The original “companion planting” technique, practiced by many of the First Nations of the western hemisphere. The corn, beans, and squash mutually benefit each other in many ways. The corn stalks support the pole beans in their upward journey, while the beans put nitrogen and other nutrients into the ground for the corn. The squash leaves provide ground cover that keeps sunlight from growing the weeds, while preserving moisture (as do the other sisters, too, to some degree). The differences in the chemical composition and pollinating seasons of the plants also repel undesirable insects from each other, while attracting pollinators and desirable predator insects. And all of that is just part of the story, not to mention the many dietary benefits to us from this combination of foods.
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