Ancestral Pueblo Farming – Bandelier National Monument (U.S. National Park Service)

squash bloosom

Corn, beans, and squash were the most important crops. photograph by Sally King
Crops
The Ancestral Pueblo people depended on agriculture to sustain them in their more sedentary life style. Corn, beans, and squash were the most crucial crop items. Called the “ three sisters ”, these foods were necessity to survival because in concert they provided for many of the people ‘s nutritional needs. For example, when eaten together corn and beans contribute a fully protein .
Field Locations
Mesatops were used for much of the farm. small plots were probably located in the narrow canyons as well. however, steep canyon walls blocked much of the sidereal day ‘s sunlight and the canyons worked as cold sinks making growing crops in the canyon slightly debatable. Field locations dotted the mesatops where good afternoon thunderstorms were the most probable to offer necessary moisture .

garden

Corn grows taller than beans or squash and can provide shade and support for the other plants. photograph by Sally King

Dry Farming
Water is the most important ingredient for successful agriculture in this arid climate. The Ancestral Pueblo people developed a number of farming techniques that conserve water. Pumice (a light, frothy rock that is full of gas) is a major component of the local volcanic tuff. Pumice can act as a sponge, absorbing water and releasing it slowly over time. It was used as mulch to preserve moisture in the soil. Other water-preserving practices included terracing, check dams that slowed water moving across slopes, and waffle or grid gardens. Waffle gardens are constructed by forming small depressions surrounded by a low earthen wall. Seeds are planted within the cavity. The selection of plants was also a good one. Corn is sun-tolerant and grows tall. Beans and squash are less tolerant but grown shorter and can be shaded by the corn plants which also provide support for growing.
Water is the most crucial ingredient for successful department of agriculture in this arid climate. The ancestral Pueblo people developed a count of farming techniques that conserve water. Pumice ( a light, bubbling rock candy that is entire of boast ) is a major component of the local volcanic tuff. Pumice can act as a sponge, absorbing water and releasing it slowly over time. It was used as mulch to preserve moisture in the soil. other water-preserving practices included terrace, check dams that slowed water moving across slopes, and hesitate or grid gardens. Waffle gardens are constructed by forming little depressions surrounded by a low earthen wall. Seeds are planted within the cavity. The selection of plants was besides a good one. Corn is sun-tolerant and grows improbable. Beans and squash are less kind but grow brusque and can be shaded by the corn plants which besides provide accompaniment for growing .
waffle garden
Waffle gardens employ small depressions surrounded by earthen walls to maintain moisture. photograph by Sally King

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