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glorfon
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Joined: 23 Apr 2008
Posts: 469



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Hmm...  I've been going through my calculations and I think I may have lost track of a couple decimal places.  Don't panic yet, but I'm thinking we may need significantly more farm land than I'd originally said.
Fri Oct 17, 2008 5:56 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
glorfon
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Joined: 23 Apr 2008
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Here's something I found out about which would help the soil and increase the food per square foot.  Have you heard of the three sisters?  Their corn beans and squash and they apparently work together really well.  Here's the best explanation I've been able to find.

1. mark out a series of planting holes one meter apart (you should get 4-5 ears of corn per hole), and plant 3-4 kernels of corn in each one, and cover it with 1 inch of soil.
2. When the corn sprouts, start mounding the soil over the base of the plant (don't cover it completely though!) Do NOT thin the corn. You want two or three stalks per mound.
3. Two weeks after planting the corn, plant two or three bean seeds in each mound. (If possible, coat the beans with a legume specific bacterial innoculant to insure the bacteria will be present. You can order it with seeds online or maybe get some at a garden center.)
4. At the same time as the beans, plant squash, pumpkins, or other vining squash between the mounds.

That is it, then just follow the care instructions on the vegetable seed packets.

What happens is that the cornstocks support the beans, and the corn roots ooze a a sugar that the nitrogen fixing bacteria on the beans love. The bacteria feed the beans corn, and the squash. The squash shades the ground between the corn, keeping it cool, moist, and (relatively) weed free.

This information was found at

http://forums.gardenweb.com/
Sat Oct 25, 2008 8:10 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
UnMeilleurReve
Dirt-Under-The-Nails Hippy


Joined: 29 Apr 2008
Posts: 542


Location: Las Vegas

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I think something similar has been mentioned in the forums earlier, but this is the most concise. My mother is also a proponent of the corn/bean/squash (and refers to them as the three sisters), and Christie I think has mentioned it as well.

But what kind of bean and squash? I'd be happy with red/kidney/black beans and butternut squash. What kind of corn, as well? White sweet, yellow?
Sat Oct 25, 2008 8:16 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
glorfon
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Joined: 23 Apr 2008
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We can vary the patches.

For corn I'd prefer yellow dent for flour and sweet corn for plain eating.  I don't that many varieties.

Beans should be pole beans to make use of the corn but I think bush varieties would benefit the patches just as much. If so, that opens it up to basically any kind of bean.  Variety is important in a diet so I'd say a little bit of all kinds.

Once again I think all varieties are possible with squash.  My girlfriend told me about spaghetti squash  which seems really good.
Sat Oct 25, 2008 8:24 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
UnMeilleurReve
Dirt-Under-The-Nails Hippy


Joined: 29 Apr 2008
Posts: 542


Location: Las Vegas

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I concur on the corn, though I do know you can do the same things with white corn that you can with yellow. Spaghetti squash is pretty good, butternut and banana are easy to work with, pumpkin pretty much rocks for sooo many reasons, and zucchini grows profusely.


Sat Oct 25, 2008 8:42 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
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