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Garden Furies June 14, 2012

Posted by therealtinlizzy in Uncategorized.
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A little over a week ago I slowed down long enough to throw some nibs of what various labels assured me were corn, beets, beans & lettuces in the ground, along with some already-in-progress zucchinis, squash and onions, and a scrum of tomato plants that magically turned up on my doorstep under the auspices of a very nice friend. This second year of attempting to conjure things from the ground has been much less planned and much more thrown-in-the-ground-at-the-last-minute than last year, yet it’s all under a banner of breezy confidence given that somehow last year things actually grew in utter spite of my spectacularly haphazard oversight.

One of the half-assed notions I threw in this year is a variation on the Three-Sisters –  i.e. where corn and beans and squash are planted in a sort of pile and supposed to then grow collaboratively together in some holy trinity of cooperative agricultural mutual beneficiality – or “companion planting” as the cool kids call it. The premise is that the corn serves as the structure for the pole beans (nixing the need for the pole) which kindly fix nitrogen in the soil, while the squash shades the ground and keeps the soil cool and moist. Sounds rad and exactly the sort of thing vetted by American Indians back before we came and wrecked everything, and which urban hipsters like myself now like to turn into enthusiastic hobbyists over.  Ok fine, so be it.

Neal Stephenson included a companion planting  notion in Anathem – where vegetables were cultivated in “tangles.” Since reading Anathem I’ve been impulsed to just throw seeds amok in a pile to see if they will tangle into a lovely, wild and unruly but bountiful mess. However rather than attempting to extract a planting method from a fictional story that takes place with imaginary vegetables on another planet, I decided that I should instead give the Three Sisters method a shot.

I can only hope that these sisters behave like Little Women sorts of sisters, rather than what I generally envision as three-sisterly-ness – things like hair-pulling, spiteful jerkfacery. Then again – I’ve never actually read Little Women, I’m just assuming everyone therein is lovely and dignified and they’re all very kind and charitable to one another – which is how I hope my corn, beans and squash will get on. Better yet perhaps they will be the Alecto, Tisiphone, and Magaera of garden denizens – Furies who will wreak havoc on marauding fauna and insectia.

source justifiedlunacy.blogspot.com

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