Indian garden

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Tom A Hawk

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I grow in the three sisters tradition and my Seneca white corn is called one': oh ( oh nay, glotal stop, oh ). I use it for hominy and meal.

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Squash and pumpkin vines don't seem to discourage the deer from exploring the garden at all.

I have a variety of native dry bean but they are a bush beans. My climbers are green and yellow string beans.
 
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Once again , got my mind going !! Grew up on a little farm in Ohio , outside Zanesville , and my grand dad would plant corn with beans . At 9 and 10 years old , i did not pay much attention , as it was just "life on the farm" ! And , Kansas_Volunteer , thanks for the book reference ! Looks like i got some reading to do , if i can find a copy !
 
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Recurvebill, you got me curious and I looked for new copies of the book. It's available on Amazon. A local book dealer ought to be able to get it for you. Original copies might be found on abebooks.com, now owned by Amazon.
 

Rató:rats

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One plant that hasn’t been mentioned is my old friend Cannabis Sativa. We know Tecumseh’s brother Tenskwatawa forbade followers of his religion to consume it so conjecturally we can surmise it and it’s properties were known to the eastern nations. I’m wondering if it was cultivated or gathered in the wild like Sang.
 
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Thanks- I was worried that the varieties might have become extinct. On the "Indian" corn- that is- multi colored. How does it taste? There is a myth that at the first Thanksgiving the Indians showed the pilgrims how to make popcorn but in reality, I'll bet it was parched corn instead of pop corn. "Hominy" was an Indian food in which the external hull was removed. I know the Mexicans ground it into Masa flour but I think the American Indians just kept it whole. If the hominy was ground- then I guess that is grits. On the beans, has anyone read of the Indians eating green beans (pod) or were the beans allowed to mature into seed beans? On the squash- I have always thought it was winter squash- like butternut, etc., and pumpkin is pumpkin- I don't think that has changed.
On the tobaccos- it might be fun to try it. Some of my pals picked it as kids.
Actually, I remember a first-hand Pilgrim account that pretty clearly described the popping of the corn.
In the Southeast, Creeks (my people) and Seminoles loosened the husks in a lye-producing wood ash sllution, then pounded the corn with long vertical pounders in a large sweergum mortar. The result was similar to grits, but it is normally cooked into a much thinner ad somewhat congealed liquid gruel called sofkee... A large pot of it stayed cooking/warminb onthe fire or stove ar every farm or camp, with a huge hand-carved wooden ladle (a "sofkee spoon" ) hanging next to it or on it. The soda retained in the pounded corn provided sodium needed to work in our hot environment, along with the carbs and water in the sofkee. Sharing a big spoon of it is still a valued social gesture.
The beans, in my family, were lima or butterbeans... purple-hull limas were what I remember my great-aunt growing...
I don't think winter squash varieties were grown with the corn and beans, as they are summer crops. Summer squash vines definitely grow the desirable protective tangled ground cover, but I think it was more useful in preventing two-footed varmints from sneaking up through the cornfields. Than it was in slowing down four-footed ones...
 
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The hominy we buy in cans appears similar to the Senaca corn in the earlier posted photo. Is this the same? Never made hominy nor knew anyone that did, but I like to eat it.
 
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Hominy is corn with the hull stripped off by soaking it in a lye solution. Wood ashes are the source of the lye. Hominy is the precursor to Masa, the corn flour used to make tortillas. The book referenced above has recipes using ground corn that may be sort of duplicated with masa.

The squash used in the book is most likely winter squash since it is sliced and dried and stored with corn for later use. It was grown separately from the corn in the system described.

That book is a great read. It really gives a lot of insight into the culture in addition to agriculture information.
 

Brokennock

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My understanding of the "three sisters" method using what I consider fall squash, not really winter as once winter comes everything has been harvested, is that all three things come to be ready for harvest at different times. The corn, the beans, and the squash come in one by one and get processed accordingly.
Each one helping the other in the growing process and even once harvested, the cornstalk still provides for the beans, as does the tangle of squash vines and roots.

Maybe they did a little of both, summer and fall?
Maybe some areas/cultures did summer instead of fall squash?



Maybe I'm biased because I prefer fall squash varieties? Lol.
 
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I grow in the three sisters tradition and my Seneca white corn is called one': oh ( oh nay, glotal stop, oh ). I use it for hominy and meal.

View attachment 107335

Squash and pumpkin vines don't seem to discourage the deer from exploring the garden at all.

I have a variety of native dry bean but they are a bush beans. My climbers are green and yellow string beans.
That looks a lot like the corn I have.
 

Red Owl

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One of the Fox Fire books has complete instructions for lye hominy. You use hardwood ash and make a cradle/trough and percolate the lye (water added to the ash) over the corn, then wash it good- You need the book for all the data.
 
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We're avid gardeners - about 1 1/2 acre plot this year. Question is about cross-pollination of Indian corn (s) with field (hybrid) corn. Doing my fall plowing now to prep for next spring. Will the different types cross-pollinate ? If so, recommended distance please. Thanks
 

Tom A Hawk

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One of the Fox Fire books has complete instructions for lye hominy. You use hardwood ash and make a cradle/trough and percolate the lye (water added to the ash) over the corn, then wash it good- You need the book for all the data.
Nah..the corn has to be boiled in the ash water until the skin and eyes come off.
 

Rató:rats

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One of the Fox Fire books has complete instructions for lye hominy. You use hardwood ash and make a cradle/trough and percolate the lye (water added to the ash) over the corn, then wash it good- You need the book for all the data.
Love that book series
 
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We're avid gardeners - about 1 1/2 acre plot this year. Question is about cross-pollination of Indian corn (s) with field (hybrid) corn. Doing my fall plowing now to prep for next spring. Will the different types cross-pollinate ? If so, recommended distance please. Thanks
As long as the tassel doesn't fall to another species it won't cross. I am sure there is a proper distance, with an acre and half shouldn't be any problem, but wonder what crossing would produce, to me that would be interesting.
 

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