Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

"Three Sisters" cropping system

Expand Messages
  • John Warner
    Hello Fukokans, Here s an interesting piece on Iroquois cropping systems. John http://www.news.cornell.edu/releases/Feb04/AAAS.MtPleasant.kb.html Traditional
    Message 1 of 8 , Feb 20, 2004
      Hello Fukokans,

      Here's an interesting piece on Iroquois cropping systems.

      John

      http://www.news.cornell.edu/releases/Feb04/AAAS.MtPleasant.kb.html

      Traditional Iroquois way of growing works for today's farmers, providing valuable ecological lessons, says Cornell researcher

      Contact: David Brand
      E-Mail: deb27@...

      SEATTLE -- Most agronomists look to their laboratories, greenhouses or research farms for innovative new cropping techniques. But Jane Mt. Pleasant, professor of horticulture and director of the American Indian Program at Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., has taken a different path, mining her Iroquois heritage for planting and cultivation methods that work for today's farmers.

      Mt. Pleasant studies what traditionally are known as the "three sisters": beans, corn and squash. These staples of Iroquois cropping are traditionally grown together on a single plot, mimicking natural systems in what agronomists call a polyculture. Though the Iroquois technique was not developed scientifically, Mt. Pleasant notes that it is "agronomically sound." The three sisters cropping system embodies all the things needed to make crops grow in the Northeast, she says.

      She presented her work today (Feb. 15) at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Seattle. The talk, "Polycultural Cropping Systems From an Indigenous Perspective: Using Iroquois Worldview to Understand the Three Sisters," was part of a symposium on research methods in native science. This is the second year that such a symposium has been held at the AAAS.

      Corn and beans are used throughout the Western Hemisphere, said Mt. Pleasant. "Both do better when they are grown together." Corn provides protection from weeds and insects and acts as a scaffold to support twining bean plants. The beans, in turn, produce nitrogen, essential for plant growth. Adding squash to the mix also controls the growth of weeds, and recycling crop residues (the "leftovers" of a harvest) back into the soil promotes fertility. A monoculture, in which only one crop variety is grown on a plot of land, is a relatively recent agricultural technique, noted Mt. Pleasant. Though it is suited to high-yield mechanized harvests, it leaves crops vulnerable to disease and insects. A polyculture reduces the risk of an entire harvest being wiped out in this way.

      The role of the three sisters in the Iroquois diet is mirrored by the crops' place in Iroquois worldview and culture, where they are visualized as three siblings with very different personalities. Corn is austere, standing straight and tall; shy Beans clings to her legs; Squash is the "wild and impish" troublemaker. In the Iroquois creation story, they are the seeds that issue life on Earth, and they are woven into the laws that bind the Iroquois Confederacy. The three sisters are thanked for the sustenance they provide in the Thanksgiving Address recited at the beginning and end of ceremonial Iroquois meetings.

      Indigenous culture holds broader lessons for our relationship with our environment as well, said Mt. Pleasant. Iroquois people have always recognized that they are part of an ecological system, she observed. "As we watch a lot of the ecological problems coming," like global warming and water contamination, "we recognize that we have a contract" with the Earth, "not domination" over it.

      This realization, she said, has fueled an upsurge in interest in native science. "More and more young native people are â?¦ questioning conventional science" as tribal colleges include native teachings in their curriculums, said Mt. Pleasant. She noted, however, that only a few non-Native American scientists attended last year's AAAS symposium on the subject.

      As scientists begin to recognize the connections between systems they formerly studied in isolation, Mt. Pleasant hopes they will see what indigenous peoples have known all along: "We're all in this web, and when you pull on one part and it breaks, the whole web falls apart."

