Growing kumara is a labour of love…Love! Kumara is grown by Delta Produce, New Zealand’s only kumara growing co-operative. We’re located in the heart of ‘kumara country’, namely the lovely, fertile area around Dargaville in Northland where the warm, sub-tropical weather, and rich, alluvial soils are perfectly suited to growing red, orange and gold kumara.
We’re not a big corporate or conglomerate: we’re a bunch of 25+ hard-working families, some of who’ve been farming kumara since 1966. And we love it! Most of our growers grow nothing but kumara and we’re understandably passionate about this tasty, versatile veggie. We’re proud to bring you our delicious, nutritious Love! Kumara brand of kumara … and hope you’ll love it too!
Meet our growers. They’re a lovable bunch…
Growing our kumaraHere at Delta Produce, we’re particularly fussy about our kumara. We work to very exacting GAP guidelines (to find out how NZ GAP benefits you and your family, click here www.newzealandgap.co.nz), to ensure every step of the growing and harvesting process is as it should be. We don’t plant a single cutting until the soil is tested, weeded, aerated and, if necessary, fertilised to bring it up to optimum growing conditions.
And we’re even choosier about which kumara we send to you. Even though these days we use machines to pull the kumara out of the soil, our hand-picked pickers hand-select each kumara in the field to ensure they’re things of beauty and quality.
Did you know that kumara has a remarkable ability to stay fresh for months and months? Once sorted, we ‘cure’ our kumara to lock in its natural sweetness, then store our kumara in wooden bins in temperature and humidity controlled sheds to keep them at their best. Then every week, we wash, pack and deliver a truckload or two of this top-quality kumara to supermarkets and greengrocers for your eating pleasure.
Our Kumara Growing Calendar
|September - Seedling Planting Season:||We plant kumara seed stock in our nursery beds then tend them carefully until their sprouts are about 25-30cm high.|
|October - From Nursery Beds to Planted Paddocks:||We take the seedlings (called cuttings) from the nursery beds and carefully transplant them in our paddocks. Each paddock is carefully prepared to ensure it produces the high quality kumara that you want to buy.|
|October to January - Watching, Watering & Weeding:||We water the cuttings regularly to give them a good start. We weed the paddocks constantly to give the growing kumara lots of space and sunlight.|
|January to April: Harvest Time||Although we use machines to lift the kumara out of the soil, our hard-working harvesters sort and grade the crop by hand in the field to ensure the harvested kumara meet our tight specs.|
|April to September: Ready for Delivery||We store our kumara in optimum conditions, then send weekly consignments to the pack house to be washed, packed and delivered to you.|
|September: Time To Grow More Seedlings||We start the whole process all over again!|