Loofah or loofa, known as patola in the Philippines, is a popular sautéed fare with misua (rice noodles).  But loofah’s popularity doesn’t stay in the kitchen—it also extends to the bathroom, as bath or shower sponges.  Some people swear by the exfoliating action of loofah sponges, because they leave the skin feeling tight and clean.

The good news is, you can grow your own loofah sponges.  Luffa aegyptica and Luffa acutangula are the two species most often cultivated in Asia.  The fruits of either species c an be grown in a typical vegetable or flower garden.

x_loofah_0042What you need:

●  Loofah seeds

●  Peat pots

●  Fence or a pole or string support

What you will do:

  1. Plant your loofah seeds in peat pots.
  2. When the seeds have sprouted, move them to a sturdy support system (fence or a pole and string support).
  3. Make sure the loofah vines are growing up and along the support.  During the growing season, the loofah fruits may become very heavy, with the vines reaching up to about 4 meters.
  4. Leave the loofah on the vines until the fruits have begun to lose weight.  This is a sign that the loofah is maturing on the vine.
  5. Once the fruit has matured, you can break the outer shell, and viola!  You now have a loofah sponge.

Sources

► How To Make (and grow)  A Luffa!  http://groovygreen.com/groove/?p=689

http://www.liffa.info

http://www.makezine.com/blog/archive/2006/11/how_to_grow_you.html

► Luffa.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luffa

 Visual courtesy:  boston