30 March 2016: Rare kumara harvested at Hamilton Gardens

Rare kumara varieties will be harvested at New Zealand’s only publicly-owned traditional Maaori productive garden tomorrow (Thursday, 31 March 2016).

Six traditional kumara varieties were planted in November 2015 including taputini which is believed to be only one of four remaining pre-European varieties. The seedlings were grown from crops harvested in the garden last year and were cultivated in the Hamilton Gardens nursery.
Kumara is grown annually with Gardens’ staff working alongside Ngati Wairere elders to plant the kumara seedlings.
The harvest will begin from 8.00am and public are welcome to watch and speak with the gardening team. The kumara will be distributed to the community and the Salvation Army.

TE PARAPARA GARDENS FACTS:
• Te Parapara Garden was officially opened in 2008
• The Gardens is one of four productive gardens at Hamilton Gardens
• Public plantings offer an educational opportunity for the public to discuss pre-European food cultivation with the gardening team
• Te Parapara was the original name of the pre-European Maori settlement in what is now the centre of Hamilton Gardens
• Before Europeans arrived the riverbanks throughout central Waikato were lined with many Maori gardens, so the Waikato horticultural heritage in this area is of national significance
• The Te Parapara /Hamilton Gardens site was at one time home to Haanui, a famous Ngati Wairere chief.

HAMILTON GARDENS FACTS:
• Hamilton Gardens has five garden collections with 21 themed gardens
• The Gardens attract approximately one million visitors each year
• The Gardens contribute an estimated $8.9 million annually to the city’s economy
• More information about the Gardens can be found at hamiltongardens.co.nz

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ceana Priest
Marketing and Communications Executive – Hamilton Gardens
07 838 6434
027 808 2549
ceana.priest@hcc.govt.nz