Posts Tagged vegetable
Editor’s Note: Copied from: http://www.threes.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2335:three-sisters-corn-beans-squash&catid=79:food-nutrition&Itemid=57 – Please check out this great website for more great information like is found in this article. I read this and thought about how great a story this is and wanted to share with my readers. Hope you enjoy and please check The Book Of Three’s.
The ancient Native American technique of growing Corn, Beans, and Squash together in an arrangement called the Three Sisters is the ultimate in companion planting and helps increase harvests, naturally!
Corn acts as a support for climbing bean vines, the beans fix nitrogen in the soil for the high feeding requirements of corn and squash, and the squash provides mulch and root protection for the corn and beans! After cooperating beautifully in the garden, corn and beans form a complete protein when eaten together! How’s that for a mutually beneficial relationship?
The Three Sisters are all easy to direct sow in the garden and are a great project for children, teaching them about the beauty of natural harmony while providing a fast-growing reward for their efforts.
Make the best possible use of your garden space this season, and try growing the Three Sisters! Just follow the easy steps listed below, fertilize well, plant other companions like herbs to assist with pest control, and you’ll be harvesting your best crop in no time!
The Iroquois believe corn, beans and squash are precious gifts from the Great Spirit, each watched over by one of three sisters spirits, called the De-o-ha-ko, or “Our Sustainers”. The planting season is marked by ceremonies to honor them, and a festival commemorates the first harvest of “green” corn on the cob. By retelling the stories and performing annual rituals, Native Americans passed down the knowledge of growing, using and preserving the Three Sisters through generations.
In May or June when soil has warmed:
Shape a flat-topped circular mound of soil about a foot high and 2 feet across at the top, sloping outward toward the base. Plant a circle of Corn seeds on top, about 5 or 6, and water them in well, tamping down your soil mound firmly so it doesn’t wash away in the first rain. Space the mounds 3 or 4 feet apart in the garden.
Since all corn grows on sturdy, dependable stalks, the variety you choose depends on the flavor, disease resistance, and holding ability you want. Sugar Buns is a Sugar Enhanced (SE) yellow hybrid with absolutely scrumptious golden kernels and is positively scrumptious. For SE whites, you can’t beat Silver Princess, with extra-long ears bursting with flavor. And for the sweetest ears yet, you absolutely must try new Corn Mirai™, available in Yellow, White, Bicolor, and even a Mini!
About two weeks later:
When your corn reaches about 5 or 6 inches high, plant Bean seeds (6 to 8 of them) around the edges of the flat top or about halfway down the sloping sides of the circular mound. Push the seeds down deep into the soil and, if you’re planting on the slope, make sure the soil is nice and firm. Add a bit of Nature’s Aid at planting time to help the Beans fix nitrogen.
To get your Beans to climb up the cornstalks, choose Pole rather than Bush varieties. Smeraldo is far and away the best-tasting Pole Bean, with flat pods up to 10 inches long on vigorous 4- to 6-foot vines. Park gardeners rave about Kwintus, a super-early performer with succulent pods on stringless 8- to 10-inch pods. And Blue Lake is the classic name in Beans, with top-quality dark green pods that are both stringless and fiberless, even if you pick them a bit late. We even have Blue Lake available in organic seed!
One week or so after that:
Plant Squash seeds around the base of the mound, on flat ground. You can make them radiate around the mound, or just go in the direction you have available space! 6 to 8 seeds in a ring around the base of the mound is usually plenty.
The traditional Squash family member for this Sister is Pumpkin, with its all-American flavor and long growing season. Rumbo is a unique Korean variety that looks like an heirloom Pumpkin but tastes sweeter and more succulent than a Butternut Squash! For a quicker harvest, grow Summer Squash varieties such as organic Park’s Early Summer Crookneck or Zucchini such as space-saving One Ball Hybrid.
When everything begins growing . . .
Thin the plantings to 2 or 3 Corn stalks, each with no more than 2 Bean plants winding around it. (You’ll need to help the Beans get started growing up the stalks). The Squash is going to vine along the ground, so the number of plants you need depends on how far apart your mounds of corn and beans are, how long the vines get, and how much walking space you need in the garden.
Use a Rotisserie Chicken Container to make a greenhouse.You can plant directly in the bottom of the container or do as they did in the picture – use a smaller planter inside. Use these to get a head start on seedlings or make a terrarium with your children on a rainy day.
What a great way to decorate your table then with a fresh pile of great vegetables to complement you perfect Thanksgiving dinner. This is done with a variety of veggies and will sure to be the talk of your day.
There are two categories of plants in terms of seed saving, those with wet seeds and those with dry seeds. When you save wet seeds, you need to wash them to separate them from the surrounding pulp of the fruit. This can be accomplished by putting the pulp in a bowl of water. The seeds will sink while pulp and any dead seeds will rise to the top. The seeds will then need to dry thoroughly before storage. Some wet seeds will also need to be fermented before saving, such as tomato seeds. Fermenting removes substances from the seed that inhibit germination.
Dry seeds are harvested from the plant when their husks or pods have dried. The seeds then have to be separated from the chaff. When the seeds are dry, you can crumble them up and place them in a dish. Swirling the dish will cause the larger pieces of chaff to rise to the top where you can remove them by hand. To separate out the smaller pieces of chaff, you can use screens. One screen will let small pieces of chaff fall through, leaving the seeds behind. The next screen will allow the seeds to fall through, while larger pieces of chaff remain behind.
