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Three Sisters Square Foot garden

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Re: Three Sisters Square Foot garden

Post  Turan on 3/13/2013, 2:48 pm

For the history buffs among us that get excited by the historical connections in 3 Sisters...

1 | Page A Snapshot of Agricultural History: The Oscar Will Seed Company Collection at the North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station

I won't be able to read it fully until later. Work and sheep lambing.... What a Face

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Re: Three Sisters Square Foot garden

Post  LikeToGarden on 3/13/2013, 3:54 pm

Turan talking about history when I came across some information about Seminole Squash I bought some seeds.
here's a quote
"I love to imagine what they looked like: overgrown amber "pears" hanging from dead trees, large silver-laced leaves twining in and around the brittle wood. The trees were carefully girdled, killed by slicing into the cambium layer around the entire tree. Once the trees died, members of the Seminole tribes would plant squash seeds around the base of the tree, and these vines would climb the tree and fruit in the air. Up there, the fruit was less likely to rot than if setting on the damp soil.
The Seminole pumpkin fascinates me. It's a beautiful fruit, tawny colored like a butternut and similar in flavor, with a deep orange, very smooth flesh. Also like the butternut, it belongs in the C. moschata species, a vigorous species that deals well with heat and even humidity. I grew it this year up trellises, and my only regret is that I didn't plant it earlier in the season, for when I had to pull the vine out for my winter veggies, it still had fruit on it yet to mature. But it's beautiful, and tasty, and grows really, really well here, and there's a lot more to the story behind this pumpkin.
Serving as a primary food source for the Creek, Muskogee, and Calusa peoples (collectively identified as Seminole) for at least five hundred years in Georgia, Alabama, and especially Florida—it is documented by Spanish visitors upon their arrival to Florida—the Seminole community passively bred the pumpkin to be long lasting and hard-skinned. "If they opened one in October and saved the seeds, rodents would have probably gotten them. Or insects or fungus. So they would eat on them throughout the fall and winter, and the longest keeping ones would be the last to be eaten. The best keepers provided the seed by unintentional selection" (Dr. Bradshaw, cited by Freeman). Both the high protein seeds and the flesh served as an important winter food. The Seminoles used the pumpkin in cornbreads, a version of frybread, and dried the flesh to use in throughout the year. The food was so important that, according to some sources, its loss caused devastation:"
and goes own with research on the squash here's the link
athinkingstomach.blogspot.com/2010/12/survivor.html

and here another link
cowlickcottagefarm.com/linnaeus-day-seminole-squash/
quote
"Seminole squash is now on the Renewing America’s Food Traditions (RAFT) 10 most endangered American foods list. I discovered through researching this beautiful squash that white settlers practiced one of the first forms of biological warfare by destroying this extremely important nutritional crop, starving this proud tribe by depriving them of a main source of nutrition during the winter months. While the history is a painful part of our past, it pleases me to share the knowledge about this great vegetable with others.
The squash is now flourishing in the garden, companion-planted with sweet corn, a traditional combination in the vegetable garden. "

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Re: Three Sisters Square Foot garden

Post  FamilyGardening on 3/13/2013, 4:33 pm

@Nonna.PapaVino wrote:Rose, where did you find the Hooker's Corn seed?

From Territorial Seed Company Very Happy

happy gardening
rose

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Re: Three Sisters Square Foot garden

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 3/13/2013, 4:47 pm

Thanks, Rose. Just when i thought I'd read their catalog from cover to cover! Embarassed Nonna

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Re: Three Sisters Square Foot garden

Post  jonny6 on 3/13/2013, 11:38 pm

I would suggest you limit you square foot bed to only 4 pumpking plants.
As for planting zucchini in a 3 sisters bed it can be done if you trellis the zucchini.

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Re: Three Sisters Square Foot garden

Post  Turan on 3/14/2013, 1:08 am

@Nonna.PapaVino wrote:Turan, perhaps you could encourage Judy Fisher to share her heirloom seeds with both Native Seed Search, Seed Savers Exchange, and/or Baker Creek to assure a second repository of these seeds and their valuable genetic diversity.
I talked to her today and got my bean and squash seeds. She says Baker Creek is in touch with her and bought some seeds from her.

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Re: Three Sisters Square Foot garden

Post  Turan on 3/14/2013, 1:12 am

Liketogarden, that is a really interesting write up on Seminole pumpkins.

