Friday, June 14, 2013

First Gourd of 2013

I drove down to the Mark Twain (arid farm) land to water the plants and had a pleasant discovery. The first baby gourd has set! Wow, I hadn't expected it already, but I'll sure take it.  :)

This gourd is only a few days old, not even a week. So it will get a whole lot bigger. When it reaches its full size I'll take another photo so that you can compare them.

This gourd is a local variety that we call Ka'u Big Butt. Its shape and size makes for very nice bowls.

As you can see in the photo, the ground here is very rocky. There is some soil between the rocks, but on first impression you'd think, "Rocks, nothing but rocks." So it comes as a surprise to some people that things can actually be grown here. Gourds is one of those crops.

This particular gourd will become a practice or training gourd, I suspect. Because I did not discover it soon enough, it has some scarring on one side due to the wind rubbing it against the rocks. But even training gourds have their worth.

In addition, this gourd is valuable for its seed. The plant was the most vigorous and the earliest to set fruit. As long as it proves to be disease resistant, I will be keeping the seed for future planting. Since the only other gourds around are also Ka'u Big Butts, the seed should be true to form.


  1. Your gourd looks healthy - if it gets regular water, not a lot, just frequent sips, that will be huge. I found ways to grow squash and tomatoes in the middle of the Mojave, and when I left after two years, the neighbors were still getting various flowers and veggies. They scoffed at the compost and hand-watering, until they saw the results. You already know that, so I suspect the Twain Acres will be greener than the surrounding a`a in short order.

  2. Thanks Barry. I visit the property once a week, sometimes twice. But I only water once a week. That seems to be making the plants happy. Yesterday I found a volunteer tomato plant growing in a sweet potato box. I have no idea what kind of tomato it will turn out to be, but I left it growing there. It will be a nice experiment.

    Want to hear something amazing? ........ When I built one of the pallet grow boxes, I dumped chunks of a cut up banana tree into the bottom before I started layering weeds, compost, chicken litter, etc. That tree is 3 feet down inside the box. Well, after six weeks three banana trees started poking their heads up out of the surface! Wow. I wouldn't have thought that would happen!

  3. Hi, again.

    Can you use the gourds in place of terracotta for plant potting and plant irrigation? The gourds I've used when learning hula were mostly dance/musical instruments so I'm not sure if this even makes sense to you. But it's bowl shaped and it makes me think of planting pots and terracotta used for irrigation pots.

    Just a passing thought.

    1. I haven't tried that yet, but they are great suggestions! Yes, some of the gourds are used to make ipu heki. The size and shape is good for bowls. In fact, I have a number of gourd bowls that I use in the house. But I've never tried using them as plant pots.

      Your idea of using them for plant irrigation is intriguing. Definitely something worth exploring. Thanks!