Harvesting and drying Luffas?????
My 8 year old son grew Luffas this summer. He got a bit of a late start, as he didn't plant them until July. They took off at an unbelievable rate and produced many Luffas. However, only about 7 of them grew to a substantial size before we were forced to harvest them due to a cold snap that threatened to produce a frost. These are 12 to 18 inches long and about 3 in. in diameter. The color is still green. Will we be able to dry them and harvest the sponges from them? Or did we pick them too early? The leaves on the vines had turned black, but the vines were not completely withered. Anyone out there who can help? He was very excited about an idea he saw of pouring glycerin soap into the sponge and slicing them into bars of soap once they had hardened for Christmas presents. (Any further instructions on this project would be helpful, too!)If it helps, they are not at all mushy, but are 'springy' to the touch. Thanks!