Note: If using Outlook click the above bar where it says “Click to download photos” The photos are the best part!

July is Gourd Fest at Northern Dipper Farm
“Cowboy Boot” 
Annie Boquist's Very Original Entry at Last Year's Gourd Fest. 
WHEN: Saturday, July 22 and Sunday, July 23 - Mark it on your calenders.


A Grouping of Gourds
Featured Artists - Darienne & Ed McAuley of Singing Dog Studios
In This Issue: The CGS (Canadian Gourd Society) Gourd Fest is right around the corner July 22 & 23, 2006. In this issue we will present a few of the highlights and will provide links for you to gather more information. The CGS was originally the brain child of Peterborough artist Darienne McAuley. I am thrilled to present Darienne and her husband Ed, a dynamic couple, who teaches, promotes and creates wonderful gourd art. Get ready to be inspired and hopefully you too will decide to participate in this years CGS Gourd Fest!

 Northern Dipper is having some extraordinary sales this month!  
1.) Gilders Paste Reg Price -$10.00
This month only -$8.00 per tin! To view click here.
2.)  Minis - $1.00 each. We have sold hundreds and would like to sell hundreds more. Last chance to stock up! To view click here.
3.)  20% off all gourds – Large selection. Applies to
 both farm and Internet orders. To view click here.
         Sales applicable during the
                month of June only.
  To view a map of our location click here.
Monday to Friday  Please call ahead at 519/443-5638 or email to set up a time. Then print out our map and come on by.

Saturday & Sunday is our drop-in day. No appointment necessary from May 1 to October 31, 2006. Hours - 10 AM - 4:00 PM

    The Canadian Gourd Society...
 How it all got started!

Ed & Darienne McAuley and Peter Bell

A number of years ago, I decided to try my hand at coiled baskets. I made my first phone call to Royalwood to buy some paper core and waxed linen - and pretty much everything else that didn't cost TOO much. Jim was my Royalwood staff person that day.

I bought a couple of this and a few of that, and pretty soon the order was getting a tad expensive. Remember I had to pay for this with Canadian dollars, and back then the dollar was VERY low. Nonetheless, I bought a couple of these strange things ...what were they...oh yes, hard-shell gourds.... what on earth are gourds? They cost only a couple of dollars each and I thought they sounded interesting.
'So' said Jim, the Royalwood guy. 'Now that you've bought some gourds, you have to buy the gourd book.' (You know THE original Summit/Widess one.) 'Right, and how much does that cost?'  I asked. '$26.95 U.S.". '....hmmmm... that's over $40 Canadian.'  (at the time...) 'Hey!' I said, 'do you have any idea of how much money I've already spent? I really, really can't afford one more thing.'


'But,' said Jim,  'you bought the gourds; you have to buy the book now. There's no point buying the gourds without it.'

'OK Jim', I say.  'You've never lied to me before (of course, I'd never spoken to him before, but I get like this quite regularly), so I'm going to trust you and buy the book.  But that's it.  Not one more thing!'

'Oh, you won't be sorry,' said Jim, 'it'll really change your life. Absolutely!!'

And so it did....
Soon others were interested in gourds and over coffee in my living room a small group of us - eight to be exact - began the Canadian Gourd Society. All the rest is history.
See you at Gourd Fest. Cheers, Darienne McAuley


Great Spirit Turtle

DARIENNE McAULEY, upon discovering the ancient, yet new again, world of gourd artisanship, followed her life-long habit of immersing herself in all that she undertakes, both in academic and arts-related fields, and emerged writing, lecturing, demonstrating and teaching others how to work in this versatile medium. In partnership with husband ED, an able pyrographer, they display and sell their finished creations in their studio, Singing Dog Studios, situated in the 'Rolling Hills' of Cavan, Ontario as well as in prestigious galleries in both Canada and the U.S. They hold workshops both in their studio and across the province at various venues. They are founding members of the Canadian Gourd Society.
"Our current series depicts familiar wildlife and indigenous pictographs and petroglyphs, mostly from the eastern North American region. These are pyroengraved onto the gourd surface and this depiction of wildlife and rock art on the gourds reflects part of Ed's heritage on his Mother's side."

