Three Sisters Facts
RE: proven spacing and planting sequence for interplanted dent corn,
climbing beans and squash/pumpkins
I'm beginning a Bio-Intensive micro-farming effort with an agency that
builds community for adults with developmental disabilities. Indian Creek
Community Farm is near a creek on a site used for many generations as a
Lenni Lenape camp. To honor the heritage of these earlier farmers, and to
demonstrate the genius of biodiversity and the biologically based IPM
potential of intercropping, we devoted a bed to the Three
Sisters--heirloom corn, beans and pumpkins--in 1996, our maiden year.
Results were mixed, I think because I had things too close together and
our soil--sod last year--was not fertile enough or healthy enough for the
high demand placed upon it. Who has experience in the Mid-Atlantic
region with this kind of interplanting? My beans nearly overwhelmed the
corn when I planted both at the same time--actually transplanted them
into the bed after starting seed in trays. Should I wait with the beans?
The same heirloom dent corn seed (from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange)
that produced sad ears at ICCF did much better in my home garden, which
is four years into a Bio-Intensive regime.
ICCF soil is a reddish clay/shale base of modest fertility, the soil
maps say. We are located in western Montgomery County about 20 miles
northwest of Philadelphia.
Are there people, books or legends I can consult? Thanks.
Greg Bowman, Editorial Director
611 Siegfriedale Road, Kutztown PA 19530-9749
....Communicating to create whole farms, whole food, whole communities
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