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The Gourd Report
Vol 1. - Drying Gourds

I prefer at least two hours, and make sure the gourd is totally submerged to help reduce the risk of leaving a water line. Once it is fully water logged, the gourd will actually sink in the water. After boiling thoroughly, the white pulp on the inside will actually turn clear, or gelatin in appearance, and will scoop right off the inside with a normal teaspoon, and the greatest blessing in using this procedure is it is absolutely dust free. To prevent burns, you can run this gourd under cold water to cool it down, the insides will still scoop right out.

If you use this method for cleaning the inside of a gourd, you can place the gourd in the oven at a warm 175 degrees to dry it out faster, place the gourd upside down, (or the cut side down) to insure no puddling occurs in the bottom of the gourd.

Boiling gourds

Fig 3 - This image shows the boiling process. The whites pulp of the inside is turning to a gelatin type substance which will scoop out easily with a spoon.


The Gourd Report
Vol 1. - Drying Gourds


There is a serious advantage to green cleaning a gourd, it will leave a light colored shell, that is even in color all the way around. This is really an advantage to those who like Pyrography or colored pencils, and the gourds look absolutely beautiful.

Before picking a green gourd to clean, make sure the vine has died off, and the stem to the gourd is fully dry, or you may risk loosing the gourd. Also, gourds that are not fully mature, and are not rock hard, will shrivel, but they will likely shrivel regardless which method you try.

This is a process we have used for over 10 years on smaller gourds, really large gourds have a tendency to shrivel, pucker, or crack, so we do not recommend this method on large gourds. Our primary use for this process is bottle gourds or round gourds up to 3 pounds in weight. We have tried some gourds like dipper type gourds, or gourds with long thin handles, and the handles have caved in and cracked, so we suggest you experiment with one gourd at a time, until you know what works for you, and what doesn’t..

GREEN CLEANING a green gourd is not hard, but somewhat tedious. You can use the back side of a table knife, or if you are careful, I like using my sharp pocket knife, and actually shave the skin off the gourd by holding the blade a little less than 45 degree’s. You simply shave or scrape the skin off the gourd, if you are using the table knife, you don’t have to worry much about damaging the shell, if the gourd is mature, you really can’t hurt it. You do have to be careful though, and be sure to remove as much of the skin as possible, having a flat blade on a curved surface will likely leave lines of very thin layers of skin.


The Gourd Report
Vol 1. - Drying Gourds

On smaller gourds this is not as critical, but on larger gourds that take longer to dry, this will leave scrape lines which you will not be able to remove once the gourd is dry. However, to be on the safe side, after scraping the skin off my gourds, I then take them to the sink with running water, and use the copper Chore Boy, and lightly scrub off any remaining skin, until the surface is smooth and evenly colored.

Now that you have the skin removed, the gourd will dry much faster, however, once again with the larger gourds, they can still remain damp long enough to culture Mold, which will leave discoloration spots on the gourds. Simply wipe the gourd every couple days with a damp rag of bleach solution to prevent the growth of Mold, OR, our method of drying the gourd is in the oven!!! That’s right, turn your oven on warm, (around 175 degree’s F), and place your gourd inside on the rack, (now you have a good reason to clean your oven racks.)

Scraping a green gourd
Fig 4 - Scraping with knife the backside of a knife

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