The journey of our kumara from field to plate
During the late winter months is the time to start preparation for the next kumara growing season. Seed Tubers are carefully
selected and sorted to maintain a clean and disease free crop. These Tubers are then taken and placed in propagating beds
and will grow to healthy plants. Plants are cut above the ground when they are around 30cm high and these cuttings are planted
to produce the next year’s harvest.
Transplanting of these cuttings into the field begins during October and continues through into December. Prior to planting,
the soil is tested, fertilized and gently cultivated and moulded into long ridges in the flat alluvial fields. When conditions are right,
the cuttings are taken and each plant is individually placed into these ridges by hand. The rows are then watered over the next
few days until the plants are established.
During the growing season, the crop is regularly monitored and regular weeding is undertaken. Kumara love the sunny tropical
conditions in the North and plants will spread out until they completely cover the ridges.
When the crop has been in the ground for approximately 120 days, they are reaching maturity and are ready for harvesting.
This takes place during the months from February – April and must be completed before the wet winter season starts.
Harvesting is done using purpose built machines on which people stand to sort and clean the roots before they are placed in
wooden field bins.