We have many community gardens that serve their surrounding neighborhoods and people in a variety of ways. On this episode, Su-Mei visits two unique San Diego community gardens, New Roots Garden in City Heights and Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center in National City, to discover how they are not only growing food but also helping to cultivate better communities. She then prepares a garden fresh stir-fry that’s so easy, even kids can make it.
On this episode, the Three Sisters were mentioned as a planting technique taught to the kids at Olivewood Gardens. The Three Sisters are the three main crops of various Native American groups and consist of squash, corn, and climbing beans. In this technique, the three crops are planted close together and mounds of soil are created for each cluster of crops. The corn seeds are first planted close together in the center of each mound. When the corn reaches a certain height, beans and squash are planted around it, alternating between the two kinds of seeds. Grown together like this, the three crops benefit from each other. The beans climb the structure the corn provides so no poles are needed and in turn, the beans return nitrogen to the soil to benefit the other plants. The squash prevents the growth of weeds as it grows and spreads along the ground blocking the sunlight. The squash leaves also help keep the moisture in the soil and deter pests. Together, the three crops also provide a balanced diet.