Now You Know

Giving Thanks for Gourds

Fall’sA otherA fruit has decorated Thanksgiving table tops and mantles for decades, but why?

Now You Know

What is a Gourd?

  • One of fall’s most popular crops.
  • Considered the runts of their family of fruits, which also includes pumpkins, squash, & cucumbers (yup, they’re all fruits.)
  • Come in all shapes & sizes, can be knotty, mutatedA (decorative, tiny pumpkins are gourds too!)
  • Typically describes inedible varieties – tough & bitter.
Now You Know

“That’s the goal: to get something stranger and stranger, because that’s what people want. If they see something they’ve never seen before, they’re more likely to buy it.”

Bill Holdsworth, a breeder for leading seed company Rupp Seeds, on the best-selling types of gourds.
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Ga Ga for Gourds

  • Between 1993 and 2007, prices of decorative gourds doubled.
  • In 2016, the world grew more pumpkins, squash and gourds than corn or green beans.
  • Decorative potential comes from the diverse looks – something rarely seen in fruits and vegetables.

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How’d They Catch On?

  • Gourds have been manipulated for various needs for about 8,000 years.
  • Historically held great importance for carrying & transporting, or for use as a bowl, clothing, wheels & even musical instruments.
  • In 1937, the American Gourd Society was created, with chapters now in half of U.S. states.
Now You Know

If you really want to eat one, experts say to eat them before they are fully ripe. Younger gourds will be softer whereas older gourds will be more tough & bitter. Get rid of the skin & boil for 20 mins. Or, if you ask us, maybe just admire them while you eat your turkey!

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