We now have Bobbie Lee as out Interim VP for the MGS. Thanks to Bobbie for stepping up to help us out until the next elections. Many of you have already known of Bobbie's enthusiasm for the gourd world and she has taught several techniques to both Jackson and Grand Gourd Patches and attends their meetings, driving from the snow country of Covert on Lake Michigan in some wild weather over the winter months! Bobbie helped out at Meijer Gardens last year by doing demos and talking to the visitors who came thru - her energy seems boundless and we look forward to all of you meeting up with her soon.
We are looking for places to have a gourding weekend. We need a place to stay, work on gourds and prepare our meals. If Anyone has any ideas please let Tammy or myself know.
Thanks, Sharon Berg
The President of Argentina presented the newly elected Pope Francis with a Yerba Mate Gourd and he is shown with her in the one photo - fancy one for sure. Then the next one I saw was when he was caught out and about at night in the streets with the homeless - his yerba mate gourd in hand! Apparently he sneaks out of the Vatican to hand out food to the homeless some nights just dressed as a regular priest - no fancy stuff, no big shot following along etc. This man of God is something else apparently - instead of having a fancy big party with the dignitaries and all the pomp he invited homeless people and their dog in to a party with just them and his staff! He was also photographed in both prisons for men and women. That he is quietly doing good things - and loves his gourds - makes him special in my book!
Cheers - Rita in Kalamazoo MI
April 3 to 5 Louisiana Gourd Show — New Iberia, LA louisianagourdsociety.org
April 12 Wisconsin Gourd Festival - Madison WI wisconsingourdsociety.org
April 25 to 27 California’s Baskets and Gourds, Containers of Our Culture, Visalia, CA californiagourdsociety.com/Calendar-Gourd-Events.html
April 26 Ghost Creek/South Carolina Gourd Fest -- Laurens SC scgourdsociety.com
April 26 to 27 Missouri’s Show Me Gourd Society’s Gourd Art Festival - Springfield, MO www.showmegourdsociety.com/festival
May 3 to 4 Indiana Gourd Society’s Annual Gourd Show , Boone Co. Fairgrounds– Lebanon, IN indianagourdsociety.org
May 16 to 18 Kentucky Gourd Show — Taylorsville, KY kygourdsociety.org
June 6-8 Washington State NW Gourd Art - Whidbey Island WA wagourdsociety.org
June 19-21 Pennsylvania Gourd Society’s Annual Gourd Fest – Lebanon Valley Expo Center & Fairgrounds www.pagourdsociety.org
June 28-29 San Diego County Gourd Artists - Gourdstock Gourd Festival & Southern California Gourd Society Competition - Bates Nut Farm, Valley Center CA sandiegocountygourdpatch.com, californiagourdsociety.com Y
July 25-27 Washington State NW Gourd Art - Ellensburg WA wagourdsociety.org August 15-17 Texas Gourd Show - New Braunsfel Civic/Convention Center texasgourdsociety.org
Sept 6 to 7 North Carolina’s Gourd Show – NC State Fairgrounds, Raleigh, NC www.ncgourdsociety.org
Sept 6th AGS Annual Membership Meeting at the North Carolina’s Gourd Show, Raleigh, NC -- Make Your Plans Now to Attend!
Sept 13-14 New York State Gourd Fest - Cutler Gardens @ Cornell Cooperative Extension, Binghanton NY americangourdsociety.org/NewYork
Sept 17-21 Florida Gourd Society Retreat - Paisley FL flgourdsoc.org
Sept 20-21 Illinois Gourd Show - Chicago Botanic Garden illinoisgourdsociety.org Sept 20-21 Michigan Gourd Society will be at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
Sept 20-21 Mississippi Gourd Show - Smith Co. Ag Complex, Raleigh MS mississippigourdsociety.org
Sept 27-29 Georgia Gourd Fest - Griffin GA georgiagourdsociety.com
Oct 3-5 Ohio Gourd Show - Delaware OH ohiogourdsociety.com
Oct 18-19 Alabama Gourd Show - Cullman Civic Center. Cullman AL alabamagoourdsociety.org
Nov 1-2 Idaho Gourd Festival - Boise ID idahogourdsociety.org
Nov 15-16 Washington State Juried Art Show - Country Village, Bothell WA wagourdsociety.org
NOTE: Check other chapter websites for informatioon that was not listed when this chart was posted..
