Natural Building; Theoretical and Practical Workshops.

A two part theoretical and practical approach discussing and experimenting in natural building materials and techniques suitable for the New Zealand climate and environment. Facilitated by former UCOL lecturer and experienced natural builder Matt Cassells.

Matt is currently in the process of building a hybrid timber, straw and clay home for his family.

N.B. Both parts can be attended as a stand alone but work well in tandem. Enrolling for both entitles participants to the reduced costs of $25 waged/$15 unwaged for both.

When: Wednesday 6th November 7-9pm
Where: Ashhurst Village Valley Centre
Cost: $15 waged/$10 unwaged.

TO register for JUST the Theory workshop click this link.

Natural Building Practical:
When: Saturday 16th November 10am-1pm
Where. Ashhurst, venue TBC.
Cost: $15 waged/$10 unwaged.

To register for JUST the practical workshop click this link:

To enrol for BOTH workshops click this link



Rain Water Tanks. An educational Working Bee.

Interested in harvesting rain water for your garden and home but not sure how to go about it? Join Phil Stevens in this educational working bee in the Ashhurst Library Community Garden where we will talk tanks, and install some as part of the garden system at the library.

When: Saturday 2nd November 10am-12pm
Where: Ashhurst Community Library Ashhurst.
Cost: Entry by koha.

Click here to register for this workshop

Ashhurst’s Plastic Pollution Challenge. Saturday 19th October.

Palmy' Plastic Pollution Challenge (PPPC) was piloted over the last year collecting and analysing litter from 40 waterway sites around the city to establish the extent of the problem. Results were astonishing and disturbing, but a catalyst for the beginning of some positive change.

Click here to register for this event

Dr Heike Schiele, PPPc Lead for Manawatu River Source to Sea and Co-chairperson of Environment Network Manawatu will share findings, solutions, and also help us explore how and if Ashhurst wants to discover the extent of the problem in its own backyard and work towards positive behaviour changes that will make our village and its waterways healthier for future generations.

When: Saturday 19th October October 2-4pm.
Where: Ashhurst Village Valley Centre, 21 Guildford Street, Ashhurst.
Cost: Free.

Backyard Poultry Keeping

A workshop focusing on the housing, care and behaviours of feathered fowl. Topics will include but not be limited to:

- Behaviours and qualities of different breeds of chickens and ducks;
- How to maintain animal health, clip wings, etc;
- How to design poultry houses and keep a clean environment;
- How to build and use chicken tractors and mobile duck baths of various designs to
enhance home gardening;
- Palmerston North City Council by-laws applicable to keeping poultry and other
productive animals.

The workshop emphasis will be on chickens, and secondarily on ducks. Workshop facilitator Phil Stevens has over forty years experience keeping chooks, ducks, and turkeys, and his family has also kept quail, guinea, and peafowl. Workshop participants will have opportunities to handle chickens.
When: Saturday 12th October 2-5pm.
Where: Saint Mary Magdalene Church Hall, 67 Cambridge Avenue, Ashhurst.

Cost: $15 waged, $10 unwaged.

Please click here to register.





Reconnecting to Hope. CANCELLED.

Join Sharon Stevens and Kate Tappenden for a workshop that explores sources of hope in a time of rapid ecological change. 

Workshop exercises include self-reflective writing, discussion, dancing, and drawing.

When: Saturday 21st September 9:30am- 3:30pm
Where: Pohangina Hall, 1169 Pohangina Road. 
Cost: $25 per person

Click here to register.

