Starting in May, children from St. James and Merriman Circle will be learning to plant a Three Sisters Garden using techniques developed by the Haudenosaunee hundreds of years ago.

It’s called the St. James Church and Merriman Circle Three Sisters Community Garden and it is made possible through the collaborative efforts of the Rescue Mission at Merriman Circle, St. James Racial Justice and Reconciliation Commission and St. James Creation Care ministry. Volunteers from St. James have been meeting with Rescue Mission staff for several months to plan the garden. Many of the supplies are being donated through the generosity of those who support the Rescue Mission at Merriman Circle.


But, the project is more than playing in dirt and planting seeds. It is about children from both St. James and Merriman Circle getting to know each other. In the process, children and their adult chaperones will learn about the Haudenosaunee legacy of caring for this land and their knowledge of how plants interact with each other and with people. The indigenous belief system is rooted in the connectedness between all living creatures—plants, animals, insects, people—with the air, water and land. Non-indigenous people have much to learn from indigenous wisdom and creation care. That is the goal of the Three Sisters Garden.

The fun is scheduled to start May 9 with stories and the planting of the first of the Three Sisters—Sister Corn. That meeting will be followed with planting of Sisters Bean and Squash on May 23. The children will then meet weekly to maintain the gardens, learn more indigenous stories and harvest the fruits of their labors. The harvest will be used in the children’s cooking classes at Merriman Circle led by Nancy Lee.

How can you help:

  • Pray for this garden and the spiritual growth of all who are involved.
  • If you have a child in grades four through six, please speak with Mo Allyn about getting your child involved with this project. It will be a rich and rewarding experience for your child.
  • Watch for a list of needed items not be covered by donations. The list will be coming soon.

For more information, contact Judy Holmes (, or Mo Allyn ( .