Agriculture and living harmoniously with the earth have long been integral parts of Chickasaw life and culture. The gardens on the Chickasaw Cultural Center grounds embody our symbiotic relationship with nature.
Each spring for generations, we have planted the Three Sisters: corn, beans and squash. The three plants rely on each other to survive and thrive. As the corn grows tall and thin, it gives the bean stems a firm natural ladder to attach to. In turn, the beans and corn are surrounded by squash plants that help keep moisture in and weeds out. You can see this method used seasonally in the Three Sisters Garden located within the Chikasha Inchokka' Traditional Village. In the Three Sisters story, corn represents the eldest sister, standing tall and strong in the center of the garden; squash is the middle sister, guarding and protecting her siblings; and beans are the youngest sister, leaning on her family while also encouraging them to grow.
Each year, butterflies migrate between the northern United States and Mexico. Located along their flight path, our campus has more than 45 gardens containing milkweed and other pollinator plants to support butterflies. The Butterfly Garden is a special butterfly-friendly habitat with large butterfly statues and educational panels to highlight the plight of the monarch butterfly and our efforts to help restore the population.
Located just east of the Chikasha Inchokka' Traditional Village is our unique Spiral Garden. Within the spiral shape (signifying life's never-ending journey) are curving rows of fruits, vegetables and herbs. The Spiral Garden provides fresh produce for many of our entrees in the Aaimpa' Café. Follow the spiraling path and enjoy nature's bounty in this beautiful serene garden.