Our first garden here at our hobby farm was last year. 2012 produced wonderful vegetables, melons, ... And gourds. I always wanted to grow birdhouse gourds... To make ,well yes, birdhouses. So,one plant grew,and grew ans grew as it climbled and produced a bounty of gourds. I thought maybe I would get 3 or 4 gourds. My beautiful gourd vine gave me well over 20 . They stayed on the vine curing well into winter, through the frost, snow, frozen fog. Yesterday I decided that they just had to be ready. I harvested them,and began the process of cleaning them. The gourds all had a nice shape... But were quite ugly, with mildew, spots and ugly skin. I scrubbed, scraped soaked in bleach water and prayed that all this hard work would pay off. It did!. Once the gourds imperfections were removed I held beautiful pieces of nature. Next I need to decide on designs, cut,clean and paint.. I'm feeling like I have found yet another hobby. Thus is going to be fun!