As a devoted gardener and seed saver, I recently enjoyed the documentary 'Seed' and have been inspired to step up my mahi to save these taonga, our seeds, and keeping our heritage seed stock safe from genetic modification and exploitation. The evolution of plants that reproduce using seeds is deeply fascinating and our own evolution as a species is closely linked to the discovery of 'seed magic' and the cultivation of food. They say when Eve left the garden of Eden, god said she might choose something to take with her and Eve choose seeds. As she walked away from Eden she wept and her tears puddled in her footsteps forming a series of green oasis. It is true that humans have always 'meddled' with seed, choosing preferable attributes, creating hybrids but the actions of large agribusiness companies can only be described as sinister. Their motives are those of control and greed, Modern food cultivation methods have tragically contributed to the loss of a very large percentage of our seed stock diversity - and it is in our diversity that we nuture well being and strength. Two years ago I planted the seeds of the Nga Puhi hue/gourd from Koanga Seeds. It was a bumper year for the whole curcubit family and I was blessed (and a bit overwhelmed) with a huge crop of hue and they were nui - hue - huge! Some of them found new homes on the Island and I'm grateful for the advice given to me by koro Eugene in how to dry them. The seeds of the hue would have been amongst the first introduced seeds bought to Aotearoa for cultivation and for this reason I choose the hue for this project. The hue were traditionally used by Maori as vessels for carrying water and storing food and for making musical instruments/taonga puoro. Inspired by the beautiful images of carved hue that I have seen, I painted one of the hue I had grown with images of seeds. The hue has fully dried and when you shake it you can hear the hue speak - the song of the seeds. For this reason it is a gift from Hine-pū-te-hue - daughter of Tanemahuta and Hine-rauamoa, she is the atua of musical instruments made from the hue and a goddess of peace. I am raffling this painted hue to raise funds for the ongoing legal battle to keep Aotearoa free of genetically modified organisms (although there are already field trials taking place in our country we need to be vigilant in preventing the public distribution of this seed). Tickets are $2 each or $5 for three. The raffle will be drawn early August. I'll be getting around the motu with my hue but if you are further away and would like to buy a ticket please deposit payment into this account 02-0108-0147573-003 and let me know and I'll put a ticket/s for you into my raffle kete. Nga mihi.