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Indigenous peoples throughout North America often cultivated varieties of maize (corn), squash, and climbing beans and grew them in tandem. The Iroquois and the Cherokee called these plantings the “Three Sisters” because they nurture each other like family. When grown together these three crops support each other structurally and biologically. The root nodules of the beans fix nitrogen in soil and help stabilize the relatively shallow root system of the maize keeping them grounded during high winds. In turn the corn acts a trellis for climbing beans while the wide leaves of the squash shade the ground, keeping the soil moist, and help to prevent the establishment of weeds.