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Storing Harvested Gourds

Everyone please follow common sense guidelines during harvest season.

Most people have heard the buzz word lately about mold and an issue called Sick Building Syndrome, and my family is a living testimony to the damage it can do.

There are some 50,000+ strains of mold, the most commonly talked about are those that grow in the cavities of walls and on the paper lined drywall since this is a common issue that is making people sick. As a result, those strains are beginning to be wathced by medical researchers and tested for mycotoxins and the pathology of those mycotoxins as well as interaction when multiple types of mold exposure occur. just like drug interactions can be harmful or even fatal, the exposure to multiple forms of mold can cause mycotoxic interaction and change the medical effects of just one type by itself. With 50,000 different strains, and an almost countless variety of combinations they can produce, it is not likely that we will see in our lifetime all the various ways you can be harmed by mold exposure.

However, it is known now, if only within small groups of researchers and those who have been harmed by Sick Building Syndrome, that molds are not good for you. The full purpose of mold is to break down organic matter, and yes, you are organic matter. As mold grows it creates toxic chemicals for this purpose, as mold dries it sporulates, spores are the seeds that travel very well in the air, practically suspended until they find a home to plant themselves on. Spores themselves are not much danger with the exception that they can block and some can even damage the Aveoli in your lungs, however it is what is on the spores that can really be harmful. Mold spores can fall prey to bacteria and other molds and be damaged or destroyed, so mold protects it’s seeds by covering them with very toxic mycotoxins which are also Biotoxins. When you are working close with a visible growth of mold, the spore count is high as is the biotoxic level which can be inhaled, ingested, and even absorbed through the skin and eyes. This is why mold remediators wear contamination suits to work on moldy buildings, they are professionals and most of them know the dangers of mold.

An example of a lesser know, but at least known mold is histoplasma Capsulatum. In the midwest, Histoplasma capsulatum is common in the garden soil, and while it only creates flu like symptoms people exposed to it as children, can in adult life go blind from Ocular Histo as a result of the childhood exposure. This is just one mold, what can 50,000 others do? Science really doesn’t know, and insurance lobby money and the big guns not wanting to revamp our entire construction techniques are all playing down the effects. At the end of this message, I will tell you what we went through in our sick building before it was discovered that in the secret and dark recesses of the walls of the house in which we lived, a biochemical warfare lab was busy at work producing poisonous Biotoxins that we were ingesting through our lungs, skin, and food 24/7 and nearly killed our son. But first, back to harvesting your gourds...

When you harvest your gourds, most are still green, and in this state they are fairly well protected by their own natural antifungal properties, but once the vine dries and they begin to turn to that wooden shell we all cherish so much, mold sets in to eat the meat of the insides, and suck up the moisture that mold thrives on. Many gourds will be covered with spots of a variety of molds, and an interesting observation that you can only see on the surface is that the molds don’t really blend together, they are territorial and will fight for their space. This is why you get round spots of one type of mold stain, and maybe a blotch that looks like Austrailia in between some of those blotches, and just a wide variety of colors or varying shades of "Stain" on the dried gourd.

You cannot stop the mold entirely, you can clean with bleach every other day, but it does not kill the roots that have already set into the gourd, and it will come right back and microscopically will begin growing again within 24 hours. This is because Chlorine breaks down rapidly, even before it penetrates the surface of the gourd, and the water it is diluted in will serve to feed the mold with the moisture it needs.

You can protect yourself though and minimize the damage that carelessness can cause. Do not take your green gourds into your house to watch them dry out. You do not need molds that feed on cellulous, (wood pulpy type materials), to be sporulating within the confines of your house which most likely is built of wood and paper lined drywall, (both are high in cellulous and low in nitrogen, a culture tube for very toxic molds).

If you have a storage shed, you can place gourds on shelves in these sheds, but when you go to gather them, at least wear a mask and take wet rags to wrap around the gourds and dampen the entire surface so you wet down the spores preventing them from easily becoming airborne. Once they are wet you can take them to your cleaning bucket.

You can also just leave the gourds outside to winter over. We used to leave our big gourds outside in the snow and winter cold air, and they dried faster than being brought into a warmer area. The cold winter air provides two functions, one it literally freeze dries the gourds and the other is, a lot of molds canot grow or do not grow well in freezing temps. There will be warm days or days suitable for some mold growth, but it won’t be as bad as storing them in your garage, and it will be a whole lot safer for you.

If you let them sit outside, you should try to get them off the ground in the early spring, although it was very uncommon, one year we had termites infest one gourd. Only one gourd thankfully, but they did find a home in that gourd until I tossed it in the fire.

So please be careful and give some thought and consideration as to what you are going to do with all those gourds. Don’t just stack them all in your attached garage or against the siding of your house.

What can mold do to the human body? Despite the CDC and your doctor telling you they only cause problems for those with respiratory problems or allergies, molds can and do affect everyone. Some people may not be noticably effected like others, but the mycotoxins and spores in your lungs are still doing damage, even though you may not see it or feel it.

It is funny how the powers in place are in denial over mold issues, when they study a group of smokers and find that lung cancer is much higher in smokers than in non smokers, they conclude that smoking causes lung cancer. But when they see an increase in Cancer, Chronic fatigue Syndrome, blurred vision, delerium and foggy thought processes, and in severe cases even blindness, migrain headaches that cannot be stopped, rashes, and a host of other problems including cancer that are in elevated numbers of people who are working in a moldy building or living in moldy apartments, for some reason they don’t use the same logic they used in the smoking and lung cancer observation. It is as if they think if they ignore the fact that mold is causing serious damage, it will go away and as a result many people around the country are being harmed.

Mold symptoms and illnesses are to a degree somewhat reversible, depending on how long you were exposed. Once you become sensitized to mold, you are always allergic to it and the more times you, "Take a hit", the more culumlative damage is done. Mold exposure leads to other allergies as well because of its effect on the nerves in your body. Once you’ve become sensitized to mold to a high degree, you also become chemical sensitive and pollen sensitive.

What Mold did to My Family...


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