16:04 PM

Mohawk welcomes the Three Sisters

Students and staff welcomed the Three Sisters (corns, beans and squash) to Mohawk today with a planting at the college's Fennell Campus. The plants will grow alongside the Hoop Dance, Mohawk's Indigenous Gathering Space which is due to be completed this June.

The event helped to raise awareness of Indigenous cutlure and traditions while teaching students and staff sound agricultural practices that have been passed down for generations. The Three Sisters, or corn, beans and squash, are planted together because of their ability to work together to produce a strong, healthy crop.

The seeds are planted in a mound of earth with the corn on top, surrounded by the beans along the side of the mound and then anchored with the squash at the foot of the mound. As it grows the corn provides a structure for the beans to climb and gives some shade to the plants beneath. The beans feed the soil nitrogen to help the plants grow and the squash shields the roots to prevent weeds from growing. The squash also helps the soil to retain moisture while the prickly leaves deter pests.

For more information on the Three Sisters: http://www.sixnationsfarmersmarket.com/gardening_three_sisters_gardens.php