Winter, Fall 2013

 Grow A Gourd In Your Backyard... Manipulate It ... Mold It ... Enter It
    Winter 2013

Roy Schmidlin, 1st Place, 2012
Roy Schmidlin was living and working in Ohio in 2012 when he grew this 1st place AGS Jim Story Award winning manipulated gourd. This gourd, which was grown in a milk jug, was awarded 1st place in both Ohio and Indiana in 2012. This was the fourth year in a row that his entry won 1st place in both states. As you can guess, Roy is "hooked" on growing and manipulating gourds and will continue to do so in Tennessee. Since retiring at the end of 2012, Roy and his wife moved to Tennessee to be closer to their son and 4 year old granddaughter. A plus not lost on Roy is that he will be able to start his gourds even earlier in Tennessee.

Roy started growing Martin Birdhouse gourds many years ago for the 30-40 purple martin couples that frequented that area. Although he never had the opportunity to meet JimStory, he studied his video and methodology, built gourd arbors and eventuallyfocused only on the long-handled dipper gourds. Roy buys his seeds from Quarry Farms and starts them indoors after soaking them. Roy's gourd growing philosophy is not fancy or involved. He provides supplemental water when needed but that's all.

Roy has found that the best time of day to manipulate gourds is when it is the hottest because that is when it is most flexible. Don't despair if you break some of them as you try to make knots or twists. That will happen, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. The other tip Roy shared was how he green cleans the knotted gourds. He mainly uses a knife and for the tight areas of the knot he uses guitar strings. Congratulations Roy, for a job well done.

Pat Moore, 2nd Place, 2012
Pat Moore, the AGS 2012 2nd place winner, has been a member of AGS for many years and grown gourds off and on for many, many years, mostly for birdhouses and planters. In 1999 she found the Indiana Gourd Society (IGS) booth at the Indiana State Fair,joined IGS and was hooked even deeper than before. Pat went to her first IGS State Gourd Show in 2004, and by 2005 she had entered competition and has been involved with IGS ever since (Membership Secretary, Security, IGS Show Chair, State Fair Booth Chair). As a true gourd-head Pat has entered both raw/dry gourds and gourd art in competitions in 4 states as well as at the Indiana State Fair.

In 2007 Pat bought the Jim Story gourd growing video in 2007 from IGS and watched it all winter. Her husband built 3 of Jim's fences in 2008, and she began manipulating gourds and has been doing so ever since. Pat developed what she calls the "Zig-Zag Gourd", a variation of Jim's Corkscrew gourd.

Pat entered the Jim Story Competition in 2010 where she won 1st place at the Illinois Gourd Showand then entered the national Jim Story Competition where she was awarded 3rd place for the Zig-Zag gourd. She entered and won 1st place again at ILGS in 2011 and 2012. The 2012 gourd entry was also awarded 2nd place in the national AGS Jim Story competition. Congratulations Pat, you are an inspiration.

Send all questions concerning the "JIM STORY AWARD" to: jimstoryaward@gmail.com.


Grow A Gourd In Your Backyard... Manipulate It ... Mold It ... Enter It  ... Win A Trophy And Prize Money!
Fall 2013

Who Was Jim Story?
Jim Story from Pendleton, Indiana was a gourd gardener, and manipulator and molder of gourds. We knew him as an experimenter, teacher, and AGS supporter. He inspired many of us to try new and different techniques, a number of which he pioneered. Jim encouraged gourd growers to continually "raise the bar" by facing ever greater challenges. He challenged us to tie more knots in long handled dippers even after many hundreds of gourds met an early demise with Jim's famous "three knot challenge." He was a legend in the Gourd World.

What is the "Jim Story Award" and How Do I Enter?
In honor of Jim Story theAGS started the "Jim Story Award" in 2009. This Award starts on a state/chapter level. Entrants who win a state/chapter "Jim Story Award" may enter the AGS "Jim Story Award Competition." Either the state/chapter or the entrant
must fill out the application, take photos and send both items to the Jim Story Committee. The rules and regulations are stated below and may change as the AGS Jim Story Committee sees fit. The annual Jim Story Award for outstanding gourd manipulation will be presented each year at the Indiana Gourd Show (Jim's home chapter) or the state chapter show of the winner's choice.

2010 winning gourd:square knot
Glenn Burkhalter, AL
Long handled dipper
wound around a pole
Bruce Barber, OH

STATE /CHAPTER Jim Story Award Competition

  • Entry should be in the class/category that is typically described as "One dried, cleaned, hand trained, manipulated or molded gourd; Green cleaned preferred but not required."
  • Criteria: This is a challenge to push the envelope. Judges are looking for innovation, new ideas, and new techniques of manipulation or molding. The hand-trained or molded and manipulated gourds used should fit the class/category description. For long handle dipper gourds, for example, there will be a focus on the tightness of a knot, and how close the knot is to the ball of the dipper gourds,and green cleaning.
  • Chapters may require AGS documentation to accompany the entry. See Chapter Show Books for details
  • Winners in a state/chapter Jim Story Award may receive a ribbon, certificate of recognition and/or a trophy at the discretion of the chapter
  • The gourd must have been grown the previous year and dried for the State Chapter
  • After winning at the state/chapter the winning gourd may be entered into the AGS Jim Story Award Competition.The announcement of the winning entry at the AGS level will then be made the following year.
  • Example: Gourd grown in 2013 may be entered in State/Chapter competition in 2014; AGS's Jim Story Award Committee will select the 2014 AGS Jim Story Award winner in 2015
  • This is  done to allow each State/Chapter to complete their Show and the entrant to get the information to the Jim Story Committee by January 31st to be judged.
  • AGS's Jim Story Award Competition

    NOTE:You MUST BE a Member of the American Gourd Society to Enter the AGS Jim Story Award Competition

  • Entrants MUST first win a State/Chapter "Jim Story Award" competition to be eligible for the AGS Award competition.
  • Entrants will be required to complete and submit the AGS Application & Questionnaire pertaining to how and where the gourd was grown. This is primarily for the education of other AGS members. If the entrant does not want to give certain information, he/she may leave that information line blank. Three or more photos must accompany the application.

  • 1)Send a picture of the entrant and his /her winning state chapter gourd.
    2) Send a picture of just the winning gourd and ribbon or trophy.
    3) Send one or more pictures of how you grew your gourd (this will be helpful in determining the winner and in verifying that this gourd was grown by the entrant).

    These pictures may be used in an article with the name the winners in the AGS Magazine, "The Gourd." NOTE: Each picture should be a quality photo so it can be printed in the magazine.

    AGS CASH PRZE: The winners of the AGS Jim Story Award will receive a cash prize
    1st place $300.00 and a Trophy,
    2nd place $150.00 and a Certificate
    3rd place $50.00 and a Certificate

    We, the Committee of the Jim Story Award, are excited to offer the opportunity for the gourd growers of AGS to participate in
    this award and carry on the work of our dear friend, Jim Story.