I was wondering what I was doing wrong with my luffas -
The veggie garden fence is a tangle of vines -
the thick snake beans, with their beautiful shaped leaves and delicate flowers
then the neighbours passionfruit vine that keeps coming over to my side,
then the luffa, with huge green leaves and tons of yellow flowers. Often I would see the beginnings of a luffa, but then it would shrivel up and die. I wondered if they needed more light, so cut back some of the excess vines, and trimmed some piegon pea plants that were growing nearby. I see tons of honeyeater birds, butterflies, bees etc so didnt think it was a problem of pollination.
I posted my frustration on KGI (if you havnt checked out that site please do - what a wealth of information http://my.kitchengardeners.org/ ) and a fellow gardener responded back to be patient - luffas took forever. As so often happens, the very next day I began to see a luffa start to develop.
It was a very nice firm texture, and a great taste - little more flavour than zuchini, gosh I am going to like eating luffas - I think! :) since it was little I also peeled a snake bean and stir fried that alongside. Here you can see the comparative size! (and I didnt get the complete length of the snake bean in the picture)
Over christmas we splashed out and ordered some gem squash through mail order. We grew up with gem squash in South Africa and I have tried to grow it here before, even though the climate is very different. I threw a couple of seeds into the garden and lo and behold they have come up! How exciting. I am thinking they might suddenly keel over and die from the heat and humidity, but it is a good sign that the seeds are viable - I saved all the seeds so have lots and lots :).
My pigeon pea have also started to flower, so am anxious to taste those!