A few weeks ago a friend was telling me about a friend of hers who had a solar setup similar to ours and they were still having issues with the electric company and their readings. We talked about it all and then she mentioned that he had a hydroponics setup in his greenhouse. Vince is wanting to do some hydroponics so I asked her if we could go out and visit with hi andshe set it all up and we went.
He has a really neat setup with a garden, fruit trees, solar, his greenhouse .. it was all so similar to our setup and, as the crow flies, he’s probably not a mile from our house! It was an interesting visit and while in the greenhouse, he picked up something that I thought was loofah but he called it Japanese okra and he gave my friend and me a few seeds.
Even the seeds look like my loofah seeds.
In this blog post, there are pictures of the loofah that I harvested, along with photos of each step of the process.
When we got home, I googled the Japanese okra and found that it is a member of the loofah family. Mother Earth News has a great article about it. In the article, they describe it as an “edible gourd” and it has “bright, fragrant flowers and delicious fruit”. The folks told us that they like this better than regular okra! By the way, loofah is also edible if you harvest it while small and that’s the same thing he told us about the Japanese okra . . harvest while it’s small.
The man told us that he had planted 6 seeds last spring and he got way more fruit than he could eat. He still had several pieces on the vine drying so I can get more seeds if I have to but he gave me 9. I will plant 4 or 5 of them next year, and save some just in case something happens to those that I plant.
I can hardly wait to plant them next spring and see what happens. I love growing new things!
Diana in RR,TX says
In the 70’s when we were living outside of Chicago a friend of ours was laid off from work. While looking for another job he turned his crawl space into a hydroponic greenhouse. He set up a watering system, plant lights and had fresh tomatoes and other veggies all winter. You couldn’t walk in it but had to scoot around on a short chair with wheels. I think the big tomato grower out by Fort Davis is all hydroponic.
Rebecca in SoCal says
Wow! You just keep on adding things. Never bored, that’s for sure!
Oh please let me know how it works out (for the greenhouse)-I would love to put one in to grow veggies all winter long .. AND to also put my houseplants in so they will go OH so big (as my granddaughter told me tonite !). lol
Pat -Alabama says
Thanks to you my husband planted loofah this year. We only have a 3/4 acre lot. He plated the loofah around the back fence. All the neighbors were interested in what was growing on our fence. It has been an education for our self and the neighbor. Can not believe how many seeds are in a loofah.
Don’t know if I should tell him about the Japanese Orka. He did plant a gord that you were suppose to be able to eat when it is young but we never got up the nerve to taste.
Love your adventures in gardening. I grew up on a farm in north Alabama and love fresh vegetable.