Beautiful and useful, gourds are becoming more and more popular. They are traditionally grown by African tribeswomen for food and to fashion into craft items. Gourds are certainly receiving more attention, especially in the arts and crafts.
Rural communities prepare the young green gourds and leaves as a delicacy. Oil is commonly extracted from the seeds and used for cooking and the seeds are also roasted and eaten as a healthy snack. Mature gourds are harvested and stored for 6 months before being turned into an assortment of bowls, cups, scoops, utensils, birdhouses, and bird feeders.
Gourds are very easy to grow but do require a longer growing season (150 days). They are best grown and trained up a trellis to ensure unblemished fruit.