This year, instead of buying my luffa sponge at Target, I’ll be harvesting it from the garden. I hope. I have been instructed to grow these gourd-like fruits by Sonya. She was paging through a soap-making book and came across luffa soaps, which are made by embedding pieces of a luffa sponge in the soap. “Mommy, mommy,” she said. “Let’s make these.” Mommy was half listening, as usual, trying to get about three hundred other things done at the time. In my multitasking haze, I thought they did seem a very useful combination.
Ah, I thought, letting another brain cell or two ponder the situation. Here is an opportunity to provide an enriching experience for my little one. “Yes,” I said with enthusiasm. “Let’s grow luffas in the garden, and turn them into soaps to give away at Christmas.” Yes. Lets. Because I have just so much success in the garden. If I had had any idea what it takes to grow a luffa – multiple transplants, a heavy duty trellis, a LONG growing season (not easy to come by in New Hampshire!) – I would have headed to the nearest drugstore and chopped one up on the spot. Let’s keep our fingers crossed the luffas make it into the garden, never mind into a soap, ’cause they’re a long way from even looking like a shower sponge right now.
Here are photos of the first transplant.