Diversity is part of God’s order for abundance. More diversity makes things healthier and stronger. You can see this in every system of form and function. I’ve seen people, families, teams, schools, gardens, and gut health all grow exponentially with the benefit of diversity. Why is it so important? Here’s a little lesson from corn, bean and squash. Together they are called the “Three Sisters.”
The heritage of Native American “Three Sisters” planting technique is rich with wisdom and fruitfulness. It’s based on companion planting, where one plant helps another. Each of the “sisters”; corn, bean and squash, contribute something to the planting. Together they bring balance to the soil and delicious food.1
- As older sisters often do, the corn offers the beans needed support.
- The beans, the giving sister, pull nitrogen from the air and bring it to the soil for the benefit of all three.
- As the beans grow through the tangle of squash vines and wind their way up the cornstalks into the sunlight, they hold the sisters close together.
- The large leaves of the sprawling squash protect the threesome by creating living mulch that shades the soil, keeping it cool and moist and preventing weeds.
- The prickly squash leaves also keep away raccoons, which don’t like to step on them.
God uniquely planted me in a family with a cherished younger sister. We are as different as corn and beans. She’s an accountant wisely lead by a budget. I’m an artist freely living outside the box. Yet, if you listen to us talk you could hardly tell us apart. Our hearts are knit together, woven by strands of love. We offer one another help through our differences. It’s not just the two of us…we welcome the third sister, our spiritual sisters, a living mulch of protection. Together we flourish.
It’s tempting to mono crop our lives. Comparison and competition robs us of richness. Let’s let our differences bring us together. As Carol Saline says, “Sisters function as safety nets in a chaotic world simply by being there for each other.” Science has proven companionship will help us live longer, better, healthier lives.
Learning from the “Three Sisters,” I’m encouraged to be a better sister-friend. I love you. Some are older sisters, some younger, some protectors – we are sisters. Your relationship has helped me develop as a person and trust you have grown too!!!
1Reference Three Sisters Planting: http://www.almanac.com/content/three-sisters-corn-bean-and-squash