All of us at Sturbridge Yankee Workshop, are pleased to share with you, our customers, a little bit more information about our magnificent gourd products. Located on a farm at the base of Blue Mountain in Pennsylvania is a small company called Meadowbrooke Gourds. Inspired after a trip to the New England Farm Markets, Benjamin Bear, now owner, began his journey by simply shelling out a random gourd. After removing the seeds and seeing the potential of a crop that didn’t rot out like the majority of other crops on the farm and actually only gained a harder shell, Ben knew he had something special. In 1994, Meadowbrooke Gourds was born and the rest as they say, is history.
Much of what this fun loving and hard working company of about 20 or so employees does, is developed through personal inspiration and a friendly work environment. A perfect example of what can be done with the various shapes of the gourds, is shown here in our Black Cat Gourd Lantern. Yes that’s right, these hard shell gourds can be hollowed out and made into a unique lighting source! Gourds can only be grown when there is no threat of frost, and in Pennsylvania that typically runs late spring through early fall. The gourds hopefully will develop a nice hard shell before the cold comes and the gourd plant dies. Not to worry though, it’s ok when your making gourds, this is when the drying out process begins. As you might assume, smaller ones dry faster than larger ones; significantly losing weight and should weigh only ounces. Next, the nice people at Meadowbrooke Gourds clean out the insides of the gourds so its ready to begin crafting. The gourds are smoothed and shaped into the desired form and are then ready for their artistic touches of carving and painting.
Some gourds have a fully carved out front, like our Pumpkin Gourd Candy Dish that can be used for a lovely candy or nut serving dish. And some are more detailed and can be used as a night light, like our Edgar, Pumpkin Gourd Lantern. Whichever your style, at Sturbridge we carry a variety of gourds that will work for the harvest and Halloween season. Our gourds also make a wonderful and distinctive gift.
The craftsmanship and humble story of Meadowbrooke Gourds is one that we are extremely proud of at Sturbridge Yankee Workshop. Your guests this year will love this one pictured above: our Ghost Gourd Candy Dish!