This whole adventure is a bit of a time travel and reach for a taste of the place itself.

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Re: Three Sisters Square Foot garden

Post  LikeToGarden on 3/16/2013, 12:24 am

Thanks Turan Smile

For those of you looking into the three sisters growing method you might like this
Buffalo Bird Woman's Garden
Read online here:
http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/buffalo/garden/garden.html
Or get a pdf copy of the original public domain book
Agriculture of the Hidatsa Indians: An Indian Interpretation
by Gilbert Livingstone Wilson, Ph.D. (1868-1930)
http://ia600306.us.archive.org/10/items/agriculturehidatsa00waherich/agriculturehidatsa00waherich.pdf


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Re: Three Sisters Square Foot garden

Post  Turan on 3/16/2013, 5:13 pm

Thank you So much! I had heard of Buffalo Bird Woman's garden but not found the references. I am enjoying reading her account.


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Re: Three Sisters Square Foot garden

Post  Gunny on 3/16/2013, 5:27 pm

Somebodys bubble is going to burst. There are four sisters. The forth being sunflowers. Just found this out a little way back after planting mine. Didn't have room in the old horse feeders for another plant to go in with the others, so will make room for sister sunflower next time. Cheers

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Re: Three Sisters Square Foot garden

Post  Turan on 3/16/2013, 6:48 pm

It is interesting that sunflowers are left out of the term. Up here in the Northern Plains they were grown on the borders of fields, not in the hills. It seems that when people say Three Sisters they are referring to an Iroquois legend. From what I can find, sunflowers were planted by the men along with tobacco along one side of the field. The corn, beans and squash were planted by women.

Gunny, you could probably learn a lot about the particulars of growing in your climate by researching traditional Hopi and Zuni agriculture.

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Re: Three Sisters Square Foot garden

Post  LikeToGarden on 3/16/2013, 7:32 pm




The Iroquois -

"There are other spirits who are very beautiful
the spirits of the corn, beans, and squashes. The
guardian spirit of the born is dressed in the long,
tapering corn leaves, ornamented with the silken corn
tassels, which are also arranged about her head in
wreaths. The guardian spirit of the bean has her
garments of its leaves, woven together by the delicate
tendrils. She has upon her head a crown of the rich
pods and blossoms. The guardian spirit of the squash
is also clothed with the productions of the vine under
its care. These three beautiful spirits are never separated,
and for this reason the Indian plants the corn
and beans and squashes in one hill."

From
Our life among the Iroquois Indians, by Harriet S. Caswell ([1892])
http://ia600302.us.archive.org/13/items/ourlifeamongiroq00caswiala/ourlifeamongiroq00caswiala.pdf











i

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Re: Three Sisters Square Foot garden

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 3/16/2013, 8:44 pm

Gunny, definitely get in touch with Native Seeds Search (www.nativeseeds.org) based in Tucson. Not only do they seek out and preserve native seeds, but they are a great data base for dry climate gardening. And they have an active teaching schedule you may be interested in.

Just today I received from Native Seeds a packet of Carl's Glass Gem Corn seeds and some pepper seeds: Texas Chiltepin (we called them chili pequins) and Negro de Valle. Hopefully I can fool these plants into thinking it's warmer and sunnier here in Western Oregon than it really is. Nonna

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Re: Three Sisters Square Foot garden

Post  Gunny on 3/16/2013, 11:41 pm

Will do for native seeds, have them bookmarked but have not been back to study their material. Down here it is Cocopa and Quechan. I live about a mile from the Cocopa Res. And the Quechan are on the North side of the Colorado over in California, about ten miles to my North. The Quechan also have some propert about four miles to my West. Last year I would fish on the South side of the road and was warned bu their Fish and Game not to fish on the North side of the road because that was theirs. Go figure. Was I catching their fish when they swam to the South side of the road. I catch and release anyway. Just like a challenge. But yes definately will get back to that site. Thank for reminding me about them. And that is a very nice post from the lore of the People.

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Re: Three Sisters Square Foot garden

Post  LikeToGarden on 3/17/2013, 1:42 am

Hopi

The Hopi in Relation to Their Plant Environment (February 1, 1897)
http://archive.org/details/jstor-658916

On the left you can see different types of downloads the text is smallest download and they have a Kindle version.

