Tupuanuku and Tupuarangi


Matariki has a deep association with food: “kai”. “Matariki, ahunga nui”: Te Reo for “Matariki, provider of plentiful food”

Tupuanuku is the star connected to food grown in the ground. “Tupu” means ‘to grow’ and “nuku” is the shortened version of “Papatuanuku” and means ‘earth’. When Matariki sets in the western sky at dusk during the month of May, the harvesting of the garden has been completed and winter is near. 

Tupuarangi is connected to food that comes from the sky. During the rising of Matariki, kererū were harvested in large numbers, cooked and then preserved in their own fat. Tupuarangi is the star that connects the cluster to the harvesting of birds and other elevated food products like fruit and berries from the trees.

The Matariki Vegetable Garden

Vegetable Garden.JPG

Design a Matariki garden using your knowledge about native plants and plants from the ground.

Explore the purpose of having a school/community garden and what a garden area needs to work effectively (sun, shelter, water…).

Investigate a site  for your garden. Explore possible lengths and shapes for your garden using non standard and standard measurement.

Design your garden on grid paper or on Google Draw thinking of length, depth, plants and a key.

Calculate the cost of your garden

  • amount of soil needed

  • wood

  • cost of plants and quantity

Here are a few references to start learning about native New Zealand plants that grow in the ground and that you can eat!

5 Native New Zealand Plants You Can Eat

Autumn harvest: native berries and the rongoā journey

Plants, Edible Native