Ethnobotanical Assistance

 

I had some help up in the garden this week — the ethnobotany class came up to the garden to help out with the kitchen garden and to create a portion of the garden in a more traditional anishinabek method of cultivation.  They have built up 3 sisters mounds, each with three species of plant working together in a mutualistic relationship. The beans fix nitrogen into the soil. The corn needs lots of nitrogen, but grows tall and sturdy to provide a structure for the beans to grow up. And finally the squash sprawls out with big leaves to shade out the weeds.

With all the help from ethnobotany we got a lot accomplished this week! Almost all of the beds are dug, the roots removed, and fertilized with a mixture of compost, old manure, and last year’s topsoil. The seeds I sowed last week are starting to pop up, and the transplants like cabbage and broccoli are getting big.

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About umbsgarden2011

The U of M Biological Station is running a kitchen garden for the second year in a row! I am the new garden gal, trying to fill the big shoes of Nate Lada. Stay tuned to hear how the garden fares this year.
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