Sunday, September 19, 2010

Final Three Sisters' Report

I’ve reported several times on the progress of the three sisters’ garden project that I tried this summer. I mentioned how the sisters—corn, squash and pole beans—rather than helping each other as they were supposed to, got into a serious competition over which one was best, especially early in the growing season. The corn was supposed to support the pole beans and the squash was supposed to stifle weed growth with its broad leaves and sprawling vines.

The pole beans got off to the best start, the corn struggled, and the squash, once it got going, did well. By mid-summer the sisters seemed to be getting along or perhaps better said, putting up with each other. This summer’s growing season was far from normal. It rained and rained and rained, and it was hot, hot, hot.

By late August a mildew attacked the squash, and alas, killed it dead. One day it looked great with promise, a week later a brown, dead vine remained. The corn, never very energetic struggled on, but continued to be out done by the bush beans.

Final report. A good crop of beans, one tiny ear of corn, and no squash. I wonder if the Native Americans, who reported to have great success with this garden strategy, had the occasional crop failure—or was it just me? I would like to blame it on the weather. My other garden squash did poorly as well and my sweet corn was well below average. But I did have a good bean crop. Was this the year of the bean? A gardener knows there is always next year.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: It’s not over until it’s over, except when it is.


--Barns and Noble Madison West, September 21, 7:00 p.m.

--Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose, Sunday October 24, 1:00 p.m.

Learn all about cranberry growing, county agent work, and what happens when research goes amuck. University of Wisconsin Press is the publisher of this, my fourth novel, in the Ames County series.


Saturday, October 30. There is still room in my day-long workshop. Contact: 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


September 21, 7:00 p.m., Barnes and Noble West, Madison, Launch of Cranberry Red.

September 24, 3:30 p.m. Robert Gard Story Tellers Circle dedication, School of Education, UW-Madison Campus.

September 25, 5:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. Barn Dance and Harvest Celebration, Saxon Homestead Farm, 15621 South Union Road, Cleveland, WI. Sponsor: Council of Rural Initiatives. Before the dance, presentation BARNS OF WISCONSIN.

September 29, 7:00 p.m. Wisconsin Book Festival. Quivey’s Grove (between Madison and Verona). Barns of Wisconsin and Cranberry Red.

October 1-2, Midwest Booksellers, St. Paul. Barns of Wisconsin, Cranberry Red

October 7, 7:00 p.m. Next Chapter Bookstore, Mequon. Horse Drawn Days

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