Thursday, August 13, 2009

We Do It The Old Fashioned Way

I am trying out a modified Three Sisters planting style, a combination of corn, pole beans and squash. In this symbiotic relationship the beans are planted in the center of the corn hill and the squash should be alternated with the corn hills. I didn't have enough room to plant the squash in between the corn, so it is planted a row over. The corn works as a pole for the beans, the beans help to stabilize the corn from wind, and the squash is a living mulch. I chose this method as I just wanted to see how the ancients did it, and I just plain like the name. Sisterhood and paganism!

The Iroquois Legend of the Three Sisters

Erney, Diana. 1996. Long live the Three Sisters. Organic Gardening. November. p. 37-40.
The term “Three Sisters” emerged from the Iroquois creation myth. It was said that the earth began when “Sky Woman” who lived in the upper world peered through a hole in the sky and fell through to an endless sea. The animals saw her coming, so they took the soil from the bottom of the sea and spread it onto the back of a giant turtle to provide a safe place for her to land. This “Turtle Island” is now what we call North America.

Sky woman had become pregnant before she fell. When she landed, she gave birth to a daughter. When the daughter grew into a young woman, she also became pregnant (by the West wind). She died while giving birth to twin boys. Sky Woman buried her daughter in the “new earth.” From her grave grew three sacred plants—corn, beans, and squash. These plants provided food for her sons, and later, for all of humanity. These special gifts ensured the survival of the Iroquois people.

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