The North Carolina Gourd Society (formerly the Gourd Village Garden Club) first met in Cary in 1937. The oldest chapter of the American Gourd Society, it is among the oldest garden clubs in North Carolina. Early festivals were held in the school cannery, a dry cleaners and a furniture store. Over the years festivals have featured dolls, a gourmet gourd buffet, hard-working, practical gourds, Mother Goose gourds and many others.
Gourds are grown as garden novelties for their strange and wonderful shapes, as craft material and musical instruments, as well as practical, working implements. The smallest can be the size of a marble and the largest a 200-pound armful. A household necessity since the beginning of civilization, gourds still are used today. Many growers raise birdhouse gourds as homes for purple martins, colorful ornamentals to decorate our Thanksgiving tables, and luffa sponges are popular bath time buddies. What U.S. gourd growers call gourds are three different plants. All are cousins of squash, some closer kin than others.
Membership in the North Carolina Gourd Society is $12 and includes four issues of the society's quarterly newsletter Gourd News. The newsletter contains dates and locations for the quarterly meetings of the North Carolina Gourd Society, officers and general membership in central North Carolina, along with information on the Western Carolina Gourd Patch, and is filled out with interesting and timely articles for gourd crafters and growers alike.
Click HERE to see our current by-laws. The North Carolina Gourd Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation dedicated to the culture and heritage of gourds in America.
North Carolina Gourd Patches
Triangle Gourd Patch
For more information on the Triangle Gourd Patch or to sign up to receive regular communications about Triangle Patch activities, contact Ellen Healy at email@example.com or call 919-996-9192 or check out their website at http://trianglegourdpatch. weebly.com.
The Triad Patch meets on the third Tuesdays of odd-numbered months at 6:30 p.m. in the Home and Garden Building at the Dixie Classic Fairgrounds in Winston-Salem. Please sign up for the TriadPatch email/newsletter by contacting Judi Fleming via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Far Western Carolina Patch
The Western Patch meets from April through November because of the bad weather during the winter in the mountains of North Carolina. This Patch meets on the third Wednesday of each month at Shooting Creek Fire Department Community Room at 10 a.m. The Patch contact is Linda Michel and you can contact her via email at email@example.com or call her at 1-828-644-4401 for more information.
FWNC Patch members pay a $5 facility fee, instructor fee and bring their own cleaned, prepared gourds for their classes.
Please note that some of these classes will last beyond our usual noon stop time. Most members have agreed that staying longer would not be a problem and you will always be made aware of which classes will go until 2 p.m.
In addition we have revised the dues structure to read: 8 meetings = $20.00 annual membership dues (payable at April meeting or pro-rated).
Guests may attend one meeting without incurring any fee then must decide to join the Patch and pay a $5 per meeting fee. Members who may not wish to join for the season may also pay $5 per meeting. Membership is defined by payment of annual dues.
Members in good standing are invited to participate in the two Far West Patch sponsored shows: Hayesville on the Square and the Folk School Craft Show.
2019 North Carolina Gourd Arts and Crafts Festival
The 78th Annual NC Gourd Arts and Crafts Festival will be November 9-10, 2019 in the Holshouser Building on the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, North Carolina. This year's theme is "Fun and Games with Gourds". Details and links to maps are on the "Festival" page.
For your entertainment, we have added many pictures of past NC gourd festivals to this website. Click here to see them.
Marvin Johnson Gourd Museum
In 1965, Marvin and Mary Johnson established their gourd museum in a small building on their farm in the Kennebec community, just north of Angier, NC. Marvin grew over 200 types of gourds on the farm and, between them, he and Mary traded gourds and seeds with people in countries all around the world. The museum let them share their treasures with the public and admission was always free.
After more than 40 years, the farm was sold. In 2006 the town of Angier, North Carolina stepped forward to provide a new home for The Marvin and Mary Johnson Gourd Museum and, in the Johnsons' tradition, admission is still free to the public.