Dried Luffa Gourds

My luffa gourds were a success this year ... I harvested a total of 58 big luffas! Now, I don't really know what I'm going to do with 58 luffas (maybe make soap?), but I thought it was lots of fun to grow them.

It seems like most people think that the luffas you buy in the bath and body sections of stores come from the ocean, but they are actually gourds that can be grown in many gardens. The luffa "sponge" is the inside of the gourd after it's been peeled and dried.

Luffa Gourd Vine

Luffa gourds really like to grow "up" things, so it's a good idea to plant them near a pole, trellis, or fence. If you look closely, you can see some gourds here... although most are hidden behind the leaves.

Luffa Plant Growing

As the luffa gourds grow, they are green and heavy. Once they begin to mature, they become much lighter and their skin turns brown and starts to shrivel up... that's the time to harvest and peel them.

Mature Luffa on Vine - Ready to Harvest

Here I am peeling one of my luffas ... the video is a little bit long, but you can fast forward to the end (if you don't want to watch the whole thing) to see what it looks like after peeling!

(If you cannot see this video, you can view it directly on YouTube by clicking here > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtHqD_-KiJE)

I still had quite a few luffa gourds growing after the first frost killed the vines.

Luffa Vine After Frost

I harvested the green luffas after the frost (otherwise they probably would just rot out in the garden) and brought them inside to try to dry them a bit before peeling them. Peeling green luffa gourds is really hard to do. When the skin is still green, it's thicker and very tough to peel. We've been experimenting with the best method for this and it seems that boiling the gourd for just a minute or so really helps. Then, since it's no longer warm and sunny outside to dry them, we've been drying the peeled gourds in the oven set to a low temperature.

Luffa Gourds

The inside of the luffa gourds is pretty wet when the gourd it first peeled and the fibrous insides of the gourds need to be dried. Once dried, you can shake the gourds to get the seeds out (there are TONS of seeds inside these suckers!)

Dried Luffa Gourds

Most luffa gourds are not edible ... although Renard did give one a try!

Luffa Gourds

Dec 05 2014
Posted in: Vegetables

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