Sunday, June 02, 2013

Three Sisters--One More Time

A couple years ago I tried growing a Native-American three sister’s garden.  Those following these ramblings then remembered that the three sisters did not get along and they mostly did each other in—in other words my little experiment was a failure.

The failure was mostly my fault.  I used modern day sweet corn, squash, and bean varieties, not the old-fashioned varieties the Native-Americans would have used.  Modern varieties, it seems, are too competitive, each wants its own place in the sun and does not want to cooperate with its siblings.

I also planted the three types of seeds all at the same time.  A mistake.  Big sister corn is supposed to be planted first, and not until it is six inches tall should the beans and squash/ pumpkins be planted.

I have been encouraged to try the experiment again.  On the internet, I found at “Renee’s Garden” a Native American Three Sisters garden seed packet consisting of  “Earth-Tone Dent Corn,” “Rattlesnake Beans” and “Sugar Pie Pumpkins.”

According to the instructions, I created a mound of soil in my garden with an 18 inch flattened top.  Last week I planted six corn seeds in the mound.  Now I’m waiting before I plant the Rattlesnake Beans and Sugar Pie Pumpkins for big sister corn to become established.

The theory of the three sister’s garden is this.  The corn provides a natural pole for the beans to climb.  The pumpkins are supposed to shade out the weeds and prevent moisture loss.

I’ll keep you posted on how these sisters get along.  With names like Rattlesnake, Sugar Pie, and Earth-Tone, it sounds hopeful.  Who’d want to mess with a sister named Rattlesnake, especially if you were known as Sugar Pie or Earth-Tone?

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Why can’t sisters just get along.

ANNOUNCEMENT:  Interested in learning how to write your own stories?  Sign up for one of my upcoming one-day workshops that I am teaching at The Clearing in Door County.

Saturday, June 22, 9-4 (A few openings still left)

Saturday, November 3, 9-4

Contact The Clearing for further information and/or to sign up (

(There will be a book signing at The Clearing on each of these Saturdays from 4-6:00 p.m. The public is invited.)


June 4, Noon. Milwaukee Rotary Club. War Memorial Building. Limping Through Life.
June 6, 7:00 p.m. Dane County Genealogy. One Room Country Schools.
June 7, 6:30 p.m. Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose. Launch of LETTERS FROM HILLSIDE FARM and LIMPING THROUGH LIFE.
June 8, 11:00 -3:00 Book signing, Tri-County Thresheree, Plainfield
June 13, Writing Workshop, Fulcrum Publishing offices, Golden, CO.
June 20, 7:00 p.m. Wisconsin Rapids Public Library.  Limping Through Life
June 22, 9-4. Writing Workshop.  The Clearing, Ellison Bay, WI.
June 25, 8:30-10:00.  Bethel Lutheran Church, Madison.  Homeless Book Club. Limping Through  Life.
June 29-30, Chicago. McCormick Place.  American Library Association Convention.  Letters From Hillside Farm.
July 2, Boscobel Library, 10:00 a.m.
July 13-20.  Writing Retreat, Rhinelander.


DVD Jerry Apps: A Farm Story List $16.95 The Patterson’s price only $15.00 ($20.00 shipped)
Special Bundle Offer exclusively by the Patterson:
Tamarack River Ghost & Jerry Apps: A Farm Story – List $43.90
The Patterson’s Price Only $35.00 ($43.00 shipped)

Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division St. PO Box 305
Wild Rose, WI 54984

(All items are sold by the Friends of the Patterson Memorial Library. They will accept checks or cash, they’re sorry but they don’t have any way to accept credit or debit cards, checks should be made out to the Friends of Patterson Memorial Library.

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