Harvesting Luffa (loofah) gourds to make into bath sponges + Pumpkin decor & carving


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"After the frost killed the plant, I harvested the four luffas from the vines. I grew the Luffa plant in two large garden pots, and used a recycled drums for the vines to crawl on. Luffa gourds should be grown on a strong fence or trellis. They need a long growing season of 150 to 200 warm, frost free days" (gardensnet).

As you can see in the first picture, the luffa plants were part of the fall setting. There was a tiny gourd among two medium-sized gourds and one extra large luffa. You may have seen pictures of them in previous posts, but here are some photos of the luffa harvest.





You can eat this gourd when it is smaller, but I specifically grew the gourd to make into a bath sponge. Once the luffas stop growing, and after the first fall frost, harvest the luffas. At this point, let the gourd dry indoors for a couple of weeks, or until the outer skin becomes brown and brittle.

Shake loose the seeds from the gourd and store them in a cool dry place. To clean the gourd and prepare for using as a sponge, most people recommend soaking the gourds in a solution of water and 10% bleach. Do not soak them for too long because the bleach will break down the fibers. Instead of bleach, you could soak them in lemon water with hydrogen peroxide; OR lay them out in the sun, which will naturally clean them. Dry them in the sun for 2-3 week before using.




Using the pumpkins you see in the first photo (from the fall scene), James and I carved pumpkins last weekend. With the small pumpkin, I carved the letters "HP" to resemble the Harry Potter font. I wanted to continue with that theme since I had painted a sign "9 3/4". I also painted a Halloween/witchy/spooky scene on one of the large pumpkins.








Of course I saved the pumpkin seeds to grow next year, along with cushaw seeds.


drying pumpkin & cushaw seeds

Original post @ Harvesting Luffa (loofah) gourds to make into bath sponges + Pumpki...


-Cassie K, veganslivingofftheland.blogspot.com
 
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Omg!!!! I looooove Harry potter! Nice carving skills! Is James your husband or your son? Great job :) I liked the spooky scene you draw on the pumpkin, you are talented as well. What did you use for that?
 
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There are 2 uses of luffa here. First is for food. The gourd is harvested while it is still young and the seeds are not fully formed yet. It is good to be an ingredient in vegetable dishes. But our favorite is the noodle soup with young gourd. For luffa, the gourd is harvested when it is already brown to be assured that the luffa is sturdy otherwise it will not be that durable.
 
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I love your Halloween decoration by the recycle drum and your carving and painting! It looks so festive!
 
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This is such a great idea! I love Harry Potter:D Your Halloween decorations are wonderful.
I had no idea you can use gourd to make a bath sponge:)
 

Pat

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Lots of useful information. I had no idea I could grow a loofah. All though the season is over I will keep it in mind for next year, looks like fun and a great gift idea.
 
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Omg!!!! I looooove Harry potter! Nice carving skills! Is James your husband or your son? Great job :) I liked the spooky scene you draw on the pumpkin, you are talented as well. What did you use for that?

I painted the pumpkins with acrylic paint. James is my life partner.
 
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I painted the pumpkins with acrylic paint. James is my life partner.

Very nice! You have a lot talent :) Did you get the idea from a tutorial? I'd love to do something similar, since I love both Harry Potter and Halloween ;)
 
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Very nice! You have a lot talent :) Did you get the idea from a tutorial? I'd love to do something similar, since I love both Harry Potter and Halloween ;)
I traced the letters from an image online, and then taped the paper onto the pumpkin and poked holes along the lines.
 
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I traced the letters from an image online, and then taped the paper onto the pumpkin and poked holes along the lines.

Thank you!!! I was wondering how you did that exactly, but felt kinda shy to ask :oops: I'm definitely going to try it this Halloween! It sounds easy enough for me (y)
 
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What an inspiring post! I love it. I had no idea that luffa sponges were actually made from a gourd. For some reason I always thought that they came from a sea plant. That is amazing how easy it would be to make a luffa sponge. Thanks for sharing this.
 
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This sounds like so much fun! I hadn't thought to grow my own loofah plant. I would love to use natural loofahs in the shower. I always just buy mine at the store, which are usually just synthetic.
 
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So you do not have to peel the skin off or anything like that, you just cut it to the size you want and dry it out? Sounds easy enough to me if I am reading the instructions correctly.
 

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