I adore kumara. So kumara harvest time is special, and the time is nigh… or is it?!
We always run the gambit down this end of the island – kumara needs to be in before the first frost, but ideally is left till the leaves yellow for full maturity. After running the gambit for years I have found that its better to get it in a bit earlier. Even though my foliage is just beginning to turn I decide to take advantage of two sunny still days for curing and avoid the frost damage. So I set to on the lovely sunny Saturday just been and dug them up.
For ease of harvest I cut all the foliage off. This will become the mulch for the next crop. Then, scrape the dirt away with my hands to reveal the nest of tubers (that’s the photo). Be ever so careful – they break easily and broken means they wont store. For some perverse reason kumara snuggle their fragile ends into the hard stuff making them a bhuddist act to get out if you are on heavy soils. Follow their twists and turns carefully to extract them whole if you can. Leave them under cover on wire racks to cure for a few days before storing.
Another gorgeous day on Sunday so I was pleased with my choice! From 20 plants I have 2 banana boxes for the pantry – not bad for a marginal kumara growing region.