Just the other day I finally had the chance to take the tour of Meadowbrooke Gourds. I hear about this place all the time and always wanted to check it out. It was really cool and the tour guide was very informative. You start out in the gift shop which is neat to start a tour by seeing what the finished product can look like. You then go back to see where the gourds are placed after they are picked and cleaned. They are put in a huge circle washer to get all the dirt off and make them smooth. After they go through the washer someone sands them down to make them perfectly smooth and attaches stems if they fall off.
Then the gourds are taken to a crafting room where they are painted and turned into, on this day, cute little black cats for the upcoming Halloween season. Someone was making the face for the cat, others were painting them black and one person was making little felt scarves for them to wear. It was also fun to hear that the people who work there get to come up with the ideas for the next featured gourd. They all make one and then the team votes on it. I would highly recommend taking the tour but more than that visit on a day where you can create a gourd... if it's good enough you may find it in their next catalog!