How To Plant an Iroquois Garden

How To Plant an Iroquois Garden


As we work in our fruit and vegetable gardens this summer it makes sense to look for the healthiest and most sustainable ways to feed ourselves and our families. One good way to approach this project is to look to indigenous agricultural practices for inspiration.


Indigenous peoples developed innovative and entirely organic ways to grow their staple crops long before European settlers arrived on the shores of Turtle Island. One of the best known methods is the Iroquois concept of  ‘The Three Sisters’. This companion planting method holds that corn, beans and squash must always be planted together. The corn provides a structure for the runner beans to climb, while the beans provides much needed nitrogen to the soil. The Squash vines offer a source of mulch and allowed the soil to retain moisture. Together they allow each other to flourish and keep the soil healthy and nutrient rich.

Prior to contact with settlers the Haudenosaunee were growing up to 80% of their own food supply and were trading their crops with other nations as far north as the James Bay.


Why don’t you try this amazing indigenous growing method for yourself!

How to Plant an Iroquois Garden


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