Other Gourd-Related Events in 2014...
April 24 to 26 Maryland’s Gourd Day – Harford, MD www.gourdday.org
May 22-June 22 Southwest Gourd and Fine Art Show - Kerrville TX kacckerrville.com
May 30 to June 2 Cherokee Gourd Artists Gathering – Cherokee, NC www.gourdgathering.net...
March 19 th, 2014 - Grand Gourd Patch Meeting.
We are working on finishing the bird feeder project. Some had problems with the clay. We will talk about how to make it work. Four gals finished theirs and will bring them for ideas and help! Carol Jelens was to demo but hurt her shoulder and hand. This will be a workshop so bring you tools and gourds. ZENTANGLE ideas also. I have a few ideas for you.
Please let me know if you can make it.
616-884-5185. or 616-644-0056.
Looking forward to seeing all of you.
NOTE: please send in your dues they notified me some of you have not!
The Michigan Gourd Society patch of Jackson Michigan meet March 8th at the Canegie Branch Jackson District Library. The gourd technique was Leather Braided rim taught by Tammy Braunscheidel. Took a little time to get used to the pattern but looks really good on a gourd rim. The patch had 6 members in attendance. They were Tammy Braunsheidel of Ann Arbor, Carrie Cervantes of Dimondale, Jan Rogers of Williamston, Bobbie Lee Smith of Covert, Julie Glair of Munith and my self, LuAnn Alexander of Jerome.
Discussion on April project lead to two choices and the members can choose which technique they want to do. This will be any gourd project they wish to work on or, Tammy Braunscheidel is going to teach basket weaving for beginners. Also we talked about a project for May and that will be making a Kalimba, which will be taught by Bobbie Lee Smith. Again for the months of June-July-August the patch takes a break from the library to work out of members homes, so we can do outside preparations and such on gourds. Again anyone interested in the Jackson Library meetings or our meetings for the summer at members homes, is more that welcome. Contact myself, or Tammy Braunscheidel for info and email to MichiganGourdSociety@gmail.com.
LuAnn Alexander, Director
8th Annual Wisconsin Gourd Festival
Saturday, April 12, 2014,
Olbrich Botanical Gardens
This year's festival theme is "A Gourd's Guide to the Universe" and is expected to be yet another terrific gala event. The vendor spaces have filled, judges are renewing their vows at a refresher course at the end of March, competition categories have all been determined and everyone is dusting off their tools for workshops.
Classes are listed on the Wisconsin Gourd Society website at www.wisconsingourdsociety.org under the Calendar or Festival tabs and registrations are now being taken for classes. Competition information is available online as well.
Come join us!!
Doors open at 9am - there's music, a kid's make and take area, raw gourds, gourd artand supplies. Hope to see you there!
Wisconsin Gourd Society
The fliers are ready - as you see above - and you may print off as many as you wish to distribute at shows and events where you are participating. For a full page with two fliers to a page send an email to MichiganGourdSociety@gmail.com and one will be sent out to you for you to copy.
Spread the word. Come and enjoy!
Jackson Carnegie Library
10:00am - 4:30pm.
Our project this month is a Braided Rim - and the technique will be taught by Tammy.
1/8 inch flat leather lace - you need 10 times the diameter of your rim. You can purchase it from Tandy Leather in GR or Westland;
2 prong flat lacing needle - that too can be ordered from Tandy; scissors, awl, drill (unless you have already drilled your gourd), painters tape, pen or marker to write on tape, needle nose pliers and your gourd. The gourd needs to have a hole at least large enough for your hand to fit inside and be able to move around. The gourd should be finished and sealed inside and out with cut edges finished the color of your leather (this part is optional but will look the best when you are all finished.)
