FLOSSIE’S FRIDAYS – Week 2
This week, Flossie left the building for the first time in years. The first thing that caught her eye was the blond tassels hanging from the corn. (I think she felt a little superior since her “hair” was in pigtails and much neater!) After learning about the Three Sisters, Floss decided to have a little fun zip-lining across the beans.
Do you know about the Three Sisters? Although our Van Der Veer garden does not grow corn, beans and squash in the American Indian way, one sign Flossie read explains that technique: “…Traditionally, this companion planting technique benefited all three plants and provided a balanced diet. If soil was poor, fish scraps or wood ash would be added for fertility. Flat-topped mounds of soil were built for each grouping. Maize (corn) was planted first. Once it reached a height of about 5 inches, a few bean seeds were planted evenly spaced around each stalk. About a week later, six squash seeds would be planted around the perimeter of the mound.” The Old Farmers Almanac also helps explain: “As older sisters often do, the corn offers the beans needed support. The beans, the giving sister, pull nitrogen from the air and bring it to the soil for the benefit of all three. As the beans grow through the tangle of squash vines and wind their way up the cornstalks into the sunlight, they hold the sisters close together. The large leaves of the sprawling squash protect the threesome by creating living mulch that shades the soil, keeping it cool and moist and preventing weeds. The prickly squash leaves also keep away raccoons, which don’t like to step on them!” Flossie was interested to learn about how our native people learned over the centuries how to grow higher-yield gardens.
Soon, Historic Bath will have some produce from our garden to share! Watch for our sign……if it is out by the highway, we’ve harvested that morning and you can come get some fresh veggies for a small donation!