Ed & Darienne have exhibited and demonstrated (pyrography and coiling) at Whetung's Gallery at Curve Lake, Ont., at Toronto Civic Garden's Basketry Network Spring Exhibition and Sale, and have had single works displayed in a few other locations, such as Harbourfront in Toronto and in Basketry Focus at Lake Couchiching.
"Celebrating Canada and America" - Gourd Purse
Their work is currently available in Whetung's
Gallery at Curve Lake, , Native Focus,
Port Perry,Greenaway Gallery in Dorset, Dyson Gallery at
Mather's Corners, and at various craft and artisan shows. 
The past few years they have participated in the Art Gallery
of Peterborough Studio Tour. Their
studio was recently featured on the television program
Craftscapes on the Life Network.

Each year Ed & Darienne are invited to place works in the
Gift Shop at the Art Gallery of Peterborough at Christmas. 
Their work has also been on display in conjunction with the
Haliburton School of Fine Arts 
at the Rail's End Gallery in Haliburton.
    Thank you Darienne for submitting this article and for sharing your
                         work with us. See you and the gang at Gourd Fest!
            To view more of Darienne and Ed's work click here.
        Singing Dog Studios is Dog Friendly - Royal looks forward to
visiting her pals, going for long walks & home-made doggie biscuits.

Gourd Fest 2006

 This is a true story (maybe a little exaggerated)...
I came out one morning and my lawn was filled with ladybugs...well, maybe there was only one great big one! This whimsical character was created by Anna Petek and was entered in the 2005 Gourd Fest Competition. She won both Ribbons and fame and I am not exaggerating about that.

Gourd Fest will bring together many of Canada’s best gourd artists under one roof for a fun filled weekend which includes:

  • Gourd Art Show & Sale
  • Live Demonstrations and 'Make & Take' classes by well known gourd artists
  • Gourd Competitions
  • CGS Gourd Workshops  
  • Gourd Growing Tours
  • Draw for the African-theme Charm String
  • The CGS Wallhanging on display
  • Great Food & Live Entertainment all weekend long
  • Silent Auction - This year replaced by Box Raffle
The Competition 
Only one of the highlights of the weekend. Sophisticated,
whimsical, sleek or functional design – there is a category
for everything. Whether you are a novice or advanced,
whether you carve, weave, paint, or woodburn, please
submit a piece of your art for Gourd Fest. The more there
is the is the better the Festival and who knows…you may
just leave with a bright red ribbon! For details click here.

Steve Genereux's Award Winning "Water Pipe"
Entries are not limited to members of the Canadian Gourd Society alone and once again Northern Dipper will be accepting entries for the competition.
Entry forms must be postmarked by July 10, 2006 so that preparations can be made for staging and awards.
Northern Dipper will also arrange to ship the pieces back to the owners with the owners paying the shipping.For more information regarding this, you may contact Northern Dipper Farms at or call at 519/443-5638.


Workshops – so many to choose from at Gourd Fest!  
There is a good selection of workshops offered at Gourd Fest on both the Saturday and the Sunday this year. Learn technique and more in a relaxed and fun environment. Here is a small sample of what is being offered:
3-STRING BANJO - Jeff Menzies 
Jeff is a Toronto artist and musician who has studied under the great banjo Masters in the US and Canada. If you are interested in music this is the workshop for you. 
Moe is a talented carver and sculptor and also the owner (along with partner Bridgette) of Thompson's Woodcarving. This workshop is guaranteed to be entertaining as well as educational.
For more information on the workshops click here.


Accommodation – Places To Stay

For Hotels, Motels and Camping Grounds click here.

People are welcome to camp at the back of Northern Dipper Farm but we must be notified before hand.
Email is: or call at 519/443-5638.
Note: There is no running water or electrical at the campsite at Northern Dipper.
For details on other aspects of Gourd Fest 2006 please click here.

