The community garden volunteers are a talented lot. Many recently took gourds and crafted them into absolutely beautiful and interesting items. Everything was done by hand and used a special internal dying technique.
Gourd craft could be a valuable skill for a self reliant homestead. What farm wife couldn't use a nice bowl or container. Gourds also can be used for drums, lamp shades, utility items, and for decoration. Historically they have been used for food and water storage. Wow, grow-your-own, how appropriate.
Gourd craft could be used as a supplement to farm income. Targeting the right markets, there is a demand for certain types of gourd-craft. I just wouldn't expect to be able to support my farm on just gourds. Diversify, diversify, diversify.
Have I tried carving a gourd yet? No. I do plan to eventually. But I've been watching these artists turning their green "pumpkins" into art pieces and it interests me. So some day....
I give these people a lot of credit. They all have good ideas. I fear that I might be awefully utilitarian by contrast.
Growing gourds here is not simple. By "here", I mean on my farm. I battle mildew, squash borer, pickleworm moth. Sometimes it's too wet for good gourds. Other times the wind damages the surface of the gourds. But when luck goes my way, the farm indeed can produce nice gourds. Aaahh, just one more crop that a homestead farm can produce. They all don't have to be food items (although some gourd types are indeed edible).