AND

Zuni

"food sources. Among the latter the fruit of the
cactus figures prominently, "

The Zuni Indians: their mythology, esoteric fraternities, and ceremonies (1904)
http://ia700504.us.archive.org/19/items/thezueniindians00stevrich/thezueniindians00stevrich.pdf
starting on page 361 Food and Drink


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Just planted my corn

Post  tagyourit on 5/14/2013, 10:54 am

For the kids bed we are doing the three sister method. I wish I had read this before buying seeds since I did sweet corn and have KY Wonder pole beans waiting to be planted. Oh well, We will give it a try.

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Re: Three Sisters Square Foot garden

Post  donnainzone5 on 5/14/2013, 11:15 am

Next time you plan out a Three Sisters bed, consider using yellow and purple pole beans--they're much easier to see against the green corn foliage.

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Re: Three Sisters Square Foot garden

Post  ETNRedClay on 5/14/2013, 1:45 pm

donnainzone10 wrote:Next time you plan out a Three Sisters bed, consider using yellow and purple pole beans--they're much easier to see against the green corn foliage.

Boy, wish I had thought of THAT 2 months ago...

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Re: Three Sisters Square Foot garden

Post  Turan on 6/11/2013, 12:56 am

This weekend I at last got to plant my Three Sisters garden! Because time was moving by so fast I planted both corn and beans at the same time. I planted Painted Mountain field corn, 2/sq and 24 sqs, and Indian Woman yellow dry bean along a border, 5/sq and 8 sqs. I snuck a few sunflowers in along the ends of the bed. There is a berm I just dug where the squash will go. I have the squash sprouted in pots in the house and will plant them out by this weekend too.

I really enjoy making my own masa tortillas. Anyone have experience making the hominy to grind for masa?

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Re: Three Sisters Square Foot garden

Post  FamilyGardening on 6/11/2013, 1:08 am

Turan glad you were able to get your three sisters garden in Very Happy

I have never ground corn to make flour before.... but would love to learn how this year with the Indian sweet corn we are growing in our three sisters garden Very Happy

happy gardening
rose

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Re: Three Sisters Square Foot garden

Post  Goosegirl on 6/11/2013, 8:05 am

Hoping to plant the beans in my 3 Sisters garden this weekend. The squash has sprouted nicely and the corn is about 4 inches high. This pic was taken 12 days ago. Squash is actually visible now (not in this pic!) and most of the corn has another set of leaves.



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Re: Three Sisters Square Foot garden

Post  GWN on 6/11/2013, 10:37 am

Wow this is such an interesting thread. I wished I had read it before I planted my sweet corn. I do have some dry corn seeds
however feel I am running out of time and energy for new crops. Turan how do you grind your corn?
I really enjoy making my own masa tortillas. Anyone have experience making the hominy to grind for masa

I grind all of my flour from grains I buy locally Spelt, winter wheat. Can you grind corn in a regular grain mill?

Janet ..... who is off to soak my mandan bride corn over nite.

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Re: Three Sisters Square Foot garden

Post  Turan on 6/11/2013, 11:42 am

Right now I am making tortillas with masa I bought. In the long ago past with the kids we pounded the corn on a big flat rock and then soaked and then ground in the blender. But since then I have learned that that is not masa, that it is the lime soak to make hominy first that is really important. Apparently soaking in lime alters the chemistry of the protein in corn and some other stuff making it much more nutritious and digestible than plain corn meal/flour. It also makes a dough that is easier to handle.

I have been told that a lot of grinders can not handle corn but some can. I have not tried yet with mine.

Found a good article in ME Make Masa: 'Nixtamalize' Your Corn .
Also the wiki entry is good https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nixtamalization

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Re: Three Sisters Square Foot garden

Post  FamilyGardening on 6/11/2013, 4:31 pm

Turan thanks for the links......I will take a look Very Happy

here is our SFG three sisters garden bed

*Blue Lake* Green beans on the back trellis, *Hooker* Indian sweet corn in the middle, Crookneck squash and *Black beauty* Zucchini on the front side corners....



happy gardening
rose

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Re: Three Sisters Square Foot garden

Post  Turan on 6/11/2013, 10:35 pm

That looks so promising, Rose. I like that you give the beans an alternative to the corn to climb.

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