When my neighbor told me you can grow a loofah sponge, I thought he was out of his gourd. Then he led me into his garden to show me the cucumber-like fruit hanging on a vine and told me it was a loofah sponge —the kind I use to exfoliate my dry skin in my spa bath!

Because loofah sponges have texture, I assumed they came from the sea. These gourds looked edible, similar to zucchini squash or cucumbers.

Curious, I did a bit of research, finding out that the subtropical luffa vine grows gourds that can be eaten. They have a slightly sweet taste, and are often used in Asian and Indian cuisine. And yes, the gourds can also be made into a loofah sponge!

Aha! You CAN grow a loofah sponge!

A few weeks later, my neighbor brought by a couple of the HUGE luffa gourds, one still green, one brown (drying), as well as one as a loofah sponge.

Grow your own loofah sponge
The loofah gourds are almost as big as Lulu!

In order to get them from gourd to loofah, I’ll need to let them turn brown (dry out), peel off the skin, shake out the seeds, soak in chlorinated water, dry, cut them into smaller pieces (if desired) — and then they’re ready to use.

I’ll definitely go through the gourd-to-loofah steps, it’ll be fun. But next time, I’m pretty certain I’ll just buy one at the drugstore, with much greater appreciation. Melinda swears by body brushes. I might get one of those!

You are never too old to learn new things . . .