May. 15, 2018

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Remember the grade school lesson about how the Indians taught the Pilgrims how to grow things in Massachusetts?  That agricultural system, known as the Three Sisters method, was used by Indians across the continent.  It employed mounds where corn, beans and squash were sequentially planted together, and sometimes fertized with fish or other remains.  The corn provides a stalk for the beans to climb, the beans add nutrient to the soil, and the squash are a living mulch.  Similar stratified methods were used in Asia and Africa.  Rocky Mountain beeplant is sometimes called the fourth sister.  It was planted by southwestern Indians to attract pollinating bees, and thereby increase output from the beans and squash.  And perhaps to discourage deer and other grazers from raiding the garden.