Sustainable Taranaki Workshops in Review

Sustainable Taranaki Workshops in Review:

Concluding the 2017 Series

Sustainable Taranaki Workshops had a mission to expand its reach around the mountain, and therefore, held an array of workshops in various regions. Thanks to the support provided by the New Plymouth and South Taranaki District Councils, as well as countless support from various leaders from our community who helped spread the word, the Workshops program was made available and affordable to everyone around our maunga. Attracting 248 participants and many more who have registered their interest, the aim to make these educational opportunities available, with a target audience of Taranaki residents in even some of the furthest reaching areas, proved to be successful.

The word was spread as far as Eltham, Hawera, and Opunake. Next year, however, there are plans to offer workshops even further afield, such as Patea. The workshops based around New Plymouth were extremely successful, so these will keep running and will start up again in March 2018. The continued support from our community and our Councils is very much appreciated as our team crafts new workshops and develops ideas to get more people on board. 

If you or someone you know would like to contribute by making a suggestion for a workshop or getting involved in another way, we want to hear from you. Please email and we will get back to you in the new year. 

South Taranaki Workshops

We ran our first two workshops in South Taranaki, one in Hawera on Toxic Free Cleaning Products and another in Opunake on Composting, Mulching and Worm Farms. Both of these where a huge success and a great start to getting other regions involved in learning about living more sustainably.

Composting, Worm Farms, and Mulching in Opunake

A full intake of workshop-goers, many of which traveled from various areas such as Eltham, Opunake, Okato, and New Plymouth took away new ideas for composting effectively in their own backyards and were inspired by Dee Turner, expert horticulturalist, local tutor, and facilitator on the day. Not to mention, the students and staff at Opunake Kindergarten, the venue for the Composting, Mulching and Worm Farms workshop, were also spurred to take action. Students and staff have already started to set up their school composting systems to collect the right food items and are applying some tips to keep their worms happy.

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Edible and Medicinal Weeds in Omata

Edible and Medicinal weeds was facilitated by naturopath, Kelly Phillips, and she shared her knowledge of her garden and how we can benefit from the weeds in our own backyard. She discussed how to forage, harvest, and prepare different weeds. The participants even had the opportunity to taste the weeds in some savoury and sweet treats, orange fennel cake and herbal pesto, which included weeds like dandelion and chickweed.

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Zero Waste Cooking at Kahikatea Kindergarten

The Zero Waste Cooking workshop surprised all of us about what food we usually get rid of that we can still use in everyday meals. Annabel, our facilitator, used the participants information received from the feedback forms to plan out a meal with creative and delicious ways to use food. We made apple cider vinegar from the apple core and skins then used the apple pieces for an apple pie. We shared a meal which included a beautiful salad with flowers from the garden, kale heads and salad mix then added a salad dressing which could include the homemade apple cider vinegar, carrot top pesto, Kawakawa butter, sourdough bread and then finished with apple pie and citrus peel treats.

Have a look at the other Workshops that were offered in 2017

Currently Erin Strampel, our Workshops Coordinator, is planning our next round of workshops for 2018 in New Plymouth, with an additional workshop series for South Taranaki residents. If you are interested in hosting or have an idea for a workshop in either of these regions that would support the local community, please get in touch by emailing


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As your Program Coordinator, I'm busy collating ideas, hunting out our region's sustainable gurus, and organising venues. We are a charity organisation, and all workshops are run at cost.  If you think you or your business could help by facilitating a workshop, providing a venue, or donating money, goods or services, it would be very much appreciated!  

Nga mihi, 

Erin Strampel Sustainable Taranaki Workshops Coordinator

Please email  to get in touch!