The luffa we had growing at the community garden was still going strong when we finally left the garden a little over a week ago. There were fruits growing all over the fence and while I had taken some of the fruits throughout the summer to dry and keep the ‘sponge’ part of the plant for later, I wanted to have a few more.
Here are three that I had let dry. The one on the far right I peeled when it was green and the fibers were clearly evident once peeled. I set it outside to dry and ended up leaving it far too long causing it to mold. The fruit in the middle was dried too much and had no fibers when I cracked it open, so I took seeds from it instead.
Now the one on the left, when I cracked it open it revealed itself to be an intact ‘sponge’. YAY! I tried to shake out as many seeds as possible but I didn’t get them all. Maybe later when I get Chris to slice them up nicely the rest of the seeds will come out.
However, I did go ahead and peel one of them in hopes of having the sponge reveal itself, but this one didn’t appear to work out so well. I’m leaving it out anyway to see what happens. Likely it will just attract ants, but we’ll see in a few days.
I’ve seen luffa growing several places lately so maybe it is more common around here than I thought: one of our local plant nurseries, a neighbor’s house around the corner and at a random house in the boonies on I-10 somewhere between the Trinity River and Winnie, Texas. The fruits are unmistakable once they get large; the ones at the house down the street are h.u.g.e!
Have you grown luffa? If the rest of the drying of the fruits is a success I’ll share the results.