Grow Your Own Luffas
The luffa, or loofah, gourd (Luffa cylindrica) is a purely practical choice for gardeners: It’s grown primarily for its dried pulp, which we know as the exfoliating beauty sponge of the same name. Just plant and cultivate luffas as directed on the seed packet – though if you live in a climate zone with a growing season shorter than seven months you’ll need to start seeds indoors.
When a gourd lightens in weight and its skin begins to brown, peel it. Wet it thoroughly and squeeze out the seeds with both hands, then set the gourd on a rack to dry for two to four weeks, or until hard. (Placing gourds near a heating vent will speed the process.) Use a sharp knife to slice the dried luffa crosswise into rounds, and ta-dah! – homegrown skin scrubbers for the whole family.