Three Sisters Garden Bed
July 28, 2010
A few days ago a flyer arrived in our mailbox letting us know about a new organic farm operation in our area. I'm always watching for this type of thing for the fruits and vegetables I either don't grow enough of or don't grow at all. Yesterday we drove out to see the operation and oh my gosh it is fabulous! The next few posts will give a bit more on some of the things I found interesting.
The owners are absolutely wonderful, down to earth people interested in sustainable living. I immediately liked them so will be visiting often! I may even offer to volunteer on their farm just to be able to expand my gardening knowledge. He is a fourth generation farmer on a heritage farm so it is really encouraging to see this type of farming happening! It is a great way for those in the area to get to know about organic gardening. They are planning on having workshops as well.
Pictured is one of the two three sisters garden beds planted on the farm. Three sisters is an Aboriginal (Native Canadian) method of growing. The three sisters are beans, squash and corn. The beans provide nitrogen, while the corn provides shade. The beans climb the poles which gives a higher yield as well. I am now convinced I need to plant a three sisters bed. If you look closely this bed is also raised but in a less formal way. The support trellis like many on the farm is made from branches that likely would have ended up in the woodstove or firepit. Looking at the creativity of their trellises it reminded me that we should be using more of these methods when growing organically rather than relying on store bought trellises, supports and cages.