Monday, May 26, 2008

Three Sisters

The title of this entry is three sisters, and seeing as I have two sisters, I could start right in about all of us. Believe me, I have lots of stories that would entertain one and all. But then Karen and Kathy would seek revenge in some dastardly way. They might even recruit my brother Bob into it too. And they're all pretty creative when it comes to exacting revenge. So I'll hold off on embarassing sibling stories for now. For now...

Instead I'll write about the Three Sisters Garden I have growing at work. I have the benefit and the curse of having two gardens: one at home and one at work. The Three Sisters Garden is modeled after the gardens tended by the Hidatsa people of North and South Dakota. Three sisters refers to the three main vegetables grown - corn, beans and squash. Sunflowers are also grown, but I guess those aren't counted in the name.

We've been growing this garden at work for three years now, and I've got to tell you -- I'm a convert. I'm not using a bison hoe or an antler rake, but we are doing no till and no chemical and it's been pretty successful. Once you get the mounds established, weeding is minimal. We spread straw between the mounds to control weeds and retain moisture. We do have a problem with ground squirrels that like to pull out the corn seedlings to eat the kernal underneath, and also like to take away our bean pods. We're working on the ground squirrels.

We use the book "Buffalo Bird Woman's Garden" as a guide. Lots of cool info on native gardening and food preservation techniques. If you're a gardener and are looking for something a little different, pick up a copy and try it out.

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