Gourd Nga Puhi (aka Ruka)
GENUS: Lagenaria SPECIES: siceraria
Heritage Status: New Zealand
Bio-Region of Origin: Northland
Number of Seeds: 10
Description: This traditional Maori gourd was sent to us from the Ruka whanau in Northland. It is a beautiful fat round gourd with a neck. It makes a great salad/fruit bowl or a container. They require a long growing season and full growing and harvesting and drying instructions come with the seed. This is a medium sized, round, bowl shaped gourd that has been selected for carrying water and storing food for many generations around the Pacific. In recent times they have been used as ornaments and the shell thickness has not been valued so they have become thinner but we are again selecting for shell thickness. We have been using the gourds as bowls and food storage containers by sanding with fine sandpaper then melting beeswax and coating them both inside and out.
Planting Instructions: If you’re keen to try growing and drying gourds the seed must be planted so that the seedlings are ready to go out as soon as it?s warm enough for main crop corn into a warm sunny place. Pick out the tip of the main leader once it reaches 1 metre and then the laterals will grow and set fruit sooner. Leave the fruit on the plants until the tendrils opposite the fruit dry off. If you make sure the gourds are sitting on a flat surface while growing they will sit flat when dry as well. After harvesting sit them, not touching any other gourds, in a dry airy place until they are completely dry, when you can use them for carving or decorating.