Meskwaki Use of Plants for Food
Overview of Cultivated Plants
Another seasonal occupation for the Meskwaki was farming. In early spring after making sugar at the sugar camp the Meskwaki congregated back in their villages. There the Meskwaki settled down to plant and tend their crops.
The Meskwaki have always had a good reputation of being good agriculturalists and had a variety of native vegetables and grains to grow. It was known that they were fond of their native foods and never allowed them to die out. The three main staples of the cultivated plants were corn, beans, and squash.
The farming was done at the summer village. The villages were in lowland valleys near a river or lake. The bottom lands were favored for cultivation since the soil was generally fertile. The planted fields were near the village. May to September tended to be the time between planting and harvesting.
In early spring the bands returned to their villages. After they tilled their fields, the women planted crops for the summer. During the summer months the family tended their fields. The women owned the garden plots, eventhough the men cleared the gardens and made the farm tools used to cultivate the land. (JLB)
Click here to see a list of plants used by the Meskwaki.
Click here to see an example of a gardening tool.
Image from Cahokia State Agricultural Research Plot 2001, The Amos Owen Garden of American Indian Horiculture.