Greenscraping Gourds

| 10/27/2017 2:26:00 PM

Gourds green and greenscraped

My last blog article covered how to clean a previous year’s gourds. The method described in that post is great for gourds of all sizes, from tiny to huge. However, letting nature take her course with mold growing over the entire surface can leave areas of discoloration that may interfere with artistic preferences.

In this article, I describe (and show via video) a nifty process that not only gives you a more uniform surface but also speeds up the drying process. While the old, moldy way is an over-wintering process, the greenscraping method yields ready-to-art gourds in just a month or two.

In the above photo, you can see my freshly picked banana and cannonball gourds in the bowl and those same gourds completely greenscraped and drying on the racks. Also pictured are three completed gournaments from past seasons. Though I may lose some of the freshly greenscraped gourds due to their immaturity at season’s end, I love the nearly perfect surface created with this method so much that I find it’s worth it to lose a couple in the process.

Gourds larger than you can hold easily in one hand should be left to cure naturally (as described in my previous article). The imbalance of moisture content between the very wet insides and the drying, scraped outside of a larger, thicker-walled gourd will cause it to explode from the pressure differences. Thick walls are definitely preferred for strength (such as needed for containers) but they do not lend themselves to speedier drying processes. That preferred thickness becomes a barrier to successful greenscraping by keeping water in too thoroughly while the outside environment is evaporating as quickly as possible.

I have created a video of the greenscraping process if you want to see this method in action. Here’s my outline for greenscraping gourds.

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