Using 1/8" drill bit, drill holes 1/4" down and 1/4" apart (if you are using the leather lacing from Michaels you will have to drill a much larger hole because it is twice as thick as what is called for in the pattern. I am not sure what size holes you will need, but it will be enough for the lacing to go through with the needle, easily, two times. This supply list is from Tammy, if you have any questions, email Tammy at MichiganGourdSociety@gmail.com.
Please let me know if you are coming.
Like Columbus, It Floated Here Article in the New York Times
By RACHEL NUWER FEB. 24, 2014
Using a relatively new type of genetic analysis, researchers found that bottle gourds floated to the Americas from Africa. By the time Columbus arrived in the New World in 1492, bottle gourds had already conquered much of the globe. After evolving in Africa, one species, Lagenaria siceraria, made a break for East Asia around 11,000 years ago and eventually took up residence in Polynesia, China, Peru and beyond, earning the title of most widely distributed pre-Columbian domesticated plant.
The gourds have been supremely useful, too — not so much for nutrition (they taste bitter) but, when dried, as containers, medical and musical instruments, even decorative birdhouses. Despite their ubiquity, though, they have their secrets.
Archaeological evidence shows that ancient peoples living in Florida and Mexico began using them at least 10,000 years ago. Yet how they got to the Americas remained unknown. Now scientists think they have an answer — and in the process may have resolved puzzling inconsistencies in earlier research.
Previously, researchers speculated that the gourds floated here from Africa, although they had no way to prove it. In 2005, a team of scientists challenged that notion. They analyzed short fragments of DNA taken from living and archaeological bottle gourds and found that ancient North American specimens shared more in common with Asian than with African gourds, so perhaps the colonizers who crossed the Bering land bridge more than 10,000 years ago took gourd seeds with them. But that did not explain how the bottle gourd, a plant that prefers tropical climates, could have survived such harsh winters. Moreover, ancient American seeds more closely resemble the fatter, oddly shaped African seeds than the thinner, more symmetrical Asian ones.
Now, it seems, those questions have finally been answered. The founding bottle gourds did not come from Asia after all, but instead traveled to the Americas directly from Africa, a new study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports. To arrive at this conclusion, researchers used a relatively new method of genetic analysis called high-throughput sequencing. “The technology has come an incredibly long way since the 2005 study, so now we can look at this question in a lot more detail,” said the lead author, Logan Kistler, a postdoctoral fellow in anthropological genomics at Penn State. To recreate the plant’s family tree, the researchers isolated DNA taken from modern bottle gourds around the world and ancient ones found at nine archaeological sites throughout the Americas. The pre-Columbian artifacts from the New World, they found, were linked directly to African relatives. This means the gourds floated to the Americas on their own.
To double-check this conclusion, the team created a computer model of Atlantic Ocean currents. Simulations confirmed that a bottle gourd traveling from West Africa could make it to North or South America in nine months, on average. Once there, given the right conditions, the seeds could very likely take root. (A 1954 study found that bottle gourds could spend up to a year floating in saltwater without losing fertility.) The diversity of New World gourd populations suggests that there were several successful oceanic crossings throughout history.
Some mysteries remain, however. Scientists are not sure how the gourds managed to spread from New World shores across entire continents, or why wild bottle gourds no longer grow in the Americas. Dr. Kistler and his colleagues hypothesize that large animals might have spread the gourds’ seeds, and when those animals later went extinct, the wild bottle gourds did the same. Changing climate could also have played a role. “The study is another step forward, but we are still far from understanding what really happened,” said Hanno Schäfer, a botanist at the Technical University of Munich who was not involved in the work. Further detailed studies “will probably be the only way to really answer the question without the need of storytelling,” he said.
Analyzing bottle gourds from archaeological sites elsewhere in the world could help fill in those details, as could examining genetic material found in the cells’ nuclei.
“At this point, I think we can say we’re confident that bottle gourds did travel from Africa, but that certainly isn’t the end of the story for the species,” Dr. Kistler said. “There’s always more to learn.”
A version of this article appears in print on February 25, 2014, on page D3 of the New York edition with the headline: Like Columbus, It Floated Here. Order Reprints|Today's Paper|Subscribe