Kumi Kumi

Cucurbita pepo

A Maori heirloom, this versatile squash can be cooked whole for hangi, grated for fritters or used any way you may use squash. Young fruit can be sauteed, mashed, grated or pickled. Mature fruit is better for storing and using boiled or roasted. Flowers can be eaten as you would zucchini flowers. First introduced to the land of the long white cloud by European settlers, this vegie has now become a staple crop in Maori culture with seed passed down through generations, and we have been fortunate to have received a seed donation from Mihipeka to share with our Diggers family.

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Kumi Kumi

Donated to us several years ago by Mihipeka, a part of our dedicated despatch team and Diggers member, this kumi kumi seed has its roots strongly in NZ culture. A New Zealand heirloom, also known as kamo kamo, the fruit can be eaten in summer like a squash, left and stored for winter where the skin becomes tough, really tough actually, and the flesh can be enjoyed like a mild pumpkin, or alternatively, if left to dry completely, the kumi kumi makes a lovely decoration or natural bowl. Stunning in colour and mild in flavour, we are pleased to offer this wonderful heirloom, shared by our family to yours, from both here and across the ditch.

How to grow

Easy to grow and incredibly productive, plant as you would pumpkins, in a soil enriched with compost and decomposed manure. If training to a trellis, allow vines to grow 1m before training upward. This helps to maximise space and allow for easy harvest. Insect pollinated, plants produce both male and female flowers, with bees the major pollinators in Australia. Avoid placing under insect netting which may cause reduced pollination. Seed germinates readily from 18°C–35°C in as little as 7-10 days. Sow in punnets and transplant after all likelihood of frost has passed. Water regularly, but avoid overhead watering which can encourage mould and mildew.

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