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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

HUGE KENTUCKY KETTLE GOURD

HARD SHELL KETTLE GOURD



When my daughter was visiting this summer she got carried away at a festival that we attended. She spied this huge kettle gourd and just had to have it. The gourd's non-existent waist measured approximately five feet around! When it came time to leave (on the plane) she realized that it was so large that she would have to have a monstrous size box to ship it home. 


Well, it was left with me to figure it all out. Of course, I still have it. It's growing on me every day that I look at it. I think it has a nice home here. Probably, my daughter has forgotten all about it. Maybe she'll remember it on her next trip to Kentucky and we both can figure out how to ship it.


 Let me see.... I think I should give it a name ... Anu the Celtic goddess of fertility sounds pretty good. Really -- she does look rather pregnant. She really shouldn't be travelling right now. 

21 comments:

  1. LOL
    Lordy,how long do those gourds take to grow and was there any particular use for them?
    Apart from sitting around in the shade with a lace parasol, a mint julep and someone fanning the hot air away from its face?

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  2. Wow! That's a big momma of a gourd. My daughter buys things when she's in town that I end up babysitting. One of them is a huge 18" glass jar that I decided to keep flour in until she decides to collect it.

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  3. willow -- that 18" glass jar can be used for many things. Flour is one of the good uses. With this gourd, I guess I could use it as a centerpiece for the dinning table -- if I didn't plan on seating anyone -- no room left for dinnerware. It's beautiful so I just appreciate its naturalness and that is good enough for me -- while it sits on the floor under a table. -- barbara

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  4. Jayne -- In Kentucky there are folks that grow gourds of all types and sizes as gourd growing has a long history here. Many of the gourds are heirlooms. I would imagine that this gourd grew during one summer season -- the usual growing time for gourds of any size. -- barbara

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  5. This is beautiful and rather sculptural in its shape. I love growing gourds of all types. Such curious objects.

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  6. Farmchick -- thanks for the nice comments. How nice that you grow gourds. They certainly have a history and are beautiful. I don't like mine scrubbed but for utilitarian and art purposes, I know that they have to be cleaned. -- barbara

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  7. Didn't Native Americans use gourds for storing things? Must have cut a cap off the top before they got hard. And, you know, the Mexicans [originally the natives but now artisans], make gourds into very decorative objectives, and sometimes into bird houses. I have seen them in markets painted with bright folkloric designs -- none, I will add, anywhere near as big as yours. They are a native plant.

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  8. June -- found the following info online:
    Gourd History

    Native Americans and their use of gourds

    Contributed by Scott Nelson

    Here's an interesting list of what different Tribes
    used gourd for....
    Almost as simple as walking into the
    local drug/music/hardware store.

    Bottle Gourd;

    Cherokee Drug (Dermatological Aid)
    Poultice of soaked seeds used for boils.

    Indians of Louisiana
    Poultice of crushed leaves applied to the forehead for
    headaches.

    Seminole. (Analgesic)
    Seeds used for adult's sickness caused by adultery:
    headache, body pains and crossed fingers.
    (Psychological Aid)
    Seeds burned to smoke the body for insanity.

    Ojibwa Food (Vegetable)
    Gourds eaten young, before the rind had hardened.

    Acoma and Laguna Indians
    (Cooking Tools)
    Gourds made into dippers.
    (Toys & Games)
    Gourds made into rattles.

    Cherokee (Ceremonial Items)
    Fruit used to make ceremonial rattles.
    Cherokee Other (Cooking Tools)
    Fruit used to make dippers.

    Cocopa (Musical Instrument)
    Fruit made into a rattle and used to provide rhythm
    for singing and dancing.

    Havasupai (Ceremonial Items)
    Gourds made into rattles and used for ritualistic
    music.
    Other (Containers)
    Rinds made into containers used for carrying water on
    foot or on horseback trips away from home.

    Hopi
    Used as prayer sticks.
    Covered with a cord net to be used as water containers
    in ceremonies and buried with the dead.
    Used as containers for sacred honey, cups, seed
    bottles and medicine holders.
    (Cooking Tools)
    Used as dippers, canteens and spoons.

    Contributed by Scott Nelson

    I know that gourd birdhouses are made today but I did not know about the Mexican artisans and their birdhouse art. Thanks for the good comments -- barbara

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  9. Thanks a ton, Barbara, many new pieces of information -- haven't heard before that there was a medicine for adultery! Aren't gourds wonderful?

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  10. Yes I like the name you have given the gourd! Never have I heard of a "kettle gourd". Your gourd history is quite interesting. I haven't seen many gourds grown in this area; not even showing up at our Farmer's Market.
    On another note, I see where you visited "A Hazy Moon". Isn't Delwyn great!? I've been taking part in the project for a few months now although I am not nearly as creative as some of the participants. It is nevertheless wonderful fun! I got off a batch in the post just yesterday. Why don't you think about joining?

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  11. Love your photos of the old buildings and that gourd is amazing. I don't think I have ever seen one that large !

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  12. NCmountainwoman -- Thanks for stopping by. Yes, this is one of those prize winners. -- barbara

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  13. Nedine -- I measured this gourd's "waist" three times before I put the measurement on this post. I too could not believe that it was that big around. I guess one would say it is big and beautiful Thanks for the comment -- barbara

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  14. Lizzy Frizzfrock -- gourds intrigue me for their natural beauty and their history. I was- interested in the envelope project as I am a snail mailer. But I must admit I am not really an art project person. I admire the work of many that are. I'll check in with hazy moon ever so often to see what she is up to. I have driven through Texas many times -- it sure has some lovely wide open spaces.. Thanks for the comment -- barbara

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  15. I am slack-jawed at the size of that thing! Unbelievable!!! For anyone saving squash seeds, our experience has been that gourds win every time. With gourds in proximity to edible squashes, the seeds will result in "too chewy" squash! I think to get a gourd like this, I would willingly sacrifice seed for a year!

    Elora

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  16. Elora -- the man that grew this gourd had several that he was selling at the festival that we attended. He is a fanatic about growing large gourds and believe it or not had one larger than this one. I wish I had gotten his name as he told me he enters gourd competitions here in KY. -- barbara

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  17. I grew some of these some years ago -- such beauties! I planted them in an old compost heap and they loved it!

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  18. Vicki -- Perhaps you can someday tell us what you did with them -- they are so large. I find the variety of old type gourds fascinating.Thanks for the comment -- barbara

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  19. Wow, that's a keeper, alright! It really is reminiscent of a fertility goddess.

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  20. barefootheart -- I'll keep it if she decides to not ship it -- I think it is beautiful. And I agree it does resemble a fertility goddess -- Sorta like the Venus of Willendorf (body-wise).

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