Sunday, February 23, 2014

Mold Is Not All Bad

Spring is coming and I have big plans for the garden this year.  Though I had intended to let my gourds from last year's crop dry in the open air on the vine, I needed to reclaim the space for some goodies I wanted to plant in my first spring/summer garden, so I cut all the gourds and brought them into the garage to dry.

I lined them up on a ladder that is hanging on the wall.  They are out of the way and off the ground there with plenty of air circulation.

As they dry, their color changes and mold patterns develop.  This is not a bad thing and helps to create interesting patterns on the skins.

Strange that so many picked from the same plant can be so different.  The two below are on opposite ends of the spectrum of dehydration.

This one has begun to dry, but still has its bright orange color and weighs in at 5.7 ounces.

The other of similar size is almost completely dry, void of its orange color, and ready to clean.  Having lost most of its moisture it weighs in at only .7 ounces.

When they are all dry, I will scrub them in a soapy, bleach and water solution and they will be ready to use as decorations next fall in a wreath or in large bowls.  Next time I may plant some larger varieties to make into bowls or birdhouses.

As for my garden?  I need to get you an update in the coming days . . .