Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"Three Sisters" in the Garden -- Food for Thought

Hi Meltingpot Readers,

I'm sure everyone knows that Michelle Obama has taken on the nation's health as her personal mission during her husband's term in office. We know about the White House Garden and the Let's Move Campaign, but maybe, like me, you hadn't heard about Madam FLOTUS's "Three Sisters" garden.

What's a Three Sisters Garden, you ask?

"Perhaps the best known products of Native agriculture in North America are corn, beans, and squash, "the Three Sisters.” These plants work together in the garden and in our diets. Beans produce nitrogen in the soil to feed the corn and squash. Corn provides a sturdy stalk for the beans to climb. Squash plants provide ground cover to keep down weeds and keep the ground moist. The three in combination make for a very healthy start toward a balanced diet." From the NMAI blog

Mrs. Obama apparently wanted to highlight the influence Native American culture has had on the "American" diet but she also wanted to bring some much needed awareness to the health crisis plaguing the Native American community, thus her garden.

I've never heard of a Three Sisters Garden, but I think it's such a wonderful idea. And I'm so impressed that Mrs. O, decided to make Native American health a national priority. Too often, way too often Native Americans are truly the invisible ethnic group in this country, which may explain why it is only now that I'm hearing about the Three Sisters Garden, even though it was planted in June. Did anyone else hear about it? I'm curious if I just had my eyes closed or perhaps the mainstream media is intent on keeping Native American issues on the back page.

To see a video of the garden, click here. To read more about the garden check out the article on the National Museum of the American Indian blog.

I'm just being dorky here, but wouldn't it be cool if there was a section of the garden representing all of the major ethnic groups in this country? What would that look like? What fruits or vegetables would be in your section. You know in my family garden, that is my kinky gazpacho garden we'd have to have tomatoes and okra.



Miss Footloose | Life in the Expat Lane said...

No, I've never heard of the "Three Sisters" garden and I'm not a stranger to gardening. What a good idea.

Yes, it would be fun to have garden sections growing produce representing the diets of major ethnic groups in the US, but climate-wise not possible, I'm sure.

I still hunger for the fresh tropical fruit we used to eat in Ghana, West Africa. The ones imported to the US and Western Europe just don't taste the same as the ones straight off the trees or out of the ground. But hey, better than not having them.

Jay said...

when i was kid my mom grew Three Sisters Garden.. so I knew about .. but I think great that other people are learning about it :) as for my garden my mom must have tomatoes and i must have green beans and potatoes :)... I do love reading your blog it makes me laught and think .. thanks ...Many blessing to you and your family :)

LT said...

Miss Footloose,
Thanks for sharing. I'd love to eat fruit right off the trees instead of off the supermarket shelves!

Awesome, someone who actually knows what a three sisters garden is. Thanks for the love.