Corn provides carbohydrates and the dried beans are rich in protein, balancing the lack of necessary amino acids found in corn. Squash yields both vitamins from the fruit and healthy, delicious oil from the seeds.
When to Plant
Sow seeds any time after spring night temperatures are in the 50 degree range, up through June.
What to Plant
Corn must be planted in several rows rather than one long row to ensure adequate pollination. Choose pole beans or runner beans and a squash or pumpkin variety with trailing vines, rather than a compact bush.
The three sisters plot is also known as Kionhekwa in the Iroquois language. The Iroquois’ creation myth recounts how the Three Sisters, an inseparable trio, grew on the grave of Mother Earth, who had died after giving birth to twins. These plants nourished the twins and enabled the Iroquois people to survive. The three sister spirits were named De-o-ha-ko - Our Sustainers - this is the origin of the name, “three sisters plot.” Corn is native to western Sierra Madre in Mexico. Known as maize in South America, corn has been a staple to many Latin American cultures throughout history. In Mayan culture, representations of their sun god were depicted to the god of maize, linked through the life cycle: birth, life, death, and rebirth. Huichol people in Mexico use blood from the sacred deer to feed maize. The deer is a spirit said to guide shamans. Hopi people in America still perform ritual dances to the corn spirits today.