Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Need an ego boost?

Grow a gourd! Wow! This thing is growing like crazy!
I was browsing through a seed catalog the other day and came across birdhouse gourds and the description said to allow for a 20 foot spread! Oops!
I planted these on a whim...I was feeling daring and experimental. I was taking the garden far too seriously during planning and planting and thought this would be a good way for me to ease up a bit and have some fun.
Well, it's fun alright! It's HUGE. And it's taking over a bit. But I'm OK with it since it's not planted next to anything edible. There was one little pole bean plant that made it through the earwig invasion...and I still see glimpses of it now and then...but for the most part, it's buried under the gourd. Every day I go out to the garden and the gourd has grown. It's got more flowers and more and more baby gourds. TONS of baby gourds, actually. But I'm noticing that not all of the babies grow to maturity...like this one.
So far it's the only one that's made it this far. Isn't it funny looking? I love it. Chris said we should turn it into a birdhouse for our yard. I think so, too. They have to dry for a long time...I want to say almost a whole year. Then you drill a hole and hollow it out and voila, birdhouse!
I have to admit, had I read the label before planting this I probably would not have planted it. I just wouldn't have thought that we had enough room for a 20 foot spread. And really, we don't. But I'm so glad that I'm not one to read directions. (No, this doesn't always serve me well...but this time, I got lucky!) And I figure if it's tough enough to make it through all of the garden drama then it deserves it's place there.
This is kind of a random story, but the gourds remind me of this...
Years ago, when I was maybe 8 or 9, much of my extended family went to Hawaii. While they were there my cousins sent me a coconut in the mail. One day I received a coconut, in the shell, all by itself, with my name and address written right on the shell. They put stamps right on it and sent it to me just like that. I thought it was the coolest thing! I kept that coconut for years.
I got a lot accomplished yesterday and it felt really good. I tore my room apart and organized and cleaned and tidied and it feels so much better in here. There's more to be done, but it was a good start. I did lots of laundry and got it folded and got it put in drawers or hung up. I don't mind doing laundry but man do I have a problem getting it out of the laundry basket and put away. Yesterday I determined in my mind to get stuff done. And I did. And it felt good.
I spent quite a bit of time in the kitchen, too...cooking, cleaning, freezing. That felt good, too...it was an accomplishment that will serve us later in the year. And it was an accomplishment that prevented waste. I'm always amazed at how much food I have wasted over the years. Just let it go bad and then tossed it. Without a second thought. But not anymore. If I can't use it now I figure out a way to preserve it for later. Some things slip past me...like halves of cucumbers or onions. Or yogurts go past their due date. (The Girls LOVE yogurt though...so I don't feel so bad about this one.) And some of the leftovers still get forgotten. But not very often. More often than not I have a plan for those leftovers before they're even leftovers!
It feels good. All of it...growing, using, reusing, recycling, preserving. It feels like I'm doing my part...for my family, for the environment, for God. This is my definition of accomplishment.


Nancy said...

Love that gourd. How fitting to make a birdhouse out of it for your yard!

Anonymous said...

I have been wondering what a birdhouse gourd was - Now I know - thank you!!

It is too hot here to be trying to do too much!!

Farmgirl Susan said...

What great gourds! I tried for years to get some to grow all along my garden fence and finally gave up - only to find the beautiful greenery I'd so desired (as well as several gourds) climbing out of my compost bin and all over the adjacent fence one year. It was a wonderful, if slightly mislocated, gift. : )

I'm the same way about getting the clean laundry actually put away (I won't even admit how many laundry baskets I own) - but it sure feels good when you actually do.

Kelly said...

Lol, you and I share the same laundry problem...and here I thought I was the only one! Love the coconut story. My friend and I used to have fun seeing what we could send via the US Postal Service, turned out if you could stick a stamp on it, you could mail it. The rules have probably changed since then but oddities in the mail sure do leave a lasting impression.

Anonymous said...

i love that coconut story! i would never have imagined.

we HAVE these birdhouse gourds! My grandfather dried them and drilled the holes and they are hanging up all over his property and mine.

we did actually have a bird nesting in one of them but it was far off and i never got a good look at it.

he did say they take an awfully long time to dry, i'll try to remember to ask him tomorrow!