What Is A Gourd Patch?

A Gourd Patch is a small local group of gourd enthusiasts within a Gourd Society.   They set their own set of guidelines and activities, both social and educational. They are valuable contributors to their Gourd Society’s mission which is gourd education and outreach.

Why Join A Gourd Patch?

A statewide Gourd Society includes a large territory which makes it difficult to communicate and get acquainted and share ideas.  A local Gourd Patch has the advantage of getting together more often and getting to know and learn from each other.  Friendships are made as they work as a team to support the chapter goals of promoting gourd education to the public.

How To Start A Gourd Patch

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    Commit – And Then Make It Happen

    Select a regular periodic meeting place that is convenient to YOU because YOUR presence and dedication are gong to be the key until the new patch is more established and can stand on its own.  Try to be consistent with your  time and place so members can better plan ahead.   Free meeting places are typically available at libraries, bookstores, craft stores, etc.

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    Recruit Members

    Tell your family and friends what you are doing and invite them to join you. Make up flyers and put an announcement in you community newspaper. Your first meeting could be just a social and planning get together with a display of gourd art and information.

    Take an inventory of participants skills and take turns teaching or doing demos. Make up a schedule of who will teach and what the project will be and any cost for supplies. (or what supplies they should bring)  it is better to start out with beginner level for all with options for the more advanced.  Send out a reminder email a week before with details.

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    Some helpful suggestions:  use name tags and a sign in sheet with person’s name and contact information.  This will be used to remind people about a week before the next meeting and what they need to bring or what the fee will be for the project.  We try and keep it low and for supplies only.  You may want people to being their own gourd and supplies.

    Arrange to gave gourds at each meeting.  This makes getting a gourd or two very convenient and encourages more creative ideas as they see more gourd shapes.

    A display of gourd tools is something of interest to include at meetings.

    Have a brag table where people can share what they have done.

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    Meeting Projects

    Painting skills, wood burning, carving, Gourd necklaces, centerpiece planter, animals using Quik wood, garden frog, snowman, design with egg shells, alcohol ink demo, various rim for bowls and making characters combining two or more gourds.

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    Outreach Projects

    Get a booth at an Art Festival and do demos, display Gourd art at your library, teach a children’s class at school, scouts or library, teach class at senior center, talk to garden clubs, participate in the state fair demos.

    Keep it fun and flexible and try and involve everyone in some way. The goal is to learn from each other.

    Gourd Patches have a wonderful opportunity to plan activities together and gather ideas for future projects while making lasting friendships.