The Vegetable Sponge
Luffa or Loofah, not sure of the actual correct spelling, Google is no help on this. However you want to spell it, I'll go with luffa, it's amazing.
I, like many others, believed it was a sponge and it is, but it's both a vegetable and a sponge.. so, no, it doesn't grow in the ocean. They grew right here on our farm. Actually, ALL of this is from 3 seeds!
It all started with some seeds a friend gave me. She said they are pretty easy to grow, they love sun and pollinators love them.
So I started the seeds with my other seeds in early spring in my solar box.
When they got strong enough to transplant, I moved them to where they were going to grow. My friend also mentioned they needed a sturdy trellis. At first I believed what Mike installed was overkill.. but hey "build it and they will come" or grow in this case.
Three seeds spouted into these three small luffa plants. Then I watered and watered and watered everyday, twice on really hot days. The other vegetables came and went yet the luffa, while the plants were growing like crazy, the vegetables themselves took months.
I was ecstatic the day i saw the first real growth.
My luffa seed giving friend loves bees and one of the reasons she knew I would love growing luffa is because of the pollinators it attracts. WOW was she right! Any given day there are dozens of our honey bees on them and at least five or more bumblebees, sometimes they even share the flower :)
Growing luffa takes a really long time as in 100-180 days to mature. Perfect for someone like me that has been working on patience.
Planted in early spring and just the other day, finally, a few we could pick. Several more still on the vine that won't be ready for another 3 weeks or more.
They are ready when they are brown and dried out, when they feel hollow. Then the fun begins! Peeling, getting the seeds (hundreds of seeds) out, rinsing and drying.
What to do with this luffa now? Well, it's great all by itself for a sponge.. but why not take it a step further? How about a luffa infused with all natural skin nourishing goats milk soap?
Why infuse luffa with goats milk soap? Because this way you have your excellent all natural exfoliation tool and soap in one.
Currently I have a no essential oil added option, lavender and eucalyptus. Specify which one of the three options you would like in the notes section of your order.
I leave you with this, some fun facts about luffa
*Other names: Climbing okra, dish-cloth gourd, rag gourd, sponge gourd, vegetable sponge.
* Luffa is a vegetable from the Cucurbitaceae family, it's considered a gourd and is related to the pumpkin and squash
* Luffa has been in America for 10,000 years
* The gourd is believed to to have originated in Asia
* Luffa is edible, but only when young
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