Gourder of the Month

Gina’s gourd totem pole

Gina’s gourd totem pole

Hailing from the Woodinville/Snohomish area of Washington state, Gina Johnson is our Gourder of the month.

Have you ever imagined what it would be like to live on a mini farm with majestic horses prancing in the field, chickens scrambling, waking to the sweet scent of fruit trees just outside your window, and perhaps pulling a carrot or two from the vegetable garden? That was Gina, husband Ron, and their three children’s fairytale life on their mini farm in Snohomish, a little town north of Seattle. The Snohomish is a native American tribe residing in the Puget Sound area.

There they lived for 40 years raising their children and active in church, chamber of commerce, and the 4H Club. Within those years, Ron decided to open a hot rod and collision repair shop, a long-time dream of his. Gina became his full-time bookkeeper. After 23 years and with the children married and grandchildren now teenagers, Gina and Ron decided it was time for a change once again. So, they sold the hot rod shop and set out on a new RV adventure to see the great USA. It was a great time, accruing memories and sharing them with family and friends. But it was hard leaving the farm for long periods of time.

Another adventure was again in their sights: Arizona, where the sun never takes a rest. Horses still prance, fruit trees are abundant, and there is a vegetable garden. Robson Ranch became their new home. Gina was always interested in creating, whether arranging flowers picked from the fields, tending her vegetable garden, or taking on a 4H project. And her talents would show through here. Gina was introduced to gourds by attending the Wertz gourd festival in Casa Grande. She was amazed by the beauty, variety, sizes, and versatility of this fruit. Her creations are one-of-a-kind, giving each piece its own individuality. Gina’s gourd totem pole goes way beyond the imagination. And in keeping with her faith, her Praying Wanderer with ceramic cross shows just some of her artistic expressions.

Today, you can see her green thumb at work in her raised vegetable garden, where she grows spinach, onions, sweet peppers, beets, and, yes, carrots. Gina told me that God has blessed both of them in this new chapter of their lives with friends, church, travel and hobbies. She loves waking up to the sunshine, waving palm trees, and beautiful sunsets. “Life is good.”

Thank you to the Robson Ranch Ladies Auxiliary for inviting us to their luncheon on Nov. 8. We hope you enjoyed Susan Walker’s presentation and gourd table centerpieces.