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Oompa Loofah

August 19, 2011

I was getting a little disappointed in the lack of any set fruit on the loofah gourd vines. Hundreds of feet of vine sprawling everywhere have been covered up with male blooms, but no fruit blossoms:

Front side of the fence:

Back side of the fence:

A couple of days ago I checked again and finally spotted a tiny fruit:

And another slightly more developed one:

Then more like this one, about the size of a zucchini ready for harvest:

I checked out the back and it has plenty of zucchini sized ones suspended about.

So what the deal with these?

They a member of the gourd family, cousin to squash, and are edible when very small but get bitter as they grow (I haven’t tried one).

As they grow larger the inside grows a skeletal web that dries stiff. At this point, the outside skin is scrubbed or pressure washed off and you are left with a loofah “sponge”.

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