Staple Crops

May 2, 2012 at 6:00 am 3 comments

The Beach flats, garden is a garden of sustenance, and our staple crops are corn, beans, and squash.  There are as many ways to plant these crops as there are gardeners, but many jardineros de la playa choose to intercrop their corn and beans.  This is an ancient practice that involves planting the corn and beans together, staggered in both time and space so that each plant gets what it needs from the other (with the help of their loving gardener).  The beans are a prolific vine that will climb anything they can get their tendrils on; while the corn is a towering giant that needs humans to survive.  The beans climb up the corn in their quest for the sun, providing vital nutrients to the soil that benefits both plants.  In some cases, gardeners plant squash at the base to provide shade which minimizes weed growth, and evaporation.  Corn beans and squash are known as the three sisters; between the three sisters there exists a symbiotic relationship that requires the guidance of loving caretaker.  To intercrop your corn and beans you must plant the corn 1 to 2 months ahead of the beans.  This gives the corn a head start that it needs to avoid strangulation by the overzealous beans.  When your corn is knee high, plant the beans between the corn, in the same row.  Some of the gardeners just use the corn for support; planting the corn and beans at the same time will give you a good harvest of beans, but not corn.  This is a good way to provide support for your beans without building a structure.


Entry filed under: Garden, Planting. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .

Bean Sprouts Greens

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lori Bonanno  |  May 2, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Keep taking pictures, Joe! I’ll use them next Fall…
    Thanks for the jade plant idea!

  • 2. Planting in Circles « Beach Flats Community Garden  |  May 15, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    […] are one of the staple crops in our garden, providing valuable protein and vitamins for vegetarians and omnivores alike.  Most […]

  • 3. Almost there « Beach Flats Community Garden  |  July 5, 2012 at 6:12 am

    […] is one of our staple crops in the beach flats garden.  These towering giants produce abundant food fuel and fiber for […]


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