A hook, facing north and cup full of water - the key to a good kūmara harvest.
And that is exactly what the tauira (students) are expecting at Kaharoa School after a mass planting day led by Kai Rotorua.
Project lead Te Rangikaheke Kiripatea (Te Arawa, Ngāti Uenukukopako) is on a mission to decolonise Aotearoa's relationship with food while creating a well-nourished community and the secret is to start them young, he said.
"Our purpose is reconnecting with people to Papatūānuku (Mother Earth) because she is our life-giver I think we have lost our way with growing our own food but what it takes is community engagement.
"You are starting to fulfil your purpose when you are catching them at that age. It is very difficult to connect people with a carrot, but a kūmara is different because it is in our history and our whakapapa."
After preparing the ground, Kiripatea taught the tamariki to pour a glass of water into the ground but to always face north when planting - the direction of the sun - and the same goes for the root.
He said by making a hook shape, the root was still connected to the sun and it meant the kūrama would grow nice and round not long and spindly.
The day was all spurred by teacher Kathy Snodgrass who had wanted to extend the school garden.
"We certainly have the space to do it out here. It has been a really powerful experience and Te Rangikaheke has been such a taonga for our school."
Festive fun and whānau activities at parade
$30k boost for kids with learning difficulties
Colour fun run could become 'iconic Rotorua event'
Due to the lifestyles that families are leading nowadays, Snodgrass said more and more tamariki are becoming disconnected to Papatūānuku (Mother Earth).
"It is important to reconnect because you cannot love something you don't know. But if they know the Earth and they love her then they will look after her too."