Thursday, January 27, 2011

Seed exchange - loofas

How exciting! Malay- Kadazan girl has invited me to partake in the seed exchange she runs on her blog.  this is her blog   sunflower seed exchange  and she has the most beautiful bronze and different coloured sunflowers.  I have not had much success with sunflowers in the past, so hope I win some of her seeds to give them a try in my garden. 
The plant I have had success with is loofahs!  I was most excited to hear that they would grow in this area and last year I grew the angled loofah.  This year I planted them to grow up the pigeon peas and they have now entangled themselves into the shade cloth and grown off toward the fence - taking over the whole area.  They have  a pretty yellow flower.

Last year I grew them along the fence and they took off high up into the tree in the neighbouring telstra yard, and I harvested quite a few dried loofahs.  I did have trouble peeling them, but have since discovered that the trick is to soak them and then the peel just flakes off.  I sent a few to  aromabeauty soaps and she kindly sent me a bar which I gave to my mom and we shared it over Christmas.  It was called Christmas traditions - quite an appropriate name!  One of these days I want to try to make my own soap with my own loofahs embedded into them.

 I also enjoyed eating them when small (don't worry they haven't developed the fibres yet!).  This year I got the smooth skinned version and picked a small one just the other day.  You can see the skin is quite smooth.  This is what the angled loofah looked like at the same stage. small angled loofah



 I sliced it and then quickly sauteed it but think the angled loofah is actually much tastier, and the skin is tender enough to eat.   I do have some angled loofah seeds to give away, let me know in the comments if you would like them.  As far as I know it has to be within Australia.
I am also posting this on the how to find great plants carnival see here for other submissions appalachianfeet hosts this monthly

7 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your great success with loofah; a tasty and useful plant.

    Diana gave me those evening sunflower seeds in December and they are growing beautifully. They should be blooming by next month.

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  2. Hi! There are so many things growing in your garden that I wish I can grow. Your loofah look so healthy and lush. Mine just started to flower but only the female flower bloom, so I don't think it was pollinated.Thank you for sharing this post. I would like to trade your loofah seeds with my evening sun sunfower seeds. I have other seeds that you are welcome too. My email is diana.demiyah@gmail.com . Living in Australia, we cannot receive seeds from overseas. I am happy to meet a blogger friend in Australia that I can do seed exchange with :).

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  3. I was thinking about growing luffas this year and I think you just tipped me over the fence into the "yes" category. Great post!

    Plus, you could get some dual mileage out of it if you also submit it to How to Find Great Plants (deadline tomorrow 1/28/2011, midnight eastern time):

    http://www.appalachianfeet.com/how-to-find-great-plants/

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  4. Eliza,
    I have done that - thanks for reminding me. Good luck with growing the luffas - they are a real fun plant to grow.

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  5. You will be surprised to know that I am trying to grow a loofa in Tasmania! Someone gave me a seedling, It has grown right to the top of my little hothouse and now has a flower! I think it will need a male and female flower to make a loofs but hey, I am pretty pleased anyway. Wish me luck.

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  6. Kate,
    wow! I am impressed. I cant say that I have seen the difference in male and female flowers - I know they only last a day at most - the ground is littered with fallen flowers. If it is hot and humid you might succeed! By the way those amaranth keep getting chewed up by bugs - they must think it is a new imported treat for them! At the moment they are just red stalks :) I will try some more seeds as the weather cools down.

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  7. Sorry about the flooding, what can I do to help?

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