Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Three Sisters Progress

A few weeks ago I wrote about planting a “three sisters’ garden.” Three sisters refers to planting squash, corn and beans together in a mound. A Native American way of gardening. Corn in the center. Then climbing beans next to the corn and squash around the outside. The beans are supposed to climb up the corn; the squash are expected to shade out any weeds that may grow.

Here’s a progress report. With lots of rain and plenty of warm weather, everything came up, almost at the same time. The corn really needed to have a head start on the beans, which it did not have. The beans are growing wildly, throwing out their climbing tendrils with nothing to latch onto. The corn, wimpy and slow, seemed overwhelmed by the exuberant beans. The squash is growing as squash does this time of the year, slowly.

We weeded the little mound a couple of times, couldn’t wait for the squash. And we cheated a little, too. I stuck a four-foot long stick right dab in the middle of the mound for the wildly thriving beans. Within a day the beans found the stick and seem much happier with something to cling to. The corn, struggling, seems a little put off by what I had done. If corn thinks, it’s probably wondering why I didn’t have a little more patience and wait for it to grow taller so it could accommodate the beans. So far the three sisters are not getting along too well. But I guess most sisters have spats from time-to-time.

More about the experiment later.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: The shortest distance between two points is often not the point.

CHECK THIS OUT: A new edition of BARNS OF WISCONSIN (Wisconsin Historical Society Press) is now available. Go to my website: for details and ordering information.


August 8-14. My week-long writing workshop at The Clearing in Door County. “Writing From Your Life.” The class is full, but you can put your name on a waiting list. There is still room in my day-long workshop, Saturday, October 30. The Clearing Folk School P.O. Box 65 | 12171 Garrett Bay Road | Ellison Bay, Wisconsin 54210 Toll Free: 877.854.3225 | Monday - Friday 8-4


July 10, 10:30-2:30. Bramble Books, Viroqua. New location: 213 S. Main Street, Viroqua. Horse Drawn Days and more.

July 11, 10:30-2:30, The Pickle Station, Saxeville, WI. In a Pickle and more.

July 13, 7:00 p.m. Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose. Central Wis. Launch of Horse Drawn Days.

July 29, 7:00 p.m. Brown Street Books, Rhinelander, WI. Horse Drawn Days and more.

August 4. 10:30 a.m. Flying Farmers Meeting, Holiday Inn, Fond du Lac. Stories from the Land.

August 8-14, The Clearing, Ellison Bay, WI. Writing Class.

August 22, 11:00-3:00, Barnes and Noble, Racine, WI. Horse Drawn Days and more.

August 25, 7:00 p.m. Bailey’s Harbor Town Hall, Door County Environmental Council. Ames County Novels plus Old Farm.

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