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Spring is here, time to grow a face gourd?

If you're anything like the folks here at Michigan Radio, the recent (and ongoing) spate of unseasonably warm weather through much of the state has probably inspired you to run from the radio station screaming and throwing off layers spend more time outdoors.

For those who plan on using spring's early arrival to get a head start on their gardens, we've come across an agricultural art project of sorts that promises to make this year's harvest a bit more interesting.

Introducing the portrait gourd.

Tim Anderson at Make Magazine has put together a step-by-step guide to growing gourds into nearly any shape you can imagine including 3D likenesses of yourself or anyone else---Detroit hockey fans might enjoy a lifelike "Gourdy" Howe. For environmentalists, how about a vine full of Al Gourds? Folk music fan? Gourdon Lightfoot.

The possibilities are endless.

According to Anderson, the process has been practiced in China for centuries and can be applied to many other vegetables too.

Take a look at the picture slideshow above  to see portrait gourds in the making.

-John Klein Wilson, Michigan Radio Newsroom