116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Many Native Americans planted corn, beans and squash together.
Because they grow in the same mound in the garden and each crop provides help to the others, they were called “the three beautiful sisters.” The story of the Three Sisters varies from tribe to tribe.
The corn plant grows tall so the bean vines can climb up the corn plant, reaching toward the sun. The bean plant provides a necessary nutrient, nitrogen, to help the other plants grow. The squash plant spreads out over the ground, keeping every plant’s roots moist and cool.
Many people continue to plant their garden crops in this way. Corn, beans, and squash — the three sisters — grow better and stronger together, all complimenting each other!
Ask an adult to make this delicious recipe with you, using the three sisters as ingredients. You might even be able to find these things at a local farmers market — or make a plan with your family to plant your own next spring.
Autumn Harvest Succotash recipe
- 2 cups fresh green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 small summer squash/zucchini, sliced into coins
- 3 cups of corn kernels (fresh, frozen, or canned)
- ½ teaspoons salt
- 4 tablespoons butter
- Pepper, parsley and paprika (to taste)
1. Cook green beans in a small amount of water until tender. Drain and reserve the cooking water.
2. In a saucepan, melt butter. Add corn kernels, squash and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add enough reserved cooking water to cover the vegetables.
3. Cook gently for 3 minutes.
4. Turn the heat to low and cook, without stirring, until most of the liquid is cooked down. About 5 to 10 minutes.
5. Pour into a serving dish and sprinkle with a bit of pepper, parsley, and paprika. Enjoy!
This was adapted from a Nebraska Extension activity developed by Carol Fritz, Extension Assistant-4-H, and Kathleen Cue, Extension Associate-Horticulture.
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in Linn County helps build a strong Iowa by engaging Iowans in research, education, and extension experiences to address current and emerging real-life challenges.
The 4-H Youth Development program empowers youth to reach their full potential through youth-adult partnerships and research-based experiences. Visit the Linn County Extension Office website to learn more: www.extension.iastate.edu/linn