Kia Tupu, Kia Hua – Kumura Planting Unites Community

I was pleased to attend a community planting day at Te Puea Orchard in Tikitere – Rotorua.

This was a great day shared with the Dibley whanau who had made land available so that the community could grow kumara and riwai (potatoes) and share the traditional knowledge of kumara to the next generation.

Local groups; Kai Rotorua, Te Rangihakahaka Science Technology Centre for Learning, Mokoia Intermediate, Rotorua Boys and Girls High School, Te Puna Kai o Waikato and community groups from Ruatoki attending the planting.

The event had special significance as the orchard was a place where Te Puea Herangi would visit when she was in Rotorua. We shared stories between Tainui and Te Arawa waka about Whakaotirangi who brought the kumara plant from Hawaiiki to Aotearoa on the great voyage.

It’s important to share our knowledge of Kumara and share the matauranga of planting and caring for the special plant which has long been a staple food of our ancestors to this currents day.

Importantly the kumara planting day was a way of bringing the community together and local Mayor Steve Chadwick said how pleased she was to see more people thinking about sustainable options to grow food to feed their community.

It just affirms that with your basket and mine the people will be fed!


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