Most exciting thing happening around here this week:
Eeeeeeekkkkkk! The corn in coming up! Three days ago I spotted it when I was crawling on my hands and knees, scouring the ground for any sign of life. I saw these microscopic green spears poking out of the ground. I called to Matt, who came running. Soon we were both on our knees crawling around shouting, “I found another one!”, entertaining all of our neighbors, I’m sure. Now they’re about 1 inch tall. SO excited. Matt and I have been slowly ripping out that weird chunk of land between the street and the sidewalk, in order to make room for growing more vegetables. We love growing food. We’re project people so it’s like an ongoing project and we love to do it together. I don’t think I’ll ever grow tired of watching seeds sprout into flavorful fruits and veggies.
This year, we’re planting corn, squash and beans together to create a “Three Sisters Guild”. My amazingly knowledgable neighbor gave me the down low on this planting technique developed by Native Americans. These three plants have a symbiotic relationship which allows them to produce more food using less water and fertilizer. The corn stalks create a natural trellis for the beans to climb, while the beans fix nitrogen in the soil, which nourishes the corn. The leaves of the squash vines ramble around, preventing the spread of weeds and providing shade for the shallow roots of the corn. You will significantly increase your yield by planting this way.
Our guild…day 10ish:
Typically, corn is placed in a mound in the center, surrounded by a ring of beans and then with squash. We really don’t need that much squash and don’t have tons of room for the plant to spread out (we planted butternut in ours, with spaghetti squash growing in our beds down the block for pollination). We decided to lay it out as such in order to let the squash spread out in the center of the lot and down the aisles. The beans surrounding the corn will help shade the outer stalks. We’ve also purposefully picked our measurements for our corn blocks. Corn needs to be planted in large enough blocks in order to pollinate.
When the corn gets to about knee height, we’ll plant beans. You can see the lovely Butternut Squash coming up as well. Ugh, I can hardly wait. I want some fresh grilled veggies immediately. Only about 50 days to go. There’s nothing like a vegetable garden to teach you delayed gratification.