By Cody Leeson

Corn, Bean & Squash Polyculture and Nutrition


A Three Sisters Garden is an agricultural method of the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island. It uses polyculture - growing more than one crop in the same plot to good advantage. The three sisters, ‘corn, bean and squash’, are planted together and the combination of plants helps each of them to produce fully.


Corn has a high need for nitrogen, and beans produce a high amount of nitrogen. · Climbing beans need something to climb and a corn stalk is a great natural trellis. · Squash plants spread and provide a natural weed cover and moisture-retaining shade for the other plants.


The three plants are also a nutrition powerhouse when combined. Corn contains carbohydrate, providing a rich source of energy while beans provide protein and fibre to help balance the release of sugar into the bloodstream, keeping us fuller for longer. The squash is full of nutrients, such as vitamin A that helps to maintain good eye health. Fibre helps keep us regular, lower bad cholesterol and prevent overeating due to its role in helping us to feel full.



  • 8 cups corn, fresh or frozen
  • 2 large onions, medium dice
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups butternut squash, large dice
  • 2 cups green beans, 1 in pieces
  • 2-3L vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup canola/olive/vegetable oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • to taste, salt


  1. Add oil, onion, garlic and 6 cups of corn to a heavy bottomed pot and cook on medium heat until onion is translucent. Season with some salt to bring out moisture
  2. Add 2L stock and pumpkin puree. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 20-30 mins or until everything is soft enough to easily blend with a hand blender. If too thick, add more stock to thin
  3. Blend with a stick/hand blender until liquid is thickened and most vegetables are blended. May also blend with countertop blender until smooth. Texture is up to the cook.
  4. Once blended, add diced squash, rest of the corn, and beans (for crunchier beans, add after squash is almost cooked) Cook until squash is softened. More stock may be added if necessary to reach desired texture.
  5. Re-season, and add lemon juice.
  6. Serve hot