We finally-finally made the final-final sweep through the garden, generally putting it to bed for the winter -- mulching some greens we're hoping to over-winter for extra early spring crops, and harvesting the last of the frost-kissed root crops...
... some of which were destined to become carrot and cashew payasam, and beet soup.
The final-final task with the most urgency was destroying the squash bug egg stashes.
By now, the leaves have fallen off the vines and withered into well-hidden and well-camouflaged papery husks, each one with 45 eggs tucked carefully into its folds. Multiply that by 524 leaves lying around, and you get 8,567,344 future squash bugs waiting to decimate next year's crop just like they nearly did this year . Having read that burning all leaves and vine remnants is the only effective way to destroy the eggs, we tried to make a discreet, non-smoky, inside-city-limits-sized slash pile like the farmers out in the country do, only ours was right next to the street. The "discreet, non-smoky" part didn't go so well and standing in front of the fire and making the "What??" face whenever a car drove by didn't make for a very effective visual blocking technique, so we had to abort the mission and hastily extinguish our little fire before getting arrested. Ultimately, we decided the best we could do was simply to remove and throw away all the squash vine debris and not put it in the compost.
Spent New Mexico Primrose
So now that the garden is tucked in for the winter, we can finally settle in to the season where all we do in our spare time is sit around eating the food we've saved up. Bon apetit!