     Gourd Growing in June - New Seedlings
     Another month and you will be out pollinating many gourd flowers.
Well not too many people here in Ontario got their seedlings out the May 24th weekend. There was snow, hail, sleet, thunderstorms, wind and heavy rains and no baby gourd plant would have survived it. This weekend however is another story. Blue skies with 33 C/ 91.4 F weather – a seedling would be in its glory in the gourd patch today.
As most of you have observed seedlings tend to go into shock when first put in the ground. Water well & they will revive quite nicely. For the first couple of weeks there will not be much apparent growth. This time is when the plants are settling in & all of the growth is happening at root level.For trellised plants, once the vines start growing, use a couple of twist ties to get them started. Once started the strong tendrils will take over.


Gourd Flowers Left: Male / Right: Female
It will be a few weeks before any blossoms appear. Gourd vine are monoecious - that is, it has both male and female flowers on the same plant. The male flowers are found on the main vine & the females are on the lateral or side vines. You want to make sure there are lots of lateral vines for this is where the gourds will grow. Pruning the vines at 10’ will ensure this.
Once your vines start flowering you will have to do a little hand pollinating. The female flowers have a deep yellow center with a little gourd underneath the blossom. The male flowers have a pale yellow center & usually come out about a week before the females. There will be more on this topic next newsletter.


The bane of a gourd grower is the cucumber beetle.  Approx. 1/4" long it can be either striped with a yellow body and black stripes on its wings or spotted - greenish yellow with spots on its wing. Their main occupation is mating.
Winters are spent hibernating in long grasses or in debris and once the weather warms up so do they. The females lay their eggs in the cracks in the soil near the gourd plants. Once the larvae hatch they crawl up the plant into the stem or roots. The larvae pupate and the beetles will eat the plant & flowers. Once there are gourds, this beetle will chew into the shells. Cucumber beetles will spread disease such as bacterial wilt. June is a problem with this beetle, July is a bigger problem and then in August the population decreases but it never completely goes away!!!


To control this problem use Sevin. It can be bought at garden centers. Choose a warm day with no wind when the beetles are out and about. NOTE: Follow the directions from the Manufacturer and always wear proper safety equipment.
For a good website on the cucumber beetle click here.


For a more natural approach Ginger Summit " Gourds In Your Garden " recommends that one can plant radishes, catnip or broccoli around and throughout the gourd patch. Let them go to seed.

Remember these 3 factors when gourd growing:
1.) Full sun  2.) Rich, well fertilized soil  3.) Plenty of water
For tips on building a strong trellis click here.

June Dates To Remember  
June 4: The Day of the Rice God, an annual festival held in Japan on the first Sunday in June, is a centuries-old folk ritual in honor of the Shinto rice god Wbai-sama.  
June 18: Father's Day

Father's Day is a day of celebration of Dad. It is a day to honor all men who have acted as a father figure in your life - whether as Stepfathers, Uncles, Grandfathers, or "Big Brothers." To learn more about this celebrated day click here.

June 21: Summer Solstice 
People around the world have observed spiritual & religious days of celebration during the month of June. In England Summer Solstice is celebrated as a Wiccan Sabbat called Litha and every year a celebration takes place at Stonehenge. On June 21 the daytime hours are at a maximum in the Northern hemisphere, and night time is at a minimum. It is officially the first day of summer. It is referred to as Midsummer because it is roughly the middle of the growing season throughout much of Europe. To learn more click here.
June 19 - 25: Pride Week is the fun and fabulous arts and culture festival that happens each year in Toronto. Pride Week celebrates the diverse sexual and gender identities, histories, cultures, families, friends and lives. To learn more click here.
June 24: St Jean Baptiste Day  
All across Canada, French Canadians express their cultural pride and rich heritage through colourful parades and lively parties marking Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day. These festivities combine the ancient rites of the summer solstice - a period of light and hope - with the traditional celebration in honour of the Patron Saint of French Canadians. To learn more click here.

