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Honoring the Land: The Three Sisters Crops

As gardeners we believe it is important to recognize the land in which we plant. We are very grateful to have the opportunity to plant on this beautiful land. Our gratitude includes and acknowledgement of, and an appreciation and respect for the Indigenous Peoples and their history on the land.

corn field

Why was the land important to their culture?

Beyond the economic benefits that agriculture provides, Indigenous Peoples have a strong connection to the land they also use for hunting and fishing as the relationship to the earth is pivotal spiritually and culturally.

What are the three sisters?

The three sisters are three vegetables that were first planted by Indigenous Peoples as a form of companion planting. Indigenous Peoples used the three sisters for food and for trade. The vegetables include;

By growing these three vegetables near each other at the same time, they are able to benefit from one another and it allows you to grow more food while using less space and resources.

Monoculture farming

Monoculture farming is when you only plant one vegetable in a given area at a time. This practice attracts lots of pests and produces unhealthy soil. Monoculture is also a contributing factor to the declining bee population, since bees need plant diversity to flourish. Therefore, by companion planting you are helping your crops grow strong and it helps repel pests.

Squash
Corn in field
Green Beans

Taking the time to appreciate the land and also to serve respect to the Indigenous Peoples who were here before us allows us to redefine our relationship with first peoples and the earth itself.

Going forward, we encourage all to act proactively so as to protect our earth and to do our best to try to live sustainably. These steps are necessary, if we want to preserve the legacy handed down from our indigenous forerunners.

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