      /This release was prepared by Cornell News Service science writer intern Kate Becker. /

      ###










      Your message didn't show up on the list? Complaints or compliments?
      Drop me (Tom Robertson) a note at t1r@...
      Yahoo! Groups Links








      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • pollywog
      ... utilized the 3 sisters- a great online book is Buffalo Bird Woman s Garden , available here:
      Message 2 of 8 , Feb 21, 2004
        ---For fuller discussion from the Native ways of farming- many tribes
        utilized the 3 sisters- a great online book is "Buffalo Bird Woman's
        Garden", available here:
        ttp://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/buffalo/garden/garden.html

        There are a number of great stories about the 3 sisters, almost every
        nation, especially those in the eastern half of the Turtle Island, had
        both the method of 3 sisters and the story. deb


        In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "John Warner" <daddyoat@n...> wrote:
        > Hello Fukokans,
        >
        > Here's an interesting piece on Iroquois cropping systems.
        >
        > John
        >
        > http://www.news.cornell.edu/releases/Feb04/AAAS.MtPleasant.kb.html
        >
      • Clyde
        ... I am interested in trying this...I guess you plant the squash between the corn stalks, do the corn stalks need to be farther apart? Google just gives me
        Message 3 of 8 , Feb 26, 2004
          --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "John Warner"
          <daddyoat@n...> wrote:
          > Hello Fukokans,
          >
          > Here's an interesting piece on Iroquois cropping systems.
          >
          > John
          >

          I am interested in trying this...I guess you plant the squash
          between the corn stalks, do the corn stalks need to be farther
          apart? Google just gives me history, not actual how to.

          Clyde
        • les landeck
          morning see if you can find a copy of Buffalo Bird Woman s Garden, AS told to Gilbert L. Wilson Minnesota Historical Society Press, St Paul Les ...
          Message 4 of 8 , Feb 26, 2004
            morning

            see if you can find a copy of Buffalo Bird Woman"s
            Garden, AS told to Gilbert L. Wilson
            Minnesota Historical Society Press, St Paul

            Les

            --- Clyde <Marinedsrtvet@...> wrote:
            > --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "John
            > Warner"
            > <daddyoat@n...> wrote:
            > > Hello Fukokans,
            > >
            > > Here's an interesting piece on Iroquois cropping
            > systems.
            > >
            > > John
            > >
            >
            > I am interested in trying this...I guess you plant
            > the squash
            > between the corn stalks, do the corn stalks need to
            > be farther
            > apart? Google just gives me history, not actual how
            > to.
            >
            > Clyde
            >
            >


            __________________________________
            Do you Yahoo!?
            Get better spam protection with Yahoo! Mail.
            http://antispam.yahoo.com/tools
          • pollywog
            ... utilized the 3 sisters- a great online book is Buffalo Bird Woman s Garden , available here:
            Message 5 of 8 , Feb 26, 2004
              ---Had posted this in msg. 4050. Here it is again:

              ---For fuller discussion from the Native ways of farming- many tribes
              utilized the 3 sisters- a great online book is "Buffalo Bird Woman's
              Garden", available here:
              http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/buffalo/garden/garden.html

              When planting close together, allow the corn to get a few inches high
              before planting 3 or 4 bean hills around each stalk. deb

              In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, les landeck
              <offeringsoftheland@y...> wrote:
              >
              > morning
              >
              > see if you can find a copy of Buffalo Bird Woman"s
              > Garden, AS told to Gilbert L. Wilson
              > Minnesota Historical Society Press, St Paul
              >
              > Les
              >
              > --- Clyde <Marinedsrtvet@a...> wrote:
              > > --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "John
              > > Warner"
              > > <daddyoat@n...> wrote:
              > > > Hello Fukokans,
              > > >
              > > > Here's an interesting piece on Iroquois cropping
              > > systems.
              > > >
              > > > John
              > > >
              > >
              > > I am interested in trying this...I guess you plant
              > > the squash
              > > between the corn stalks, do the corn stalks need to
              > > be farther
              > > apart? Google just gives me history, not actual how
              > > to.
              > >
              > > Clyde
              > >
              > >
              >
              >
              > __________________________________
              > Do you Yahoo!?
              > Get better spam protection with Yahoo! Mail.
              > http://antispam.yahoo.com/tools
            • les landeck
              Hi Pollywog, i ve been wanting to get back to you about that site i could not get it to open on your previous post. in the mean time my friend Nan took her
              Message 6 of 8 , Feb 26, 2004
                Hi Pollywog,

                i've been wanting to get back to you about that site i
                could not get it to open on your previous post. in the
                mean time my friend Nan took her house apart to find
                and provide me with a copy of the book. i've only got
                as far as the introduction, jumped forward on the web
                site to chapter on sunflowers with great pleasure. i
                may begin planting three small pastures at Nans next
                week. i always start with a planting of sunflowers and
                amaranth around the planting areas. this time i will
                be adding Clary sage inside the circles as a deer
                deterrent sunflowers as a site barrier out side the
                low fencing than the amaranth for the outer circle to
                feed the deer. in the planting areas will be some
                African Marigolds that have been quite helpful in
                discouraging the gofers in the past.

