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The gourds sometimes take a full year to dry.I find working with green gourds
is not practical at school. There are also precautions that need to be taken
when opening up dry gourds. I like to do that part with the kids at the high
school, for fear they will not do it properly and become ill at home trying it
on their own later.
I have used the linoleum cutters on them at home with some minor injuries to
my own fingers, but the biggest problem with that is the thickness of the
gourd. A thin gourd has a tragic ending. A thick gourd is a treasure. Thicker,
bigger gourds is the goal when growing them. I have been working on that for
six seasons. I still have a hard time getting more than fifty percent of the
gourds with a nice thick carving body.
Gourds are a great lesson since they have been used for just about everything
imaginable across cultures, dating back 11,000 years. The most popular choice
of gourd projects is the birdhouse in early spring. I have done this with just
about every age group.However, it is only practical if you can grow them