three sisters

The Three Sisters are the three main agricultural crops of some Native American groups in North Americasquashmaize, and climbing beans(typically tepary beans or common beans). This method of planting is called companion planting with a symbiotic relationship between the plants. The maize provides a structure for the beans to climb, eliminating the need for poles. The beans provide the nitrogen to the soil that the other plants utilize and the squash spreads along the ground, blocking the sunlight, which helps prevent weeds. The squash leaves act as a "living mulch," creating a microclimate to retain moisture in the soil, and the prickly hairs of the vine deter pests. Maize lacks the amino acids lysine and tryptophan, which the body needs to make proteins and niacin, but beans contain both and therefore together they provide a balanced diet. My three are sweet corn, summer squash, and black beans all in close proximity. This fall the the sisters will give  many dishes and I hope to try to make Aztec Colache.


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