Calabash trees are useful for more than just sitting in the shade underneath them to write poetry – the large, spherical fruits they grow can be made into bowls and cups when hollowed out and dried.
Though you probably have your own dishes already, the huge fruits can easily be made in to decorative and rustic bird feeders. Birds will love to perch on the large rim, and can pick out birdseed from inside. Learn how to make one of these beautiful structures for yourself below:
Start with a ripe calabash. The fruits are very hard even when ripe, but we have to open it to hollow it out. Use a saw to cut through the whole thing.
Hollow out the fruit. You can either save the calabash fruit to eat or make juice from, or discard it. Calabash fruit is occasionally toxic, so it’s important to harvest the fruit at its correct ripeness, and store it correctly if you will be consuming it. When the fruit is hollow, wash out the two halves of the gourd and keep them.
Make four holes in the top of the calabash. Later you will pass wire through these to hang the bird feeder up. Use a drill to make small holes perpendicular to each other.
Push wire through the holes. Twist lengths of wire through the holes and unite them above the calabash by twisting them together. Tie a string from the top of the wire to a tree branch to hang your bird feeder. Fill it with birdseed to attract Bermuda’s birds to your garden.
Enjoy your bird feeder. Monitor it and replenish the birdseed as necessary, and you’ll be seeing a variety of Bermuda garden birds in no time!
You can also repeat this process with the other half of your calabash to make a bird feeder for each end of the garden. This feeder’s shape also minimizes spilled birdseed, which lowers the chance of rats being attracted to it.