THE THREE SISTERS
The Three Sisters consist of corn, climbing beans, and squash. These crops benefit and support each other through the method of companion planting. Mounds of soil are formed approximately 12 inches high and 20 inches wide. First, several corn seeds are planted in the centre of the mound. When the corn is about six inches tall, the beans and squash are planted around the corn, alternating between the two types of crops. By using this method, the sturdy corn stalks are used as poles for the beans to climb, and the beans provide nitrogen to the soil. The squash spreads over the ground, providing shade which traps moisture for the growing crops, and the prickly vines deter pests. Corn, beans and squash contain complex carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, and all eight essential amino acids, allowing people to thrive on a plant-based diet.
It is told that the earth began when “Sky Woman” who was with child, lived in the upper world. She wandered to find medicine from a tree which lived in her upper world. Beside the tree was a hole in the sky. She was curious and bent to look. She lost her balance and fell through the sky hole into an endless sea. The water animals who lived there saw her coming and told the birds to join their wings together and catch her. A giant turtle offered its big back for Sky Woman to stand upon. The birds lowered Sky Woman to the turtle’s shell, while the water animals took soil from the bottom of the sea and spread it onto the back of the giant turtle for a safe place for her to land. When Sky Woman was falling, she grabbed at the tree in her world. When she landed on the turtle’s back, her hands were full of seeds and strawberry plants. She planted them in the soil on the turtle’s back. The sacred strawberry grew and the seeds of corn, beans and squash sprouted. Thus this world of growing things is known as “Turtle Island”, what we also call North America.
Three Sisters Soup
2 cups lyed corn
2 cups fresh green beans (trimmed and snapped)
2 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
1 1/2 cups diced peeled potatoes
5 cups water
1 1/2 tbsp. chicken bouillon granules (or cube)
2 tbsp. butter, melted
2 tbsp. all purpose flour
1/4 tsp pepper
Place the corn, green beans, squash, and potatoes into a pot, and pour in water and chicken bouillon. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, and simmer until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Blend flour into the butter, then stir into the soup. Increase heat to medium, and cook for 5 more minutes, or until soup thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper, serve and enjoy