Sunday, June 14, 2015

Planting Kumara (Sweet potato) the Maori way

Kylie explaining with a model who the early Maoris planted this important root crop.

Anau Smithy This is a metal model of a tàpapa. A kumara nursery. This was how Màori grew the vegetables.

Those of us coming from the tropics, it is very hard for us to conceptualize how difficult it is to grow plants in a cold country.

The Maoris were very successful in this. There are lots of volcanic rocks/scoria. These rocks retains the heat . They have a bed of rocks in the ground, plant the kumara/sweet potato, and then place more rocks on top. During the day, the sun heats the rock, and the heat is retained and the plants don't get ruin by the frost.
Anau Smithy I hope I am explaining it correctly to the readers from Malaysia. They are grown in moulds so the water will drain.

The long stick for heavy digging using the foot.
 Use a small forked stick like a Kiwi pecking in the ground so you not bruise the potato, When you locate one, get dirty and use your hand and fingers.
My friend Josephine volunteering to demonstrate and she got her reward, a big kumara.

I realised I didn't take a photo of the vines. It was winter and the plants were brownish. I came home and took my own.

I was privileged to go on a Outdoor education module during our conference.  After climbing the Mangere Mountain, we descended and came to this workshop.

Kylie showed us how the grew kumaras. The land is very fertile because of the volcano.

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