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Trying to decide if all the "skin" is off a gourd

Easton, KS(Zone 5b)

Last year this time, I started gourd seeds. Planted the seedlings as soon as it was safe (around May 1st), and managed to harvest about 8 largish gourds last fall. They have been in our garage,drying, since then. They appear to be dry at this point, but I never did anything to them before I let them cure, so I guess they still have skin on them.

I have been 'cleaning' the largest gourd for several days with steel wool and one of those superfine sanding pads. It's exhausting!!! I've been going thru all the old posts, and I see where some people soak their gourds and then peel away the skin before they dry them.

Am I too late to try that with my gourds? I shake the gourds, and I hear the seeds inside, so I'm pretty sure they are mostly dry. Except for one - which was left out in the garden until December - somehow I missed it, and it went through an ice storm and snow all by itself - that one has a white mold all over it. It's the only one that got moldy.

So, I guess I need to know - is there an easier way to get the skin off at this point, or do I just keep sanding until I'm happy with the gourds? Or is the skin mostly off already? The one I've been working on feels mostly smooth?

By the way, I love the mottled look, I'm not looking for a blemish-free gourd. I plan on woodburning a design of some sort into it and cutting out some areas - this big one has about a 12 inch diameter and is about 15 or so inches tall - looks like a giant pear..

I am in awe of all of you talented folks, and I really appreciate any suggestions you might have.

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