March 2011 Issue
This vegetable-cum-sponge comes from the back of the yard, not the depths of the sea. With the help of an award-winning grower, we show you how it’s done.
Eighty-one-year-old Norm Brickner of Bascom saw it made into a tiny ’32 Ford hot rod. The U.S. Navy reportedly used it as a filter for ship engines during World War II. Most people, however, have only seen it hanging out in the bath aisle of the mega mart or in their own shower.
“It” is the luffa (loofah) sponge. Surprisingly, luffa is not from the sea, but from the garden.
Luffa is a gourd — specifically, a tropical plant from the Cucurbitaceae (cucumber) family that grows well in Ohio despite the climate. To read more, click here to subscribe. >>