I grew a luffa this year. Just one. One vine that, intentionally, produced one luffa.
The luffa (or loofah) is a tropical plant, but under the right conditions it’s possible to grow it here in Canada. I’ve always appreciated the old adage that says the person who says something can’t be done is often interrupted by a person already doing it, and growing this luffa felt a little bit like that this year.
It needs a long growing season so I started it indoors long before it was warm enough to garden outdoors. I planted it in the sunniest part of my garden next to a fence where it could climb, gave it plenty of water, and babied it for months until fruit appeared. I plucked all but one from the growing vine to allow all of the plant’s energy to go into it.
And the result, when I couldn’t wait any longer to harvest the fruit was this. (I intended to wait until there was a threat of frost, but one day I needed something to pick up my spirits and the luffa was sacrificed.)
It probably would have been easier to peel had I waited to harvest but I persevered, almost cutting my thumbs in the process.
Then I rinsed to getting the seeds out and wash away gelatinous bits and happily ended up with what I envisioned back in March when I tucked seeds in a pot and put it on my warming mat in the laundry room. Luffa! (I cut it in half to make it easier to get the seeds out.)
Not sure what I’m going to do it. I’m pondering making soap with luffa inside but for now they’re just happy decorations on my kitchen windowsill.
Will I grow it again? Probably not. But it was jolly fun this year to tend this plant and wait in anticipation for what was to come. Seems like a worthy pandemic year project, yes?
Next year, on to something other different thing.