Most of us think of fall holiday decorations when we think of gourds. Little, brightly colored, hollow, pumpkin like fruits that are piled on tables at Thanksgiving. Gourds are that and so much more. In Asia there are gourds that are eaten like Bitter Melon, and gourds that serve multiple purposes like Luffa, which is eaten when young and tender and dried for use as a sponge when mature. Native peoples throughout the world have used gourds as containers, decorating them by carving and staining to make beautiful and useful works of art. Polynesian cultures make drums as well as pots and containers. They can even be made into planters and pots for hanging baskets. My children have loved making birdhouses out of all the wonderful gourds they grew.