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The story of Three Sisters is told in many different ways throughout the world (click here and here for some of the myths and folklore we found), but the most powerful one for us is the Native American practice of planting the “three sisters”: corn, beans and squash:
Corn provides a natural pole for bean vines to climb. Beans fix nitrogen on their roots, improving the overall fertility of the plot by providing nitrogen to the following year’s corn. Bean vines help stabilize the corn plants, making them less vulnerable to blowing over in the wind. Shallow-rooted squash vines become a living mulch, shading emerging weeds and preventing soil moisture from evaporating, thereby improving the overall crops chances of survival in dry years. Spiny squash plants also help discourage predators from approaching the corn and beans. The large amount of crop residue from this planting combination can be incorporated back into the soil at the end of the season, to build up the organic matter and improve its structure. (http://www.reneesgarden.com/articles/3sisters.html)
This kind of planting is a wonderful analogy for the yoga we are growing; a community that nurtures protects and supports each other, that strives to bring out the best in each other and in turn offer the fruits of our labor back to an ever widening community. The Three Sisters are a powerful reminder of our connection; our connection to the earth, our interdependence, and our need to connect with each other and our spirit.