From just one kumara tuber, you can grow lots more! The first step is to grow little kumara plants from the same kumara that we would normally eat. You can plant your kumara tubers in potting mix, or in a jar so you can watch the roots grow.
Then plant it in a pot as a houseplant (cutting it back if it gets too big) or use the shoots to grow loads of kumara to eat.
Olivia grows 12 little plants from her one kumara tuber. In spring she plants them out in the garden, and all grow into healthy big plants. At the end of summer, she digs up nine big kumara for every plant she planted. How many kumara did Olivia end up growing from that one she started with? If each big kumara was worth $3 at the supermarket, how much money did she save?
Did you know?
Kumara arrived in Aotearoa over a thousand years ago. They were brought here on Maori canoes from the Pacific islands. Kumara planting and harvest were special spiritual events for the Maori people who had to work out how to grow their crops in a much cooler climate.
In Hamilton Gardens there is a special traditional kumara patch. Kumara are planted in mounds with stones on top to keep them warm. Go to hamiltongardens.com to find out more and watch the harvest video.
Some plants store the nutrients and energy they need for next seasons growing underground in bulbs, roots or tubers. Tubers are fat pieces of stems or roots that grow underground. Stem tubers include potatoes and yams. Kumara and sweet potatoes are root tubers.
Bulbs are short stubby bits of stem with fleshy ‘leaves’. Garlic and onions are bulbs we eat. Winter is planting time for garlic.
Roots that we grow for eating are carrots, parsnips, beetroot and radishes. Grow these veges from seed sown straight into big pots or garden beds.
108 kumara; saved $324!
Teparapara at Hamilton Gardens