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Our Blog

Gourd Tips

How To Plant Gourd Seeds

How To Plant Gourd Seeds A few weeks before the last frost of the year is the best time to begin starting your gourd seeds inside your home or greenhouse. It takes a gourd seed about a week to germinate and then about two-three weeks to mature enough that it can be transplanted outside. This […]

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Behind The Scenes

Introducing Our Washing Captain Candace

It’s time to introduce one of the lovely ladies that work in the production team here at Meadowbrooke. The newly crowned captain of the washing department, Candace “Hank” Varner, began her career at Meadowbrooke Gourds many years ago, fifteen to be exact, working on the farm crew. Happenstance gave her the connection to Ben Bear […]

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Gourd Tips

Gourd Farming Lesson #1: Choosing the Seeds

Hi, my name is Ben and I am the master gourd farmer for Meadowbrooke Gourds. I have spent the last twenty-five years of learning how to grow hard-shelled gourds. It has been a fun journey of a thousand mistakes and just as many successes. I’m not usually a slow learner, but mastering the growing of […]

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All About Gourds

Spring Fling Event

There was an unmistakable feeling of delight in the air this morning as I wondered around the newly renovated space at Meadowbrooke Gourds. The warm hum building as people began to settle in to create their own bunnies, baskets, or eggs, precariously balancing paints and gourds in hand as they found a seat. Young and […]

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Meet Our Staff

Get to Know our Expert Shipper, Nathan

It may seem at this point that everyone at Meadowbrooke has been here since their infancy, and yes, Nathan “Gustavo” Bear is no exception. He was literally born into the world of Meadowbrooke Gourds by having the good fortune of being Ben and Denise’s second child. From the age of three, Nathan went to “work” […]

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Gourd Tips

Our New Gourd Birdhouses and Tips to Help Them Last

Since the beginning of Meadowbrooke Gourds, we have been crafting birdhouse gourds. Over the course of many years, we have tried many different finishes. In the past, we used alcohol-based leather dyes (which fade), transparent paint (which peels), and now an oil-based dye and polyurethane coat. During the spring of 2014, we noticed we were […]

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Behind The Scenes

Crafting your own Gourd with Us

Well, here we go again, breaking something that is working well and bringing smiles to many of our customers. Why would we do this? It’s simple; really, we can do even better if we rebuild it from the bottom up. So what is the big problem? Our Create Your Own Events are full, customers are […]

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Behind The Scenes

Wednesday’s Company Meeting

Every Wednesday morning we have a company meeting where everyone from all over the company gets together to talk about what happened during the last week and where we are as a company. Josh’s mom cooks us breakfast and we all sit down and eat some delicious food while we are having our meeting. One […]

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Meet Our Staff

The Vivacious Dori Heller

​It’s now time to introduce one of the lovely ladies who works here at Meadowbrooke, and a no better place to start would be with the vivacious Doreen Heller. Dori has been with Meadowbrooke since the very beginning, even more so, if you consider she is the sister of Denise Bear. She began doing the […]

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Behind The Scenes

Our Wholesale Sales

​Most people do not realize that the largest part of our business is wholesale sales, or perhaps better put, selling gourds to other stores all around the country. You can find our gourds in every state except for Hawaii. We even have a store locator set up on our website for you to search for […]

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Behind The Scenes

A Season for Rest and Thanks

This time of the year on the farm is a very peaceful time. The gourds are all grown, cut from their vine and lying in the field in long rows slowly drying. There isn’t much to do on the farm except cut a little firewood to keep our home cozy and warm. All that can […]

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All About Gourds

Choosing new designs

Making the decision on what products to carry for the next year can be a daunting task. Every year this is a huge undertaking that some of us here at Meadowbrooke Gourds go through. It is a task we do not take lightly but we always have fun picking and choosing from some very interesting […]

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All About Gourds

Twenty Years and Still Smiling!

Wow! Twenty years have passed since we put this business together. In some ways, it feels like we have been crafting gourds forever. At other times, it all seems to have happened so fast. I’m still amazed that the seeds from two gourds found by accident turned into a dream that has lasted twenty years. […]

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All About Gourds

Our New Create Your Own Craft Kits

Over a year ago we set out to bring the experience of crafting your own unique gourd creations to people in their own homes. Our create your own classes and events at Meadowbrooke have been very popular and we really wanted to expand upon that and make crafting gourds more accessible to more people. There […]

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All About Gourds

Common Questions and Their Answers

Since folks are naturally intrigued by gourds and interested in our unique business, each day we are asked many questions. In this article, we have answered the most commonly asked questions. How do I remove a base that is stuck? Turn your gourd over and find the sanded notch where the cord is. Place a […]

