By cured, do you you mean dried? Try 5 months. Only necessary if you
plan on saving it for the next 2,000 years (archeologists have found
much older ones). See if you can't just pick it a week before the show and
enter it uncured. Assuming the judges are decent sorts, they'll understand.
I have play this African musical instrument called a balafon which is a type
of marimba with gourds underneath to resonate the sounds. Holes are put in
the gourds and thin paper over the holes to produce a buzzing sound when the
key struck. Really beautiful sound.
I haven't had much luck finding sources in America for strong gourds. I
usually get them from Africa. they are much more durable. Does this have
something to do with hot climate?
The gourds won't be ready to pick until their stems wither. If
you pick them earlier, they're likely to rot. How fast they will
cure really does depend on ambient conditions . . . warmer, drier
air and air movement -- to take the moisture away -- will speed
drying. So, I'd say that five weeks is probably pushing it.
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