Kumara Huti Huti


SHIPMENT DATE: OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER (Kumara are all sent out once a year in October/November) Orders received will be placed on a first come first serve basis. The actual time of send out will depend on several factors, mostly the growth rate of the tupu

Family: CONVOLVULACEAE (Amaryllidaceae)
Genus & Species: Ipomoea batatas

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Heritage Status: New Zealand
Bio-Region of Origin: Unknown
Quantity: 15 tupu

Description: (aka Tariana, Manawa) – An ancient kumara that has come to us from the old kumara gardens of the Wairau Bar in Marlborough, South Island. A super long white skinned and fleshed variety, prolific cropper with a good flavour. This is a very well known old variety amongst the elders of Te Whanau a Apanui, where it was known as the kumara to take to the beach when one went fishing, to cook on the ashes of the fire. This has been a widely grown and loved kumara all over Maoridom by the stories I am hearing and it seems as though it is a possibility that it was a very old one that was grown in many areas, and selected over long periods in isolated places which meant that we ended up with many slight variations on the theme, just as happened with the old River peaches. It certainly has lots of names even within 1 relatively isolated bio region. It is also clear that it grows quite differently in different soils. For Joseph this one has quite bent and twisted tubers. In our soil here which is quite sandy but with a pan underneath they were pretty long and straight but those grown from our tupu in Torere, were huge and long and totally blemish free, the biggest longest kumara I have ever seen – up to 60 cm long!

Planting Instructions: Kumara need light/ sandy soils (Maori carried sand long distances to improve heavy soils) with a hard pan about a foot under the surface. We plant our kumara in beds that are about 1 metre wide. We shape the bed so a mound runs length ways along it. We then plant the kumara in two rows one on each side of the mound at a spacing of about 12 inches along each row. We stagger them so that the tupu on one side are positioned opposite the middle of the space between two on the other side. Bend the roots of the tupu under into a J -shape when planting so the roots face up to the top again under the ridge of soil, facing east or, in some traditions, north. Traditional additions to the soil were baked ground shell, seaweed, and woodash. We also use compost and Nature’s Garden fertiliser.