We have had well over 1,000 people take part in the Whanganui Gourd Project so far. Last summer, some gardeners had trouble growing hue(gourds), while others had amazing results. Keith Street School in Whanganui successfully grew and dried their gourds then created some very beautiful taonga. What is especially lovely is the way the detailed patterns created by the children complement the natural patterns caused by mould during the drying process.
Hue decorated by Keith Street School, on display at Whanganui Regional Museum
Beautiful taonga created by kids from Keith Street School
Some of the school-groups visiting the Museum exhibition A Conversation With Hine-Pu-Te Hue have created decorated paper-mache taha inspired by the taonga in the exhibition and around the Museum.
Papier-mache taha created by children from Wanganui Intermediate School
These beautiful taonga created by children are on display in Whanganui Regional Museum for just this week, so if you are in the area, drop in and admire their artwork. While you are here, you may want to pick up a hue plant or a packet of seeds.
Officially its summer. In reality Whanganui is still experiencing Springtime weather, with sunshine and warmth alternating with cold winds and bursts of rain. The gourd plants are happy, and growing vigorously. Yesterday I found the first gourd flower. If another one opens and the bees do their work (if one is a male and one a female of course), the resulting fruit may get six months to grow and ripen before the first frosts here, so I’ll be lavishing care and attention on that plant! last year I just let the plants grow rampant. This year I plan to judiciously remove some of the young fruit to use as a vegetable, like kamokamo, and let one fruit on a plant grow as large as possible. It will need some extra water and manure.
If you haven’t planted any seeds yet, and you live in the Whanganui region, we have hue (gourd) plants available at Whanganui Regional Museum. Plants are free to schools taking part in the Whanganui Gourd Project, so just call us at the Museum and let us know how many you want.
Hue / gourd plants available now at Whanganui Regional Museum