aquaponics / rants / veggie garden

Gotta love a loofah!

… and another win in the fight against plastic 😀

We have a few things thriving in the aquaponics system, despite the heat. One noteworthy plant is a member of the gourd family—variously spelled loofah or luffa, this vine is producing the most delightful bright yellow flowers and most impressive ‘fruit’.  A little Googling tells me that they are often referred to as dishcloth gourds or vegetable sponges.

Ours has been grown from removing, sprouting and planting the seeds from a ‘fruit’ that Chris bought home some time last year. Our aquaponics store had given it to him as a gift, and while we had no idea to do with it, we (again) managed to Google and discover that it needed to be dried out, rinsed and squeezed out … and then the pesky seeds picked and rattled out. You then dry out the internal fibrous bit. I sliced ours into pieces and have used one piece for months now as a bath washcloth/sponge.

It is incredibly robust and I like the idea of using a piece as a scourer in the kitchen to replace the typical plastics-based stuff that we usually buy and use.

I know it is a small thing, but each bit of plastic used and then discarded ultimately ends up as landfill. And the loofah? Despite its inherent sturdiness, it is just vegetable fibre and will ultimately breakdown to something compostable.

 

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We are in the final weeks of summer here, although you would not know it as it is still overly hot. Large tracts of Australia have just experienced rolling heat waves—the most recent is just dissipating now, but not without setting record temperatures over 47 degrees (that’s 116 (ish) Fahrenheit) in a number of towns in NSW and Queensland. We have not seen decent rain in Woody Point for almost a month now, and so the soil garden is struggling, despite regular watering.

I am so cranky with the World at the moment—particularly with politicians and the fact that the ‘leader of the free world’, AKA Donald Trump, is a fruitcake and our Prime Minister is an invertebrate. Climate change is real people and we need to engage with it. We CANNOT keep digging up and burning fossil fuels. Period. And if this recent spate of hot weather does not convince locals here, I don’t know what will.

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