Plant a 'Three Sisters' Vegetable Plot

The Three Sisters include corn, beans and squash. As part of the circle of life, these New World crops rely upon each other for survival. According to the Iroquois -- who chant "you who sustain us" to the trio -- the Three Sisters hold a spiritual, ceremonial and celebratory place in the garden. Not only are the Three Sisters rich in mythological, cultural and botanical history, they belong together nutritionally. Corn, beans and squash complement each other: corn for grain and carbohydrate, beans for protein and squash for vitamin A.

The Three Sisters all work together. Critters will find it harder to invade your garden by interplanting your corn, beans and squash. The corn stalk serves as a pole for the beans, the beans help to add the nitrogen to the soil that the corn needs, and the squash provides a ground cover of shade that helps the soil retain moisture.
Planting Method
Mound soil. Plant corn first. When it reaches 5-6 inches, plant beans. When beans sprout, plant squash either in mound sides or between mounds. Mounds can be arranged in the symbolic circle of life or adjusted to fit the plot available. Expect the Three Sisters to be unruly, despite efforts to control them. These gardens teach patience and express the natural world's complexity. Do enjoy and appreciate the ancient beauty and unforgettable taste of the
Three Sisters!


 

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