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Kumara larder is bare

Last updated 08:42 23/01/2013
Kumara Larder
EMPTY SHELVES: Two kumara are all that’s left when Pat Milich goes to buy dinner.

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Dargaville & Districts

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If you are thinking of having kumara for dinner you will have to wait at least another week.

There's no kumara selling in the kumara capital of the country but that is good news for Kaipara packhouses.

Last year the kumara seasons overlapped leaving supermarket shelves lined with the vegetable during the season crossover.

This year all packhouses have managed to sell the last of their stock before the new harvest season.

A Delta Produce spokesperson says growers in Kaitaia have already started harvesting and Auckland buyers should have kumara this week.

She says it is up to the main distributors Progressive Enterprises and Foodstuffs as to when the kumara reach Dargaville shelves.

A Dargaville 4Square spokesperson says they hope to be able to sell kumara in the next couple of weeks.

Grower Warren Suckling says packhouses in the district have done well to make the kumara last this long.

"I think it's a marvellous job that the five packhouses in Dargaville and Ruawai have done managing the crops that we have had to sell this year because we were short."

He says often outlet chains do not believe the growers when they say supply is short.

"It's a bit hard to convince them. In December 2011 we had rain, rain, rain, rain and most of the growers never got to plant their last few acres, so that caused a shortage."

He says customers might go without kumara for a few weeks but this is really good timing.

"This is the first time the old season stock has run out just in time before the new season. We empty out and then bang, the new stuff will come in."

The shortage resulted in high demand and this pushed prices up this year, he says.

"All that money goes into Dargaville and gets spent here and it is great for this little town."

He says selling all the old stock before harvesting the new stock is good news for everyone.

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