A unique method shared by many indigenous North American peoples was the growing of corn, beans, and squash together in what was called "The Three Sisters." To the Haudenosaunee, these were the Corn Maiden, Bean Maiden, and Squash Maiden. The purposes were simple: The corn was the staple mother of many Native peoples and was the support for the nitrogen fixing beans to climb upon, since bush beans were a colonial, European creation. The squash served as animal deterrent with its prickly and large leaves, which also shaded the soil to keep it cool and moist and help with weed control. Even more so, these three plants were a complete nutritional mix as well, preventing a defiency by consuming just one of the plants. The key to a successful Three Sisters garden is using the proper varieties! Modern bred corn, beans and squash do not work well because they are meant to be grown individually and lack any sort of spiritual connection or memory of the old days with their other sisters. Varieties from the same Nation or tribe work best, as mixing varieties often leads to low success rates.

This Collection from us at Roughwood features a single packet of the following:


Lenape Mother Sweet Corn- very rare, exclusive stunning sweet corn from the Lenape Nation that produces delicous ears of blue, purple, white and speckled kernels that are execellent roasted, eaten green, or parched and even ground into a sweet lavender colored flour/meal. Only available in this collection. ~80-100 seeds per packet.


Munsee Wampum Bean OR Cornplanter Yellow Pole Bean- Munsee Wampum is a very rare speckled bean from the Munsee/Minsi Nation of the Lenape, a.k.a. the Wolf Clan of the Lenape. Productive and vigorous pole bean. Cornplanter Yellow is a yellow seeded pole bean from the Seneca Nation. Great soup and green bean. These are only available in this collection. ~20 or so plus seed per packet.


Striped Maycock Squash- C. pepo, a Pre-Colombian and thus for, ancient summer squash delicious when young as a summer squash and great as a decoration or gourd for fall. Also a great winter type for baking and soups! Was once the common squash found across the Eastern Woodland Nations, now exceedingly rare and exclusive from us at Roughwood and only available in this collection. ~20 seed per packet.


(If you are of Native heritage and want to grow these varieties, please contact us to recieve this and any other Native variety for free under our Roughwood Indigenous Peoples Program.)



Three Sisters Collection