Preparation and Planting the Corn
The Three Sisters’ Garden concept is a companion planting strategy that dates back before the colonization of North America.
- The oldest sister and first to be planted is Corn in the centre of each mound.
- The next sister is squash and is planted on the sides of the mound where their tangle of vines and leaves will discourage animals, keep the weeds down, the soil moist and cool as their large leaves shade the ground.
- The last sister is pole bean. The beans are planted beside the corn and grow up through the squash onto the corn stalks trussing the entire mound together adding strength against the wind, further discouragement for animals and introduces nitrogen back into the soil through the roots.
This completes a singular three sister’s mound and a garden can be made up of as many mounds as space and need call for our has four mounds.
Our granddaughter Emily read about the Three Sisters Garden at school. There are two Aboriginal nations within the girl’s school district, Neyaashiinigmiing and Saugeen First Nation and the general curriculum contains some local Aboriginal history and cultural teaching. Thus we find ourselves at a friend’s farm building and planting our own Three Sisters Garden.
Grandpa researched and planned our Three Sisters Garden:
- He marked a plot of ground that was 10 ft. by 10 ft.
- In each corner he and the girls created a mound that was 2 ft. high and 2 ft. across, each mound was 4 ft. away from its neighbour.
- And we planted two of the mounds with sweet corn and two with ornamental corn.
- Ruth like Grandma loves Sunflowers so here we deviated from the traditional garden and she planted sunflower in the center of the plot – a whole package!
We will create two more blog posts on our Three Sister Garden:
One when we plant the squash and the other the beans and we have created a page at the top of this blog entitle Three Sister Garden and I will post weekly pictures of how our garden is doing.