Beloved Reedley Luffa Gardens will soon be able to double its production

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Nathan Pauls is preparing even more space on his Reedley farm to grow those luffa sponges people can't get enough of.

A new greenhouse is now in place at Luffa Gardens. It will allow the Pauls family to double production.

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Nathan hopes to plant inside the space in July. The crop will be protected from frost.

"We're hoping if we can get a second one before winter, then we'll have just about as much production inside as we have outside," he said.

That would allow year-round luffa production.

Female flowers are starting to form on the vines in the original spot. They'll be fertilized by the male flowers which grow in clusters. In the fall, they'll develop into large luffa pods. Right now, Pauls is putting them in the best position to produce.

"A lot of them grow sideways so we try to re-direct their path, at least until they get to the top of the trellis because at the top of the trellis they can spread out better," Pauls said.

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Business continues to grow so Pauls figures it's time to get more of this cucumber relative into the ground. Hollywood spas are even taking an interest in luffa.

"We're starting to have a lot of repeat customers," Pauls said. "Finally, our luffas are starting to wear out after a year."

In addition to the Clovis Farmers market, locally the luffa products can now be found at Just My Essentials in Old Town Clovis and FresYes Realty.
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