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Growing Beans, Squash and Sweetcorn the Three Sisters Method

Yet more beans!

Accompanied by my wonderful wife (she reads this and I hate it when she beats me) we popped down around 5pm to harvest the Buerre de Rocquencort French beans. Not a huge amount, about half a carrier bag.


There were some nice climbing French beans, Cobra, wrapped around some of the sweetcorn as well.  The American indians in the south west had a system called the three sisters, where they grew corn, beans and squash together. The squash grew in the shade of the sweetcorn, which the beans grew up. It maximised water use and the nitrogen fixing nodules on the the bean roots helped the corn grow.


While she did that I cut down some of the sweetcorn haulm where there are no more cobs on the plant. I keep a pair of secateurs in the shed, very useful for that sort of job. I’ll pull the rest out when I finally strip all the plants.


The stalks went into the base of the empty compost bin. They’ll wilt a bit but still allow air through when I rebuild the heap from the other bin onto them.


As Val, my wife, raided the strawberry bed I harvested a few more courgettes and took off most of the tomatoes from the growhouses.


The growhouses are on their last legs – hopefully I can find a free greenhouse in the local rag or somewhere.


Back at the house


We blanched and froze the beans, which only took an hour. Earlier today we had harvested a large mixing bowl full of garden pearle tomatoes. Nice flavour and very prolific dwarf bush variety. These were roughly chopped then simmered in their own juices. Pushed through a sieve to remove the skins and seeds. The resultant thick tomato juice was frozen and will be used in cooking.

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