Meskwaki Summers, Indian Corn

Today's show focuses on our neighbors the Meskwaki Nation, and on Native American cropping systems featuring their centerpiece crop, maize. KHOI intern Varad Diwati together with correspondent Pat Schlarbaum ask Jonathan Buffalo, historian of the Meskwaki Nation, about summertime on the Settlement, past and present. Then, co-host Greta Anderson speaks with Jane Mt. Pleasant, a Tuscarora Indian and soil scientist at Cornell University, who is considered an expert on native cropping systems, particularly the "Three Sisters" of corn, beans and squash, which the Iroquois grew together, in a polyculture, rather than in separate fields or plots. Her agronomic research has shown that the Iroquois farmers were probably eating better than their European counterparts well into the colonial period. Then, Greta visits Steven and Ethy Cannon's garden on 13th and Ridgewood in Ames (pictured above), where they experiment with "Three Sisters"-type intercropping and other plants used by indigenous peoples for food. Song, "As Long as the Grass Shall Grow," by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings from the CD, Look Again to the Wind: Johnny Cash's 'Bitter Tears' Revisited.

Originally broadcast 08/12/2015
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