm gourdage.

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There might be some patty pan squash genes in this one.

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Modest colors, interesting shape. Reminiscent of others we have grown in the past.

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This one gets praise for its exuberant horns.

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Some are bright yellow, and necked.

Some of the yellows have patterns.

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This one thought about having a green tip, but abandoned the thought.

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Wings, a neck, patterns in a monochromatic theme. These wings are a frequent characteristic of this year’s gourds.

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Multiple colors, multiple wings. And warts!

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Here is the champion, so far, in the crookneck-monochromatic-warty-winged division.

They’re so ugly that a friend has begged to be given some of the “crop”.

We must be doing something right.

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4 responses to “The Gourds at Wishetwurra Farm, September 2014

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