Ah, November has arrived with the lovely Dia de los Muertos – a time to recall those who have passed on. A bitter-sweet celebration; nearly everyone has a list of kith and kin that seem lost to us through death, and while honoring the dead and recalling their contributions is positive, forgetting the pain of loss is quite a challenge. Today you can let it out freely – you are not alone in recalling the beloved dead.
The changing of the month means it’s time for the pumpkins of October to pass on to the compost heap. Perhaps the humus they create will help something wonderful grow to fruition next season. I indulged this year and got 2 pumpkins for the celebration of all hallows eve. I chose a traditional orange one, and decided to try the newish white skinned type. Last year I thought the white skinned pumpkins were ugly, and kind of gross. This year I felt attracted to them, and immediately thought what a great “head” one would make for a headless horseman costume. Alas, I was not a headless horseman, but the luminescent pumpkin was definitely a boon to the Halloween season.
Since the pumpkins have to go out to be composted, I have also been thinking about my porch plants and how I need to man-up and kill off the straggling plants that are left. Usually I kill plants off well before their season is done, but I had a banner year and there are still live cherry tomato plants struggling to beat the cold. It seems cruel to leave them out to deal with the elements, yet I can’t quite bring myself to uproot the fecund plants and put an end to their life-cycle. Ridiculous, right? I have been happily eating their fruits, but am unhappy to think about their death. The lemon cucumber plant has been stunted and basically dead for weeks, but the tomatoes are really hanging on. They even put out another round of flowers just a few weeks back. Still, it’s definitely time to wrap up the summer growing season and say good bye to the plants and pots until next spring.