  Road Traffic In Bealton 
This is Ace, an ex-race horse with his 13 year old owner Sarah. He dotes on her and loves his daily walks. Sarah wants to be a horse trainer when she grows up.


                     Linda, Carolyn and Peter in Guatamala

NEXT ISSUE:  The next Issue of Gourd Fever is going to be an exciting one. We are going to board a plane and head down to Guatemala. Once there we are heading to the mountains to meet with the camposinos (rural people). The weather is hot and the climb is steep but it is worth every moment. We are then off to the impressive Mayan ruins and to a couple of other beautiful Guatemalan spots.
In addition to this we are going to introduce you to another world traveller. Mi-Shell is a healer who uses gourd instruments in native rituals and in drumming circles. Ever so fascinating it will be explained how these ceremonies help cancer patients and others in need. Also a little more on Gourd Fest plus some Trivia and a little of this and that.
Until then, Enjoy the warm weather ...Pam Grossi & Peter Bell

Guatemalan Woman with Green Striped Water Jug
Photo by Paul Lemieux

Back issues of our newsletter Gourd Fever are on our Website. If you have missed any issues there are some interesting tutorials and grow information you may want to check out.


PS If you have any stories or ideas that you would like to contribute to this newsletter please send to


Volume 2, Number 16 


In this issue
Get Ready - It's Almost Gourd Fest 2006
Extraordinary Sales This Month! 
Darienne & Ed McAuley - Gourd Artists and the Founding Members of the CGS
Gourd Fest 2006 The Highlights
June Gourd Growing Report  

Dates To Remember!


Gourd Sightings & Trivia

Welcome to GOURD FEST 2006 

Gourd Art from Previous CGS Gourd Festivals
Karen Cheeseman's Bird
Vicki Beard's Beautiful Lacework Design
  Gourd Orca

 Art by Ed & Darienne McAuley of Singing Dog Studios
 "Apache Basket"
Note the repeated pattern in the body of the gourd and the coiled rim. It is fantastic!
 Utah Rock Patterns
Bear Frieze with Turquoise
Algonquin Canoe
Sun Canoe with Turquoise
Wild Mustangs
Spirit Portals
Man In A Maze - A sampling of a coiled rim
(View from top.)
Buffalo Frieze with Turquoise
Darienne teaching. 
Both Darienne and Ed will be teaching at Gourd Fest as well as demonstrating throughout the day.

    More Samplings of Gourd Fest Art Entries 

Claudette Hart's "Women"
Competition Table
Cactus by Anna Petek The thorns were taken from a rose bush.
Gourd Doll by London Artist Jan Taylor

    Gourd Growing  
 Gourd Vine June 19th, 2005
New Seedlings in the Ground
 Cucumber Beetles
Soon there will be green gourds like this Maranka gourd.

 Gourd Sightings - Sal Ferreras
 Seen on May 10 on a television arts program, the talented percussionist Sal Ferreras played many gourd instruments at a club on Commercial Drive in Vancouver. Percussionist first and foremost but also a dedicated music educator and producer, Salvador Ferreras has collaborated in almost every musical genre on the Canadian music scene. To learn more click here.

Life In The Country
 A few weeks ago we had the biggest raccoon I have ever seen living in our barn. We put up the live trap and he disappeared. We thought that since it is Spring he had other things on his mind and we hoped that was the last of him.
We were dreaming. Yesterday we spotted 2 raccoons in the barn sleeping up on the 35' beams Yes one was Bruiser ... and look who he brought home; a mate. We got out the cage and low and behold the female was trapped by the next morning.
  Here you can see how exhilarated and proud Royal is of our morning escapade. We took the raccoon down the road a few miles and let her go in the bush. Now we are crossing our fingers that Bruiser will  follow suit. To learn more about raccoons click here.

    Published by Northern   Dipper Enterprises
Northern Dipper Farm
1666 Villa Nova Road
RR1 Wilsonville, Ontario
N0E 1Z0 Canada
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Northern Dipper Farm - 1666 Villa Nova Road RR1, Wilsonville, Ontario, N0E1Z0, Canada