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Time Warp Plymouth, 1621

Travel back in time and become the Thanksgiving expert in your family, and make real food for your own Thanksgiving table to honor the native Wampanoag people and the English pilgrims.

Part 3 - Three Sisters and Some Soup

Lynley Jones

The year is 1620.  The Mayflower has not yet landed.

Source:  Plimoth Plantation (www.plimoth.org)

Source:  Plimoth Plantation (www.plimoth.org)

Source:  Plimoth Plantation (www.plimoth.org)

Source:  Plimoth Plantation (www.plimoth.org)

Last week we learned that for the Wampanoag in 1620, corn is female.  This week we learn that...

She has sisters!

Click to visit the website Renee's Garden, where you can learn to plant your own Three Sisters garden next spring!

Click to visit the website Renee's Garden, where you can learn to plant your own Three Sisters garden next spring!

Wampanoag and other Native Americans know that planting the Three Sisters - corn, beans and squash - together helps all three of them grow better.  Like all good sisters (and brothers), they help each other out!

Source:  Plimoth Plantation (www.plimoth.org)

Source:  Plimoth Plantation (www.plimoth.org)

  1. Make mounds for each corn planting.
  2. Catch 2-3 herring (a type of fish) and bury them in each mound.
  3. Let the fish rot in the soil for 2-3 weeks.  The rotting fish gives the soil nutrients that help plants grow.
  4. Plant 2-4 dried corn kernels in each mound.
  5. When the corn is as high as a human hand, plant beans around the base of the corn, and plant squashes around the other plants.
  6. Bean plants grow by climbing.  As the corn stalks grow, the beam plants will climb up the corn stalks.
  7. Squash plants grow by spreading over the ground.  As the squash plants grow, they cover the ground with their leaves so that weeds can't grow.
  8. By the fall, all Three Sisters are ready!

These Three Sisters love to party together.

A great recipe for your Thanksgiving table, or any time.

 

In the Adventure Kitchen this week, we made Three Sisters Soup.  Click for the recipe.

Three Sisters Soup simmering on the Adventure Kitchen stove.

Three Sisters Soup simmering on the Adventure Kitchen stove.

The kids in class gobbled it up!
There was enough for everyone to have seconds, but to their great disappointment, we did not let them lick the pot.  (Some were seriously eyeing it....)
  • Beans
  • Squash (we used butternut squash)
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Greens (we used spinach)
  • Chives
  • Chicken broth (no chickens in North American until brought by the Europeans)
  • Modern sweet corn (the Wampanoag used dried corn)
  • Olive oil (the Wampanoag cooked with fats such as bear grease)
  • Salt (the Wampanoag did not harvest salt before the Mayflower arrived)

This post originally appeared on 10/21/14.


 

Succotash is a Wampanoag word.  Traditional Wampanoag succotash was a combination of the Three Sisters - beans, squash and corn.  Click for the recipe.

This authentic recipe was created with help from the Plimoth Plantation Wampanoag Foodways Manager, using ingredients and techniques that would have been available before the Mayflower arrived.
 
 
 
  • Fresh water
  • Beans
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Squash
  • Chives
  • Cornmeal (use coarse cornmeal, sampe or hominy grits)
  • No salt!  (The Wampanoag did not harvest salt before the Mayflower arrived)