Gourds & Gourd Art
Gourds are tropical or subtropical plants in the Cucurbitaceae and Laginaria plant family, they are related to Cucumbers and Pumpkins. They are vining plants that love heat!
Gourds are believed to be one of the first domesticated plants. Genetic testing suggests their origin is Asia, however some evidence suggests they originated in Africa. They have been in use in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas for thousands of years, in one archeological site the Bottle Gourd was found and dated to 13,000 years ago.
The uses for Gourds range from food, to sponges, musical instruments, storage containers and bird houses. The Native Americans used the bottle gourd to entice purple martins to nest for pest control in agriculture. The Luffa Sponge has been used for thousands of years for cleaning and bathing. The various shapes and sizes of gourds made them perfect as the bodies for different instruments such as drums, rattles, and stringed instruments. They had practical uses such as food storage, containers for transporting water and art.
Today you are most likely to recognize gourds as Halloween decorations, this is not by accident, it is true that the odd shapes, and the fact that harvest time is late fall make them practical fall decorations, however throughout history, gourds have held a place in spiritual / religious ceremonies. Used for holding magic potions, imaging gods or spirits, representing the earth, fertility, blessings, good future, health, and luck in various cultures.
Also, today Gourds are more recognized for being the medium for art work. The various sizes and shapes, ease of working with them, durability and the history behind them, make gourds an excellent conversational piece.
Gourds at KMB Farms
We grow many different types of gourds at KMB Farms. We have acquired the seeds from many sources, purchasing them from various seed companies, gifts from friends, saved seed from gourds we have purchased or been given and saved seed from our farm. The gourds will willingly cross pollinate, providing interesting traits in the crops from our saved seeds. I always look forward to seeing what nature has decided I should grow.
Personally I use the bowls we make to store garlic bulbs on the counter, the fact that they breath, (allow air flow) makes them perfect for storing certain crops. I have used them as planters for house plants, bird houses and even store misc. screws and bolts in the work shop in them.
We partner with local artists to offer a variety of designs and inspiration. We grow and clean the gourds, do some finishing art work ourselves and provide the gourds to the artists to come up with beautiful pieces to offer you. As with all our crops we grow them using natural methods, no artificial fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides or insecticides are used. Each piece you see on the website is a one of a kind piece of artwork, no two gourds are the same, so the artists are working with a unique piece every time. When you purchase gourd art from KMB Farms you are getting a unique piece of history, touched by modern creativity.
We also offer cleaned ready to work with gourds. When you purchase these, you will be able to make your own unique piece of artwork, or functional bowls, storage vessels, bird houses etc. Use the artwork created by our friends as inspiration, research your local history and let the past influence your inspiration. You can use our gourds to make your own master piece knowing that the gourds are sourced from a farm that respects nature, and the history of this extraordinary plant.