VLGS educates the
general public to the benefits
of gourd gardening and
use of gourds historically
The Virginia Lovers' Gourd Society began in the late 1990s as a group of people who discovered the owner of the online Yahoo Group [Gourds for Art & Utility] to which they belonged was a fellow gourd enthusiast in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia - Nancy Shrum. Members of this happy group would meet in each others' homes for casual Meet & Greets to share projects and a hearty lunch. These fun days of sharing grew when Eddie Richard of Richards Fruit Market, MIddletown, VA suggested an annual festival at his farm. VLGS became a more organized group with a newsletter, member agreements and Coordinators. In our 11th year it became clear the time had come to incorporate and obtain nonprofit status to continue our path of public outreach. We became an incorporated business entity and a federally recognized nonprofit with 501(c)3 status. Contributions and IRS approved participation with VLGS is tax deductible. We continue to grow and now include traditional arts that align with gourd art at our annual Festival to expand our outreach,
VLGS encourages and
supports the use of gourds
in arts and crafts
Through public outreach programs and appearances, local groups of members called gourd patches, digital footprint of resources and tutorials, and its annual festival of workshops, vendors, and auction, the Virginia Lovers' Gourd Society promotes interest in all activities relating to gourds. Areas of focus include, but are not limited to, gardening and crop cultivation, historical relevance and knowledge, art and craft strategies. The links on these pages offer information and resources about gourds.
Of the many appearances made by members of the Virginia Lovers' Gourd Society, the biggest outreach project is the annual Virginia Gourd Festival. In this exciting 15th year. This year, the VLGS is expanding our festival to include traditional skills that align with gourds and the harvest: Harvest Festival of Gourds and Heritage Arts. See the Annual Festival page for more information about joining the fun!
Learn how to become an active member of the Virginia Lovers' Gourd Society and a member of a local gourd patch within the chapter. Consider helping sponsor parts of our Festival!
VLGS supports member commercial endeavors
in all aspects of
gourd agriculture and use
Members of the Virginia Lovers' Gourd Society participate in four annual events held by the chapter at large: Winter Wonder Gourd, Spring Gourd Fling, Summer Play Date, and of course the Virginia Gourd Festival (which gets larger and larger every year with interesting workshops, varied vendors, and friendly gourd patch competitions). These are the opportunities for the smaller, local patches to meet with each other as one family of gourd enthusiasts.
Members can also vend under the VLGS banner at any of the various state-wide events we attend such at the Blandy Mother's Day Plant Sale, Master Gardeners, and various festivals.
The Virginia Lovers' Gourd Society is the Delta Chapter of the American Gourd Society. Members are encouraged to join the AGS as well for information and gourd community opportunities beyond our state borders.