If you are following our blog, yes we did survive the snowstorm. Everything we covered actually made it through fine. Unfortunately it is the end of the Luffa Wall. The good news is we have been told that Luffa squash that have gone through a cold snap are easier to harvest and peel. The leaves of the plant vines rapidly died off but our Luffa squash are fine.
Since the plants died off and the squash is still green the Luffa are still not ready. We left the squash hanging on the vine until they turned brown and dried completely. It took roughly one month before we were comfortable they were completely dry. Shaking the Luffa you can feel that the inside moisture is gone. If the Luffa was completely ripe, you can also hear the seeds shaking loosely inside. At that time we cut every Luffa off the vine wall with pruners and found the actual yield was one good sized luffa per plant. There were many smaller ones but they were not big enough to be usable as a Luffa sponge.
Simply, if the Luffa was perfectly ripe we were able to easily peel off the outer dried brown skin. If we had difficulty peeling the skin off, we soaked it in a bucket of water which loosened the skin enough to finish the job. Then we shook the dried Luffa to get all the black seeds out. We can use those seed for our next planting.
Some farms bleach their Luffa. It gets rid of any dark spots and also makes the Luffa softer. Since we use no chemicals our Luffa will look more organic. It was nice to see the interest in a chemical free Luffa sponge that can be used not only in the shower, but also as a scrubbing sponge in your kitchen. It’s been reported they can easily last a year!
Watch us peeling a Luffa on the farm’s YouTube Channel: