>I gotta move some Luffas [...} Another source tells me that many oriental
peoples eat immature luffas as a vegetable.
There are two common varieties of luffa. Luffa acutangula is eaten at the
immature stage. L. aegyptiaca, or dishcloth gourd, is not. Before you offer
your luffas as food, be sure you're growing the right kind.
It will probably be tough to move very many young luffas for eating. Both
species can be used as vegetable sponges, however. The fruits should be
allowed to mature (the rind will toughen and turn dark). Harvest at that
time, and allow to dry thoroughly. Then peel off the skin, remove the
seeds, and voila! sponge.
We don't do luffas anymore, but we used to sort them by size and physical
appearance. Large ones with some discoloration got sold as utility sponges
for washing the car or the woodwork (rugged, yet easy on the finish).
Pretty ones went as bath sponges (great exfoliator). You can bleach the
luffas if you want a lighter color.
As sponges, luffas are not perishable. So you have plenty of time to corral
a market. Try bath shops or specialty gift shops. Know anybody who makes
handmade soaps that you could package with the sponges?
Warning: peeling all those luffas is a lot of work.
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