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Behind The Scenes

Thanksgiving; a time to reflect

It is almost Thanksgiving and it is at this time of the year I like to sit back and reflect over the last year. It is the time to remember all the things I am thankful for and all the people that have come into my life and some that have left. Here at Meadowbrooke […]

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Meet Our Staff

Meet Kenny, Our Multi-talented Finisher

Kenneth “Jolio” Kerstetter the III was born in a strawberry patch, or so the story goes. Well, perhaps that is a bit of an embellishment, but Kenny has been around a very long time, his career with Meadowbrooke starting almost twenty years ago. Kenny started working for Ben at the tender age of twelve picking […]

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Behind The Scenes

Special Events at Our Gourd Farm

Each year we host several different events at our farm in Carlisle, PA. We actually have many customers request the dates of our events so they can “save the date” for a special outing to Meadowbrooke. Long before each event much thought, time and effort is put into every aspect. While you may see some […]

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Behind The Scenes

Frost on the Gourd Fields

A long wet summer has passed and our first frost of the fall is almost here. All summer the gourds have grown under a thick layer of vines and leaves. When I look out over a field of gourd plants I see very few gourds. It’s very hard to know how good of a crop […]

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Behind The Scenes

The Meadowbrooke Crew and their Furry Companions

Each morning my husband, Ben, gets ready for work. Our dog, Lucy, watches him intently because she is not going to let him leave without her. She keeps close to his heels and carefully nudges her wet nose against his calf to let him know she’s right there. Ben and Lucy have the luxury of […]

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Behind The Scenes

Meet Nanny Eckman

I would like to introduce you to Verna Eckman, AKA Nanny Eckman, tag maker extraordinaire. She is wife of one, mother of four girls, Donna, Diane, Denise, and myself, Nanny to nine and great-Nanny to one. Nanny has been helping and giving her input to our company before we were Meadowbrooke Gourds and this was […]

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Behind The Scenes

When Is The Best Time to Harvest Your Gourds?

Over the years many, many people have asked me the secret to the best time to pick their gourds. What I tell each of them is to be patient, you can’t possibly pick your gourd too late. That’s exactly right, this is one fruit / vegetable that doesn’t spoil on the vine. So if you […]

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Behind The Scenes

The View From My Window

It’s a new day. My children are on their way to school and my husband is already at work. It is time for me to go to work also. As I make my scenic drive, I survey the fields and creek for wildlife. Spotting no animal activity today, my mind happily recalls the various sightings […]

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Behind The Scenes

The Founding of Meadowbrooke Gourds

One of the most asked questions has been “How did you ever start this business?”, like you were either really lucky or a bit crazy. I guess you could say we are a bit of both and have little things called hard work and passion. We were a bit crazy for having the thought that […]

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All About Gourds

Dori’s Backyard Gourd Garden

At the beginning of summer, I noticed a small gourd plant starting to grow out of one of my grasses in my flower bed where a gourd birdhouse was hanging above. I know I hadn’t planted any gourd plants because I know how they take over everything. My flower bed had beautiful lilies, green grasses, […]

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Gourd Tips

How to Finish and Color Coat Your Gourds

Another great question that we get asked is “What do we use to color and finish coat our gourds?” It all starts in our finishing room. First, we need to color our gourds. We have a few different products that we use for coloring our gourds. The most common is the leather dye. Leather dyes […]

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All About Gourds

Crafting Smiles

If you are somebody that follows Meadowbrooke you may have noticed that there have been a lot of changes over the last few years. Through our efforts to constantly improve we have pretty much reinvented almost every part of the company from the products we offer to how we make them. About two years ago […]

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Behind The Scenes

Training Wheels: A Newbie’s Story

Hi, I’m Kara, the newest member of the Meadowbrooke Gourds family. A few months ago I accepted a position as “floater”. A floater does a variety of different tasks to include washing, crafting, and finishing the gourds. I had a general idea of what I was getting myself into, but I didn’t know the depth […]

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Meet Our Staff

Meet Roger, Our Lead Gourd Washer

Roger “Mungo” Morrison III Esquire is a man of many talents, various interests, and curious notions. He has worked here at Meadowbrooke for thirteen years now and has been the leader of the washing department for some time. Roger was originally hired for the floating position, which suited him for a time. He eventually ended […]

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Meet Our Staff

The biography of Darren “Bruce Lee” Hartsock

Darren “Bruce Lee” Hartsock is a “Lifer.” No, I don’t mean in the correctional institution kind of way, but in the “I found the work and company I like to keep” kind of way. Darren really has been working for Meadowbrooke his entire adult life and even a little before that, when he was just […]

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