Growing Food in Small Spaces. 19th August 2019

Facilitated by Nelson Lebo, Eco Design Advisor for Palmerston North City Council.
Gardens are getting smaller, and people are getting busier, but this doesn’t mean you don’t have the space and time provide fresh fruit and vegetables for your family and enjoy all the benefits of a bountiful garden.
This workshop will focus on how to create a productive, low maintenance garden in a small space, with reference to designing beds and paths, vertical gardening, staggered planting, building soil and composting.
When: Monday 19th August 7pm-9pm
Where: Ashhurst Village Valley Centre, centennial room.
Cost: Entry is by koha

A guide to Low Waste Living. Saturday 24th August 2-4pm


Please click here to register

Facilitated by Bronwyn Green from Be Free Grocer, this workshop is a beginners guide to the galaxy of low waste living. Bronwyn will talk about her own journey, experiences and motivations to reduce her own waste and establish a business that also makes low waste shopping more easily accessible to our community. There will be ample opportunities to ask questions, share experiences, and sample some zero waste products.

When: Saturday 24th August 2-4pm
Where: Ashhurst Village Valley Centre, centennial room.
Cost: Entry is by koha
How to register: You are very welcome to turn up, but registering helps us make sure we are well prepared.

Are you Emergency Ready Ashhurst?

When: Monday 22nd July 2019, 7.30-9.30pm
Where: Ashhurst Village Valley Centre, centennial room.

Click here to register.

Have you ever wondered how you will manage in a Civil Defence emergency? Do you have your emergency kit ready? Where would you go in Ashhurst? What if you are cut off from Palmerston North? How would your response change during the day compared to at night? These questions will all form part of a workshop Palmerston North City Council is hosting in Ashhurst in July. The Council wants to continue working with Ashhurst residents and businesses on the community emergency response plan. The plan would help guide residents on what to do in a range of scenarios and how best they can ‘Get Thru’.

The Council’s Civil Defence Emergency Management staff will lead the night's events and get you to start thinking about how best you can get your family prepared.
All ages welcome (we had a specific question if kids could come) Supper afterwards with time to talk with staff

Winter Pruning Workshop Sunday 7th July.

Facilitated by Phil Stevens, co tutor of RECAP’s Permaculture Design Course and of Local Ashhurst business Slow Farm, this workshop will be a practical hands on guide to the how, what and when of winter fruit tree pruning for optimum next season fruiting.

Sunday 7th July, 1pm-3pm. Olsson Community Orchard. 

Please bring gloves and pruning tools and come with weather appropriate gear.

This is a free workshop, but koha is appreciated.

Click here to register

Breaking Open. 1st June 2019. A workshop from the Mandala Initiative

Join Sharon Stevens and Kate Tappenden”for ‘Breaking Open’ another self-reflective workshop as part of the Mandala Initiative ( The Mandala Initiative aims to support personal healing and creative responses to the environmental challenges of our time.

Breaking, broken, broke, break-down, break-out, break-through, breaking open.
Take a break. Join Sharon and Kate to reflect on the heartbreak of loving the earth and her people at a time of rapid change and associated loss.
This workshop's activities will involve metaphor and wordplay, body-based emotional and cognitive processing through dancing, and ways of representing hope through drawing.
Because dawn breaks, too.

When: 1 June, from 9:30-3:30
Where: Methodist Church Hall, 57 Bamfield St., Ashhurst Cost: $25 per person.

Click here to register

About the facilitators:
Since 1997, Sharon Stevens (PhD, Rhetoric, Writing, and the Teaching of English) has led workshops in writing, permaculture design, and sustainable living, receiving multiple teaching awards. She is author of 'A Place for Dialogue' (U of Iowa Press, 2007) and more recent publications in 'Dark Mountain 14', 'Organic NZ', 'Permaculture Magazine', and 'Ecological Entanglements in the Anthropocene'. She loves her family and her homeplace, along with writing, learning, and pottering in her herb garden.
Kate Tappenden is a registered psychologist who works with people who have experienced physical and sexual abuse. She also works with people in chronic pain. Kate's training encompasses a doctorate in psychology and philosophy with a research interest in embodied cognition, the dynamic interplay of the mind, body and our environment. Kate has a private practice in the heart of Palmerston North and puts her heart and soul into her work with women and children. At home Kate is a keen gardener and a devoted mum.