Looking for an unusual experience and tour?
A visit to the Nipomo Luffa Farm might just do the trick!
The luffa gourd develops at the base of the flower, grow downward at one-half inch daily, and more than one gourd grows on a vine. When some magical moment occurs inside the gourd, it turns off its growing mechanism and begins to change from bright green to yellow and, finally, to brown. It will be hard and dry – shake the gourd and the seeds inside will rattle –and then it’s picking time.
A tour of the Luffa Farm begins with a comparison of commercial luffas grown in other countries and imported here; these other plants are chemically-handled, affecting the feel of the luffas to become stiff and abrasive. Deanne’s luffas, however, have a slight amount of stiffness, but are essentially soft.
“You can use them to wash the car if you want to,” she says. “Our luffas won’t give you raw skin, just a good clean feeling.” They can be used on dishes and can be put in the dishwasher or the washing machine.
After a tour, stop by the gift shop. Deanne also grows a variety of aromatic and healing herbs, using them in products such as hand-poured glycerin soaps, lotions, bath salts, sachets, bath fizzlers and teas, eye masks, and neck wraps.
The Luffa Farm, located at 1457 Willow Road in Nipomo, is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m.to 4 p.m. A free tour requires no scheduling. Groups, bus tours, and school groups are welcome and include a choice of a catered lunch or cookies and tea; reservations are necessary.
Call (805) 343-0883. Luffa Farm products are available online at www.theluffafarm.com.