Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The beauty of three sisters

I'm one of three sisters, and I absolutely love the other two. So when I look at the three sisters in my garden, I often wonder which of the three represents my dearest sisters and which is me. The easy answer would be that the squash plant has yellow flowers that my youngest sister would like (she loves yellow), and the corn is the tallest, which could represent the middle child in our family as she's tallest. So that leaves me as a scarlet runner bean? Well, I do like to wear red, but I guess I might be reading too much into this!

My three sisters garden box has done beautifully this year -- I've never had such tall and productive corn, the beans are blooming beautifully, and there are a few little squash that might amount to something yet if I'm lucky frost-wise. Other years I made the mistake of planting all the sisters at once, but this year I planted the corn first, and when it was five inches tall (two weeks later) I hilled the corn a little and planted the beans. A week after that, I planted the squash. Of course, the idea is that the oldest sister, the corn, supports the climbing beans and squash plants as they grow, the beans give nitrogen to the soil and hold all three sisters close together against the wind by winding through the corn stalks and squash vines, and the squash leaves shade, mulch and protect the trio's feet from weed infestations.

When I look at these sisters' interdependence, I realize that my sisters and I share aspects of all three at different times. We've all been each others' supports, we've all huddled together in tougher times, and we've all sheltered each other through different storms -- though I admit that due to my commitments to husband and kids, I probably haven't been as present to them as they have been to me a lot of the time. L and J, I am so grateful for your presence in my life, your deep friendship, and our sisterhood!

My sisters are patient and loving, and they put up with me when I get a little corny!

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