Am I the only person who didn’t know loofahs are cucumbers?
It’s true. Not only are the young fruits edible, but these fibrous sponges are versatile, beautiful, and remarkably easy to grow.
Two Christmases ago, friends surprised us with handmade soap and a loofah — five seeds still inside, in case we wanted to plant a few ourselves. How could we resist?
Of those five, one germinated and survived transplant. The vine was gorgeous and bursting with yellow flowers — until an August storm with gale-force winds ripped the entire trellis out of the ground and deposited its tangled remains several feet away.
I was heartbroken.
But not for long. A week later, vines began to sprout from the buried roots, and soon we had one determined loofah. I babied that sucker until November’s first frost, brought it inside, and dried it another two months in the kitchen window.
Hubby and I took great delight in finally removing the flaky peel, revealing the sturdy bath sponge that still holds up, five months later.
Having declared that solitary cuke “World’s Toughest Veg”, I soaked and planted the field-proven seeds immediately after shaking them loose. Every last one of them germinated, and the south side of our house is now covered in giant green leaves, heavy fruit, and vibrant yellow flowers that attract all manner of bees.
I’ll admit it. I’ve got a bad case of summer love.