Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Planting the Three Sisters

During our Pow Wow unit our little Iroquois talked about how the Native Americans grew their own food.  According to Iroquois legend, corn, beans, and squash were three inseparable sisters who only grew and thrived together. This tradition of planting corn, beans and squash in the same mounds, was widespread among Native American farming societies.  It was a sophisticated system that provided long-term soil fertility and a healthy diet. The Iroquois believed corn, beans and squash were precious gifts from the Great Spirit, each watched over by one of three sisters spirits.  Corn provides a natural pole for bean vines to climb. Bean vines help stabilize the corn plants. Shallow-rooted squash vines become a living mulch and discourage predators from approaching the corn and beans.

Today our children actually got to join with fifth graders to plant mounds of the Three sisters.  They planted and watered and will visist the mounds often to watch the garden grow.  What an exciting enrichment for our own Plant Unit!

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