Native Americans practiced the 3 Sisters technique many years before Europeans ever set foot on this continent. They perfected a way of growing three staple vegetables -- corn, bean, and squash -- that not only required no equipment, but actually helped all three types of veggie grow more efficiently!
Here's how the 3 Sisters works: the corn stalk is the central feature (of course, you can have more than one 3 Sisters; space them about 4 feet apart on all sides in the garden). Plant the corn first, and let it get some height before sowing the bean seeds in a hill around the base of the corn, and the squash seeds outwards from the beans. As the beans grow, they twine naturally up the strong stalk of corn. The squash grows outward as well as upward, offering good groundcover protection to keep moisture in the soil and suppress weeds. And the shade cast by the corn and beans offers a bit of afternoon relief to the squash during the hottest time of summer.
What's more, the beans are legumes, so they fix nitrogen in the soil, helping both the corn and squash take up more nutrients. So each vegetable is a helper, and all grow the better for being together! Find a sunny spot in the garden and grow the 3 Sisters this season!