FROM SEED TO PLANT TO LOOFAH
In May 2016 I decided it was time to look into growing my own loofahs. I use these beautiful plants to make my Loofah Scrubbies. YES, they are a plant (Luffa Aegyptiaca), they do not come from the sea like many of us think. It grows very much like a cucumber/courgette and can be eaten when they are young enough about 12cm in length. Many Asian countries eat them, I have tried and would say, prefer growing this plant as a scrub. It bought back memories of when my Mum used to make Stuffed Marrow without the mincemeat stuffing, it was rather tasteless and watery. One particular order came through with an abundance of seeds inside it, well that was my push to get going and growing. I confess I am not a great gardener, but since living here in Spain I have become more at one with the countryside and nature that surrounds me. It amazes me daily the changes in the colours and how the landscape is different from season to season. I was ready to get “Green Fingers!” and grow my own!
I went and purchased some small plastic cups and popped holes into the bottom and filled them with compost. I put the seeds into each one and daily would speak to them and give them Reiki. Some of you may think I am off my trolley, many of you, I know, will understand this. After about a week of doing this along with watering them, a tiny shoot appeared, I think the whole town of Alhaurin el Grande may have heard me screeching for joy. Once the shoots had grown enough I planted them into a sunny spot where they could grow up a trellis and flourish. As the days got warmer I watched the flowers spring into action, they do need plenty of water as well as a sunny spot. The yellow flowers were beautiful and so intricate, they are male and female and I was fascinated watching the bees jumping from one to the other pollinating as they went about their day. Female flowers grow larger and are singular with many male flowers around it. All of a sudden baby loofahs started to grow out of the female flowers, what I was doing was working. I could not stop smiling I was actually growing my own.
Throughout the summer my loofahs grew, they can grow up to 30 cm in length. I must say I did not realise how long they would take you have to be patient, they need 150 to 200 warm days to grow to full size, it was a long summer, I could see them growing longer and longer, I just wanted to take them off and pull them apart, you can only do this when they become light in weight and the skin has turned brown, this then means the fruit has dried out and it has become fibrous. Yes you do have to be patient. In January 2017 I made the decision to take them off the main plant as we experience frost and I was concerned after all this time that I would loose them. I have saved 3 in total and have been able to shred one so far and my first batch of Loofah Scrubbies have been made, oh I am so proud of what I have achieved. They say “Good things come to those who wait”, well they were right about that. Using a loofah acts as a natural exfoliator for the skin with it´s natural fibres it gently exfoliates the dead cells for new skin growth. From homegrown to handmade what more could you ask for. You can purchase from my website www.vidanaturalskincare.com where we have a full range of skincare products on offer.
The lesson I have learnt from this, is I need to plant the seeds earlier. Now we are in March and February I planted the seeds into their new trays and am delighted to say, some of them are flourishing already. I am more prepared this time around and am looking forward to watching the magic happen again. I know I have to be patient and should have a larger crop. I shall keep you updated on progress via my Facebook and Instagram pages, links are attached below.
It has been a joyful journey sharing my loofah story with you, let me know any experiences you have had, your feedback and comments are much appreciated. Here I share with you two special ladies Fiona Catchpowle and Sarah Hawes who had a little bit of fun when I introduced one of my Loofahs to a Costa Women Business Breakfast. Being part of the Costa Women Tribe has given me the opportunity to spread my wings and have the support that I have needed along the way, it is a great group of women started by Ali Meehan where women can connect from all over Spain and around the World to make some good friendships along the way. Visit the website above to find out more.
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