Our Native friends had an ingenious method for growing food for winter. I often wondered how they got through our harsh New England winters, until I heard about this.
First, they cleared a 6 to 10 foot circle of land. Any trees nearby would be "girdled" by chopping off the bark around the base, which both kills the tree and lets it dry upright, providing for future firewood. Virgin forest land was supposed to be good for growing, but in subsequent years they would bury a big salmon or two under each circle, for fertilizer. (Salmon are scarce these days but I've often wondered if a few trash fish tossed in the hole would have the same effect.)
The center of the circle is then planted with corn. "Indian Corn" dries very hard but most varieties can be dried adequately for storage. By planting the corn in a circle, the breeze will always blow the pollen onto another plant. Clever!
Then, once the corn is a few inches tall, plant two or three pole beans next to each corn plant. The pole beans climb the corn stalk as the corn matures.
Around the edge of the circle, they planted pumpkins and other winter squash, such as Hubbard and Butternut. Supposedly, deer won't cross the squash vines for fear of tripping, but I've yet to see this in practice.
At the end of the season, wait for all three to dry before harvesting and storing. Gather up the pumpkins before the first hard frost or else they'll spoil in storage.
I saw such an Indian Cornfield in New Hampshire several years ago, around Keene I believe, and noted that the owner piled branches and brush around the field, to a height of about 6 feet. Such a fence would surely discourage deer!
The Natives celebrated the "Three Sisters" by cooking all three together, known as Succotash.