Saturday, May 24, 2008

Vegetable Gardening with Children: How to Plant Corn with Fish the Way Squanto Taught the Pilgrims

Here is another good gardening project to do with children. Using the Old Farmer's Almanac Calendar as a guide, the kids and I planted our corn last week.
There is a well-known and amazing story about how Squanto--the Native American captured and sold into and escaped from European slavery--befriended and taught the bewildered and hungry English pilgrims how to plant corn using fish as fertilizer, which was later harvested and eaten at the first Thanksgiving.
Inspired by this story, we used whole fish as fertilizer last year, which worked quite well, and repeated it again this year as follows:
1. Catch (or buy) some fresh whole fish.
2. Dig a hole several inches deep and add your fish.
3. Plant your kernels (or seedlings) on top of the fish.
Related posts: Ten Tips for Planning a Children's Garden, How to Build Raised Vegetable Beds, Organically Preparing the Soil for Planting


tina said...

I would love to do this, problem is hubby expects me to fry up any fish he catches (that is IF he catches any!:)

Sylvana said...

What is it about the fish that helps the corn?

We used minnows from fishing a couple of times when I was younger to do this very thing. I think they worked well, because I didn't have a big patch of corn but it all grew well and we had tons of delicious ears!

heirloomgardener said...

I would think that the fish is a more complete fertilizer, but I don't quite know.

Last year we grew corn with and without the fish. The ones with the fish grew much taller and were ready earlier.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

To me the most fun part of this project would be the fishing. No, maybe it would be eating the corn. Yes, with lots of butter please.

It sounds like you and your children have lots of fun doing projects in the garden. They are lucky to have a mom that works with them like this. said...

Oh my god, there's so much useful material in this post!

Search Heirloom Gardener


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