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Family dynamics

Do you recognise the corn? We like corn and so do the chickens. But the main reason Paul planted it there is because it's the oldest sister in the three sister planting technique. Three sisters planting is an old native American Indian custom for guild. Corn is planted first, when 30 cm, plant beans and courgettes/pumpkin/squash. The beans will use the corn to climb, the courgettes are a ground cover to prevent dehydration of the soil. We will need to discover how the harvesting of the beans will go if we don’t want to flatten the courgettes! Everything is an experiment, we’ll tell you about it when we’re there. In any case this is such a beautiful example of interdependance and cooperation.

Ask anyone with two sisters ;)

Quote from

"Three hundred years ago, when early American colonists took a look at the food gardens in Native American villages, they often saw a unique companion planting plan – corn, pole beans and pumpkins or squash being grown together in the same plot. Compared to the neatly plowed rows and fields of Europe, these “corn gardens” looked suspiciously wild, but for the Iroquois, Cherokee, and other Native American tribes who grew Three Sisters Gardens, their success amounted to a minor agricultural revolution. With cleared land at a premium, here was a way to grow three nutritious, easy-to-store crops in one space...

A three sisters garden is basically a “stacked” garden that uses three layers to fill the space. The upright element is traditionally corn, but sunflowers or grain sorghum make interesting alternatives. In terms of timing, it’s important that the upright crop has a two to three-week head start if it is to serve as a good support for vigorous beans. The slight shade cast by the upright crop makes the beans grow slowly at first, but by the time the corn is in decline, the beans are poised to explode with new growth.”

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