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 old, they were here, each waiting patiently — as the line was very long — to make their own special gourd. It was a full cast and crew, with almost every Meadowbrooke family member here to assist in their chosen departments. When I arrived the front porch was full of people waiting to get inside.
As you entered from the retail section of the building, it was obvious there was something special awaiting you. Through the storage room, there was a long white picket fence happily decorated with spring flowers, gourd bunnies, and baskets filled with eggs leading you out to the production area. Once it was your turn to choose a gourd to decorate, Shawn or Darren, explained the order of how to proceed. First, there was the very difficult choice of whether it should be a bunny, small or large; a basket or even a basket filled with gourd eggs that would be your treasure to create. Then on to choose paint colors and a brush. If you wanted something cut or burned, one of the talented crafters was at your disposal, and if a wood stain for your creation was desired, Kenny was in the finishing area to assist you. Once you were done, Brandon was there to help with the final spray coat before you choose your final adornments of ribbon, bunny ears, or pip berries to complete your own personalized spring creation.
The new and smartly designed layout for the special creates your own events gave everyone plenty of space to sit, relax, and design for as long as they wanted to be there. There were also beverages and sandwiches available in case folks lost track of time and got hungry while they were crafting. It was a lovely, well-organized event that made people smile. As I was leaving, a family of four passed me coming back through the storeroom. I heard the little girl ask excitedly if she could get a bunny of her own to take home and her mother replied that she was going to get to make one herself. The little girl said she wanted it to be pink and her mother answered, “you can make it look however you want.”
(Side Note: This blog was written by Heather “Red” Shelley. If you see a woman walking around the special events going on at the farm with beautiful curly red hair holding a camera, that would be her. She is an ex-Meadowbrooke Gourd employee and played a big part while she was here helping with the special events she now photographs. She left us to pursue her love of taking pictures and currently owns her own photography company, Dreaming Tree Studios located in Carlisle. She has a very creative mind and helps us out by writing blogs on things she notices at the farm or about the crazy people that work on the farm. Make sure you say hi to her the next time you see her, she may even take your picture.)