The Three Sisters
In Native American culture, the centuries-old proven tradition of the “Three Sisters” method of planting includes corn, beans, and squash. These three plants are important in traditional Native American agriculture as well as in cooking.
When planted together, they support each other during the growing season. The corn is planted first, then the beans, and finally the squash. The corn provides a stalk for the beans to climb and gives the squash vines room to spread. The large squash leaves help the ground stay shaded while keeping the soil from drying out and reducing weeds. The bean plants help the other plants grow because they contribute nitrogen to the soil. The beans also anchor the corn in place when there are strong winds.
When used together in cooking, the Three Sisters create a balanced meal of carbohydrates, protein, and fiber, each providing different vitamins and nutrients we all need for good nutrition.
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