Three Sister’s Garden at the Carriage House

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If you have walked past the Carriage House this summer, you have probably noticed the corn stalks and other plants growing in the three containers outside the door!   The Native American Women’s Association donated squash, beans, and corn (The Three Sister) as a demonstration garden to illustrate the story of the Three Sisters.  The poster in the barrel tells the story of the Three Sisters.

Here is the Three Sisters Garden story.

Many years ago, there were THREE SISTERS who lived in a field. The little sister, Bean Girl, dressed in green and could not stand up by herself. The second sister, Squash Girl, was short and wore a yellow dress. The third sister, Corn Girl, was the oldest, and always stood straight and tall above the other sisters to protect them. She wore a green shawl and had long yellow hair. The THREE SISTERS loved each other and worked together. Corn Girl helped Bean Girl stand up. Bean Girl fed Corn Girl and Squash Girl nutritious food. Squash Girl shaded Corn Girl’s feet and kept the weeds from growing around all of them.

One day, a young boy came to the field of the THREE SISTERS. The THREE SISTERS were fascinated with the child and watched him play. They wondered where he went at night. One summer day, the youngest sister was gone. She was barely able to stand alone in the field unless she had a stick to cling to. Her sisters grieved the loss of their little sister when she did not return. Once more, the young boy came to the field of the THREE SISTERS to gather reeds in a nearby stream. The two remaining sisters watched him intently. That night, the second of the sisters was gone. Now there was just one sister left. She stood tall and straight, but she knew she could not survive on her own. As the days got colder, her green shawl faded and grew thin. She wept, filled with heartache, day and night for her sisters.

Later, the boy heard the crying of Corn Girl who stood alone in the field. He felt sorry for her and brought her back to his village. Corn Girl screamed with joy when she saw her two lost sisters there. She learned that her two younger sisters had been curious about the child and had gone with him to learn more. With winter coming, the THREE SISTERS decided to stay in the village and help the people. The little sister, Bean Girl, helped keep the dinner pot full. The sister in yellow, Squash Girl, sat on the shelf drying, so she could fill the dinner pot later. The third sister, Corn Girl, happily ground cornmeal. The THREE SISTERS were inseparable from then on.

To this day, the THREE SISTERS thrive and grow best together. The THREE SISTERS is a planting system where corn, beans, and squash are planted together in mounds. The well-being of each crop is protected by the others.


The THREE SISTERS Garden is a service project of the Native American Women’s Association. This organization was founded by local Native women to educate the next generation and the community about Native American culture and traditions. NAWA provides workshops at the Garden of the Gods Visitor’s Center on the second Saturday of the month from 10-11am.