The squash family vegetable luffa resembles a giant cucumber or zucchini. Despite having a number of health benefits, luffa is mostly farmed for the ᴍᴀɴufacturing of natural dishcloths and sponges and is not yet extensively used in cooking. It is thought that the plant first arrived in Northwest Iɴᴅɪᴀ in the 13th century. They started growing it progressively across Europe and Asia.
Prior to now, experts attempted cultivating the crop outside. However, they were unable to obtain the produce in the required quantity and quality. According to the farmer, the characteristics of the cultivation technology are that throughout the ripening stage, luffa appears to tighten and take on an oblong shape, necessitating the need of a trellis.
Vladimir Zhdanov estimates that there are roughly 50 different types. The cylindrical luffa is most suited to growing in Uᴋʀᴀɪɴᴇ. It is most practical for the ongoing production of sponges and dishcloths.
Be aware that there are luffa species with pointed ribs as well. Young, unripe fruit is grown on them and consumed as cucumbers, in soups, and in curries. Sharp-ribbed luffa’s leaves, shoots, buds, and flowers are also consumed. Carotene is abundant in the plant’s leaves; in fact, it is around 1.5 times more abundant there than in bell peppers or carrots. Iron content in leaves is 11 mg/100 g, vitamin C content is 95 mg/100 g, and protein content can reach 5%.
The juice of the luffa stem is used to make cosmetics in Jᴀᴘᴀɴ, most notably premium lipstick.
The Family Loofa founder also mentions that luffa vine can reach heights of up to 5 meters. However, we allow it to grow up to 2.5 meters on our farm; in this case, the plant’s care, particularly that of its tendrils, is much simpler. Furthermore, harvesting is substantially streamlined in this ᴍᴀɴner.
Regarding the usage of plant protection compounds in luffa farming, Vladimir Zhdanov explains, “We try not to interfere with the natural process of crop growth as much as possible.
When the fruits are fully ripe, as indicated by their brown color, luffa harvesting starts. The weight of the fruit, which is roughly 200 grams and 10 times less than during the stage of ripening, is another indication of luffa’s maturity. Additionally, the entire harvesting process is carried out ᴍᴀɴually.
Let’s see Amazing Luffa Farming and Harvesting – How Luffa Sponges Are Made – Luffa Cultivation Process in the ᴀᴡᴇsome video below.
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Video resource: Noal Farm