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Corn, Beans, and Squash: What the Three Sisters Tell Us

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For Indigenous communities across the Americas, the Three Sisters—corn, beans, and squash—have been at the heart of agricultural practice for centuries. Like three idyllic sisters, the crops are different, yet compatible and supportive. When planted strategically in the same plot, the crops stabilize each other’s growth, enrich the soil, and protect one another from predators. When harvested and prepared, they compliment each other nutritionally. On July 2, associates from the National Museum of the American Indian will be facilitating a conversation about the Three Sisters, their role in both Indigenous folklore and agricultural practices, and their application to the contemporary issue of food sovereignty. They will also share a nutritious recipe incorporating the Three Sisters. This virtual event is part of the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival. After more than 50 years of celebration on the National Mall, the 2020 Folklife Festival is adapting to bring the same conversations about cultural heritage and tradition to online spaces with a series of daily virtual events until July 5. The talk takes place at noon on July 2 on Facebook. Free. —Ryley Graham

Virtually tour Blackistone Island Lighthouse

There has never been a better time to dream about squirreling yourself away in a remote lighthouse on an uninhabited island. Sure, like many a wickie before ye, you might go mad with loneliness—but let’s be honest, after months of de facto home confinement, you probably already are, and at least if you were in a lighthouse, you’d have a nice view of the water. Fuel your fantasies of nautical hermitry with this immersive virtual 3D tour of Maryland’s Blackistone Island Lighthouse, located on St. Clements Island, about an hour and a half southeast of D.C. First built in 1851 and razed a century later after a devastating fire, the current lighthouse is a meticulous replica of the original structure. High-resolution photos allow you to convincingly simulate an in-person trip, starting from the approach across the island toward the lighthouse. After stopping on the front porch for a relaxing sit on a nice Adirondack chair, browse the living quarters and make your way up the spiral staircase to the lantern room that tops the tower. From there, you can enjoy a 360-degree view of the Potomac as you fantasize about clipper ships, lamp light, and a tiny island safe haven where you needn’t worry about droplet transmission. The tour is available at my.matterport.com. Free. —Justin Peters