Iroquoian peoples in the northeast were successful farmers for centuries before the arrival of European colonial powers. Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries in central and western New York, they grew large acreages of corn grain and dried beans, in addition to a wide assortment of fruits and vegetables. Many people assume that the Three Sisters, the traditional cropping system of the Iroquois, is a simple and relatively unproductive cropping system. But comparison of this system with European agriculture in the same time period shows that Iroquoian farmers produced two to four times as much grain as their European counterparts and supported many more people per acre of land.
The series kicks off on Sept. 2 with Daniel Schwarz, Frederic J. Whiton Professor of English Literature & Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow speaking on Reconfiguring Nature after Darwin: Skepticism and Sexuality in High Modernist Literature at 5:30 p.m., Warren Hall B45.