                Thanks again for bringing this book to my attention.

                It's Spring let the fun begin, Les





                --- pollywog <debhlv@...> wrote:
                > ---Had posted this in msg. 4050. Here it is again:
                >
                > ---For fuller discussion from the Native ways of
                > farming- many tribes
                > utilized the 3 sisters- a great online book is
                > "Buffalo Bird Woman's
                > Garden", available here:
                >
                http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/buffalo/garden/garden.html
                >
                >
                > When planting close together, allow the corn to get
                > a few inches high
                > before planting 3 or 4 bean hills around each stalk.
                > deb
                >
                > In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, les landeck
                > <offeringsoftheland@y...> wrote:
                > >
                > > morning
                > >
                > > see if you can find a copy of Buffalo Bird Woman"s
                > > Garden, AS told to Gilbert L. Wilson
                > > Minnesota Historical Society Press, St Paul
                > >
                > > Les
                > >
                > > --- Clyde <Marinedsrtvet@a...> wrote:
                > > > --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "John
                > > > Warner"
                > > > <daddyoat@n...> wrote:
                > > > > Hello Fukokans,
                > > > >
                > > > > Here's an interesting piece on Iroquois
                > cropping
                > > > systems.
                > > > >
                > > > > John
                > > > >
                > > >
                > > > I am interested in trying this...I guess you
                > plant
                > > > the squash
                > > > between the corn stalks, do the corn stalks need
                > to
                > > > be farther
                > > > apart? Google just gives me history, not actual
                > how
                > > > to.
                > > >
                > > > Clyde
                > > >
                > > >
                > >
                > >
                > > __________________________________
                > > Do you Yahoo!?
                > > Get better spam protection with Yahoo! Mail.
                > > http://antispam.yahoo.com/tools
                >
                >


                __________________________________
                Do you Yahoo!?
                Get better spam protection with Yahoo! Mail.
                http://antispam.yahoo.com/tools
              • pollywog
                ... message, couldn t get it either. But, could from my bookmarks. A-Hah!! The h in http:// was somehow not included in the first post s paste. The two
                Message 7 of 8 , Feb 26, 2004
                  ---Think I might have figured out the trouble... after trying from the
                  message, couldn't get it either. But, could from my bookmarks.

                  A-Hah!! The "h" in "http://" was somehow not included in the first
                  post's paste.

                  The two week mark for planting interlude sounds about right. To me, it
                  would be when the corn is up about a hand's length. I do things by
                  the seat of my pants (or the length of body parts) rather than time,
                  usually. Believe the two measurements to be about equivalent in
                  practice, though.

                  Did you say "Toe-Mah'-to"? Did I say "Toe-May'-to"? Let's call the
                  whole thing off! Did some smartaleck out there just chime in
                  "Tu-mee-too'"? Off with their head!! {giggle, snicker.. {;)

                  I can appreciate Nan's hard work, please extend my gratitude to her. A
                  friend like that is a definite keeper and wonderful resource! Fix
                  her a great dinner for that! <G>

                  You are so right, it is spring. I don't give a flying patootie what
                  the groundhog thinks. the deb's getting the fever... the deb *Needs*
                  the fever.

                  The fun is ours for the enjoying! <G>

                  deb-er-pollywog.

                  In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, les landeck
                  <offeringsoftheland@y...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Hi Pollywog,
                  >
                  > i've been wanting to get back to you about that site i
                  > could not get it to open on your previous post. in the
                  > mean time my friend Nan took her house apart to find
                  > and provide me with a copy of the book.

                  > It's Spring let the fun begin, Les
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                • Clyde
                  That will work great, Thanks!
                  Message 8 of 8 , Feb 26, 2004
                    That will work great, Thanks!
                  Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.