To separate dry seeds from the chaff using an ancient method called winnowing, you need a breeze or a fan. Put a sheet or bucket on the ground and drop seeds onto it from a height of a few feet. The breeze or fan will blow the chaff away, while the heavier seeds collect below.
There are some tricks and techniques for saving seeds from different plants. In many cases, a plant or two will need to be sacrificed to get the seeds. Vegetables like lettuce, cabbage, and broccoli will need to be allowed to bolt, while for others you will need to allow the fruit to dry or over ripen in order to get the seeds. Account for this when you plan your garden and grow extra plants for the purpose of collecting seeds.
Certain plants will need to be isolated from each other to avoid cross-pollination. This is only important for plants from which you hope to save seeds. For instance, if you have two different varieties of peppers from which you hope to collect seeds, you need to keep them from mixing pollen. These plants can be bagged or surrounded with wind-proof caging. If the plants that are bagged normally require insects to pollinate them, you will have to lift the bag and use a small brush to hand-pollinate the flowers.
To harvest bean seeds, let the pods dry on the vines before you pick them. Shell the beans and let them dry thoroughly before storing. You can harvest most of your beans for eating and leave just a few pods on the vine to dry for seeds.
If you are growing beets and Swiss chard, they will need to be surrounded by wind-proof caging or bagged. They will easily cross-pollinate, even at distances of a mile. Allow your selected beet plants to over-winter. They will flower and produce seeds in the spring. When the seeds are mature and dry on the plants, simply rub them off of the stems. They can be stored as is for up to five years.
To get seeds from broccoli, you need at least ten plants to make sure there is enough of a genetic base. You can harvest the broccoli’s central head to eat and let a secondary shoot on each plant over-winter. Collect seed pods in the spring before they split open naturally. Dry them upside down in paper bags and the seeds will fall from the pods and into the bag.
Cabbage should be isolated from broccoli, collards, cauliflower, kale, and Brussels sprouts. Like broccoli, you need ten plants for a good genetic base. The cabbage plants will need to over-winter, and you will not be able to harvest any for eating from your seed plants. In the spring, collect the pods when they are dry but not yet split.
Carrots can cross-pollinate with Queen Anne’s lace, so they need to be isolated for the purpose of seed collection. Only a small area is needed to let carrots remain in the ground for seeds. Pick the seed umbels when they have dried on the plant. Let them dry, and the umbels will easily crumble away.
To get seeds from cucumbers, let the fruits over ripen on the plant. When fruit is removed from the plant, let it sit for three weeks before removing, cleaning, and drying the seeds for storage.
It is not common practice to collect seeds from garlic for future use. Instead, save a bulb or two and plant the individual cloves to get new plants.
Lettuce produces many flowers throughout its flowering season. Collect dried seed heads from the plants every few days. Hang them upside down in a paper bag or over a tarp. The seeds will fall out as they dry.
Melons are a wet seed plant. Allow melons to be harvested for seeds to ripen on the vines until their skins are very hard. Pick the fruits and let them sit for three weeks. After this time period, you can remove the seeds, clean them and dry them.
When flowers form on the onion plant, you need to let the seeds ripen and dry before picking them. However, you need to watch for this carefully to avoid losing seeds. Harvest them as soon as they are dry. You can only store onion seeds for one or two years before they go bad.
Some varieties of pepper will cross-pollinate, but you can safely grow one sweet pepper and one hot pepper without worrying about separation. To collect seeds, let the fruit mature and fully dry before picking. The seeds can be easily removed from the inside of the fruit at this point.
Allow squash fruits to remain on the vine well past the stage at which they can be eaten. They are ready to be harvested when the skin is hard and leathery. Store the squash for three weeks before opening them for the seeds. Remove the seeds, clean them, and dry them before storing.
Most tomato plants will not cross-pollinate and do not need to be isolated. Pick tomatoes for seeds when they are very ripe and just past the eating stage. Once the seeds are removed, they need to be fermented to remove the germination-inhibiting gel that surrounds each seed. Put the seeds and pulp in a jar and leave it in a warm place. When you see bubbling in the jar for a day or two, remove the seeds and clean the pulp from them. The timing is important. If you allow the seeds to ferment for too long, they will begin to germinate. Watch the jar carefully. The process should take between one and a half and five days.
Original text from http://www.heirloomsolutions.com
• 24 ounces coconut oil
• 16 ounces palm oil
• 24 ounces olive oil
• 34.5 ounces cold water
• ] 6 ounces canola oil
• 12 ounces lye crystals
Let oils cool to 110 degrees Fahrenheit before adding lye solution.
JUST THE RIGHT SIZE
Get ready to preserve a bit of summer when the abundance of fresh produce flits farmers markets and roadside stands. Large canning jars are great for the big jobs, but you need tiny jars, such as those made by Bali, for saving goodies from backyard gardens. Their wide-mouth, one-piece, screw-on lids make it easy to save small batches, and the size is right for gifts from your kitchen. Pick up a carton of them as soon as they appear in stores—they get away quickly. That way, when the spirit hits to can a little something you’ll be set.