Earth Day / Tisquantum Day - April 22, 2012

In preparation for celebrating Tisquantum Day, we had to figure out how to give participants a Three Sisters Garden grown from heritage seeds. We decided to start germinating the seeds in March so they would be tall enough by April 22 to survive on their own. For those who don't know what a heritage seed is, you need to know that most of the fruits and vegetables you buy in modern stores are hybrids. They either have no seeds, or their seeds will not germinate and grow. Heritage seeds are taken from non-hybrid sources. If you grow an ear of corn from a heritage seed, save one or two ears, dry out the seeds and almost every one of them will germinate and grow into a new plant next year, and on into the future.

Here is my Three Sister Garden growing in my front yard. The plants are much taller than the ones that we will be giving away on April 22nd, because they were the first ones we started. I took a chance that I could plant them outdoors and keep them protected from cold so that I would be able to have a display garden for this Web site.

In the center, I have grown three corn stalks, close enough so they can support one another if necessary, and so they will be able to pollinate one another without human help. The seed used is "Golden Bantam" bred by William Chambers of Greenfield, Massachusetts in the 1890's, and put on the market in 1902 by W. Atlee Burpee. Around each stalk of corn are three pole bean plants, "Kentucky Wonder." They were chosen because they taste good as green string beans, or dried out for baked beans. Finally, I chose "Bush Table King Acorn Winter Squash" as the "Third Sister" for this garden.

All of my Heritage seeds come from Victory Seed Company in Molalla, Oregon ( ). There are other sources, but I have been satisfied with their seeds and their service.

For those who ask, I will also give away a "fourth sister" that is customary to Native American gardens, and that is the Sun Flower, that guards the north end of the garden (where it won't cast a shadow on the other plants). I will be using the Sun Flower stalks to support some green peas that I had left over from a previous year's garden.

This is our planned brochure for 2012.

Click on the Brochure to get a printable pdf file.

Click HERE to see Earth Day, 2011

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