Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Three Sisters

Today I planted a "Three Sisters" garden. Sorry no photo, as the light is going and I've just come inside. I went to the doctor this week and I have a diagnosis of a lumbar sprain. Ouch! The best medicine for my injury is to keep moving, so I've been doing the right thing trying to carry on. I've managed OK with bursts of increasing activity, interspersed by sedentary activities. Today I biked with Johnny for about five kms. I was ready to stop on the approach to home, but did better than I thought.

Anyway, back to "The Three Sisters" garden. In Native American traditional gardens, some tribes relied heavily on maize, beans and squash as the basis of their diets. These three vegetable friends (or sisters) can be planted together in a very clever way. Traditionally a mound was made and planted with a group of maize or corn. When this was about 15cm high, corn and squash were planted around the corn. The beans scrambled up the corn, feeding the soil with nitrogen, and the squash plants crept along the ground, limiting weed growth, and helping to shade the soil, keeping moisture in. Of course the Native Americans had some sweet legends about "The Three Sisters" explaining that although different, the sisters loved each other dearly, and worked together to the benefit of all.

To make my "Three Sisters" garden I used one of my small raised beds, popped two baby bear pumpkins in, planted the corn I grew earlier from seed, and surrounded these with assorted climbing bean seeds (some a bit out of date, so I'm crossing my fingers for action). Plenty of moisture, and some upcoming liquid feeds, and my "Three Sisters" garden is hopefully going to be a successful experiment. Actually, I've got a fourth sister, a rogue potato has come up in the raised bed as well, and I'm sure that shouldn't present too many problems.

I've got a riding lesson tomorrow, plus LOTS more gardening, and some more work on my bigger fabric collage. I'd better take some photos too!

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