Growing kumara  

Kumara growing begins in late August when the Lands plant the beds, called tāpapa, for growing the kumara tupu. Tupu are rooted shoots which grow from the parent kumara and can be pinched off and planted out to form a kumara plant. The tāpapa is made with free draining, coarse river sand which prevents the kumara rotting in the Spring rain, and only has a small amount of nutrients, so doesn’t support lots of weed growth. Read more …

How to grow great kumara 

Kumara are one of our main staple crops and a huge favourite for us. For most people who buy kumara their choices are limited to either gold or red but Koanga has a range of pre European and early commercial varieties which range in colour from red, through dark pink, orange, golden, pale pink to white. As well as varying in colour the leaf shape, growth habits and flavours also vary with some being sweeter than others. Read more ….

Kumara Planting Information

Planting tips to help you get the best from your kumara

The Koanga Institute Kumara Collection

We are honoured to hold a very special collection of ancient kumara. The kumara in this collection has been gifted to us from the Far North, Marlborough, Bay of Plenty, the Hokianga and the Kaipara, where they have mostly been continuously cultivated since pre-European times. Many of these kumara grow differently to those we commonly know today. The leaf shapes vary a lot, the growth patterns vary, as do the colours of the leaves, stems and the kumara.
We also have kumara which were originally commercial cultivars that have now been grown organically and selected for keeping qualities for many years (over 20). These lines are very superior to using tupu from commercial kumara.

Find out about our special heritage kumara varieties here