Heritage Status: New Zealand
Bio-Region of Origin: Christchurch
Quantity: A starter bag
Description: We have been sent these little beauties originally by Mr R.H.Lord of Hoon Hay Christchurch however they have come in from many parts of New Zealand. We believe they came to New Zealand with the Chinese goldminers and so are quite common around the old goldmining towns of Coromandel, Central Otago etc. They are a member of the mint family, and grow just like mint so keep them in a barrel if you’re worried about them running way. Like the yams, do not harvest until the tops have died right back, which will be the middle of winter up north. They taste a lot like kumara, but look like maggots or similar, certainly like wriggly grubs! They require very little cooking, maybe two minutes, or they go soft. Sautéed is best, or lightly steamed. These artichokes are known as brain food.
To help you decide which varieties will be best for you.
This excerpt from the Koanga Garden Guide is filled with valuable information.
Planting Instructions: These are a member of the mint family and some sources indicate they can be invasive and recommend planting in a barrel or restricted area. Our experience is that they are unlikely to be invasive but do better in a half barrel or similar without competition from other plants anyway. Can grow in full sun but seem to prefer light shade. Plant 2cm deep and 30cm apart in good soil. Mulch. They need regular moisture over the growing season. Harvest after the tops die back usually in July.