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Popcorn! Did they plant it as one of the 3 Sisters?

Sep 10, 2008
Popcorn was used during the time of the American Indians, It may very well have been one of the three sisters. The three sisters relates to the way American Indians grew Maize or corn. Many native species of plants are still grown today. These include potatoes, chili's, amaranth, quinoa and sunflowers.

They would grow corn or maize in circular mounds along with beans and squash. They would use the fertile soil near creeks and ponds.They used tools to make the round mounds. They would find material from the areas where they stayed. Long sticks were used to break up the ground. They would use the shoulder blades from buffalo and deer as hoes. They would hook the bones to long sticks. Other sticks were formed into trellises for drying the food.

The corn was planted first in the mounds. Fish was buried as fertilizer. The corn was planted along the outside of the mound. When it reached 10-12 inches high the beans would be planted. They planted the beans next to the corn stalks. The beans would then grow up the stalks without bothering the corn. This made a natural trellis. When the beans were up, they would plant the squash in the middle of the mounds. The squash was protected from the corn. The beans provided nitrogen for the beans and corn helpeach other grow.

As the beans grew up the stalks this made them easier to pick. This made for a larger crop and easier to harvest. When the corn ripened it was picked. The corn stalks were left up helping the beans grow.The stalks helped shade the squash and made them easier to pick too!

The Indians grew squash and corn in alternating rows. This stopped the plants from competing for minerals and water. Squash was grwon with the corn or by itself. The indians used about 1/8 of an acre of land for each person for the 3 sisters. The held the earth sacred. They could take advantage of the land that provided them with wholesome hand grown food.They didn't believe in using manure from horses or wild animals. They saw it as unclean from bothe the spiritual and temporal sense.

The Indians believed in cultivating twice during the growing season. The first time was done during a hot sunny day a few weeks after planting. This took care of most of the weeds.The second time was done a few weeks after the first. Any weeds that sprouted after that were usually shaded by the growing corn.

The corn that the Indians grew at that time was probably a type of corn that dried hard as a rock. The Indians would roast it in the husk and eaten as immature corn. There is evidence that the American Indians would roast the corn over open flame with the cobs skewered on a stick and eaten as popcorn.
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