When luffa gourds are harvested young at 4-6″ long, they are a sweet, tasty vegetable that can be stir-fried, sauteed, or cooked with meats or tofu just as you would zucchini squash or okra. They can also be sliced or diced in a salad like a cucumber. Mature gourd seeds can be roasted. The young flowers and foliage can be cooked for greens (great with butter and a pinch of curry). Of course, luffa gourds are also commonly used for another purpose, and what fun it is to grow your own sponges! They can be used for exfoliating and cleaning your skin, scrubbing dishes, and cleaning the barbecue grill!