Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Dreary morning from the mountain...

Good morning, it looks like another dreary morning from the mountain.  I am sitting here writing to you and thinking of all the work that I need to get done today, so many seeds need to be put in the ground. I have staked out three sections for the three sisters planting and hope to get the seeds all in the ground by the end of the week.  Because I do not like to till the soil, it means a lot more work for all of us.  We must dig each hole and drop the seeds in cover it and go to the next spot, it is much the same way my ancestors would have done for thousands of years.  They were some hard workers, not only did they have to get the seed into the ground, they had to time it all with out the use of our high tech gadgets. The lose of a crop could mean the lose of many lives in the upcoming winter.

What fascinated me about three sisters planting was the genus of it, he you have three different crops sharing the land and making the land better after the growing season.  The three plants together provide a nearly perfect protein and keep well for long term storage.  This is how they work.  The corn reaches out to the sun, the beans climb the corn and the pumpkins or hard squash or gourds keep the ground covered, protecting it from moisture loss.  All take around 100 days, so it is a plant and stay out of the garden crop.  It requires far less water then most conventional forms of gardening and uses less space as well.  You will harvest a about a ton and a half corn per acre, I have not run the numbers on the beans or pumpkins, but I would guess it to be a good number.  Very few crops today can provide that sort of yield with out killing the soil or use of toxic chemicals.  Our ancestors knew that these three plants protected each other from pests and other problems, today we call that companion planting.

Our three plots will each be different, we hope to see what will work best for the soil and climate.  All three will be as close to what our ancestors would have planted.  Know to our knowledge there are five different kinds of corn that Cherokee would have planted, one is the blue corn that we are planting for the tribal association, one is the green corn and white eagle, the other two are questionable so I will not list them here.  They all grew pumpkin or squash, some times gourds, the most common one they planted seems to be a tan pumpkin, which I could not find seeds for.  There are over 5000 different types of pumpkin and they all started here in America.  I had hoped that my father who grew up on a farm in Europe would have had an answer for me as to an older world variety that I could get, but he told me they did not eat there pumpkins, but raised the to feed their animals. For some reason I found that interesting.  Perhaps that is why his animals we never sick...lol  I will have to give that some thought, I wonder if chickens like pumpkin?

Anyway today is a school day and I have tons to get done, so I will wish you all a pleasant day and be on my way.

Be Blessed

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