Your Three Sisters Garden

After posting yesterday about the changes being "considered" for corn crops (vaccines in corn?), I started thinking about my future crops of corn. As you may be aware, we can't grow corn this year because we're putting the house up for sale in a few weeks.

Last year, my first year of real gardening and of Three Sisters gardening, we planted a combination of crops in the corn patch.
(Pic to right was taken on July 7 2008 - looks busy doesn't it? Planted the beans too early and the corn too close together!)
  • corn - Early and Often Sweet Corn, and a couple of Bloody Butcher and a couple of Blue Hopi - yes, they cross-pollinated and was quite interesting!
  • beans - pole - Romano and KY Wonder - delicious
  • squash - we planted too many summer squashes (which don't vine so that was way wrong), a few Mexican X-Top cushaw winter squashes, a Sugar Pie pumpkin, and a couple of spaghetti winter squashes. We didn't save seeds, and to this day, still have a couple of the X-Tops left in the basement.
  • sunflowers - we grew mammoth and some were short and some were taller than 6 and 7 feet tall! The only thing is the beans didn't want to climb them, and I didn't give them enough space. They need more room than the corn stalks, because the stalks got huge, and the leaves pushed everything out of the way.
(Pic to right is the cornpatch in early September, but pic mostly shows the sunflowers.)

I'm buying the seed now for all of our future corn crops. Also gonna order the bean seed. Considering alternating one kind one year and another kind the next year, then change again.

  • corn - Bloody Butcher switching to Black Aztec the next year - both can be eaten as corn on the cob but do better dried on the cob for corn meal. I understand the corn stalks can also be harvested before the first frost, completely uprooted, and dried upside down hanging from rafters and used as needed.
  • bean - KY Wonder did great last year, but I can't find where it makes a good dried white bean. We did dry them but I'm kinda nervous about using. Anyone? Also, we want a second pole bean to alternate to the next year - considering Cherokee Trail of Tears which produces a shiny black bean that is good as a snap bean or dried.
  • squash - we plan to alternate pumpkin (kind?) with Mexican X-Top cushaw (very long vines with lots of large fruit that stores well and seeds are great toasted) and possibly spaghetti or butternut.
  • sunflowers - mammoth - only on the perimeter and spaced correctly!

We'll, of course, plant bush beans and summer squashes in other places. Can't imagine not growing soybeans! Plus we'll be planting gourds elsewhere, like bushel basket and birdhouse, for functional use later.

Anyway... ... I'm writing this because I'm curious - are YOU doing a Three Sisters garden this year? If so, what varieties are you growing? Are you concerned about my article yesterday about the GMO modification and vaccine-implanting of corn seed? Are you stocking up on seeds and learning about seed saving?


marci357 said...

This year I am waiting on some patio cement work which means anything in the beds next to the patio and gonna get trampled on, so didn't plant in them yet.

Last year I did Corn, Squash, and Beans. I used Golden Jubilee Corn, (my fav), spaghetti and butternut squashes, and Scarlet Runner beans. With the scarlet flowers among the cornstalks, it was Beautiful :) One thing I learned is to let the corn get a 2 wk head start tho - then plant the beans and squash - otherwise they tend to overpower the corn.

About spaghetti squash - I harvested in early October. Washed off with a damp vinegared cloth and sat them at the end of the kitchen counter. They keep great! I still have two to eat (mid June) and only lost the tip of one (it had been scratched). Nothing else done to them and they seem to keep almost forever!

ThrtnWmsFam said...

Marci: that was great info. Our spaghetti squash lasted until April, when the last one was eaten! I've never grown scarlet runner beans... do you eat them as fresh string beans, or dry the beans? Thanks again! Vikki