Charlotte Ashwanden

Charlotte Ashwanden (nee Haworth)
I got my Permaculture Design Certificate in 2011, from Treeyo at Permaship in Bulgaria, and since then have been traveling the world learning about and practicing permaculture. Born in London, I’ve lived in a number of places in England, Spain, the Basque Country, and Italy. My mum lives in Leipzig (Germany) so I’ve spent some time there. In 2015 I got married in a pagan ceremony in a field to David Ashwanden and changed my surname to Ashwanden. A professional dancer, I do fire and hula dance and have recently become interested in dance meditation. Currently, I live in Thailand in a Forest Buddhism community school, so you can expect lots of tropical permaculture related articles in future.

Humanure part 2: Dealing with it

In part 1(1) of this article I explored a little into why humanure is beneficial to the planet, including the need to replenish our aquifers and for people to have access to safe drinking water, the high phosphorous content of human poo compared to the finite and dwindling supply of phosphate rock as an agricultural product, and the reconnection of the ‘human nutrient cycle’ (2). In this part I will […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

Humanure part 1: Why should we give a crap?

Permaculture is not just about garden design. Even if you don’t have land or access to land, looking at life from a permaculture perspective can help you to make life decisions and take actions towards  upholding the ethics of permaculture in your daily practices. This article series will take a look specifically at one of these practices which we all share, examine the benefits of changing our habits from a […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

Human Permaculture Part 3: Practical Communication Techniques

In part one (1) of this article I explored the possible efficacy of visualising our communication with each other as a invisible flow, less predictable than other energy flows in a Sector Analysis but still able to be mapped as part of a design; while in part two (2) I looked at what catching and storing such energy flows might look like. This third part is turning inwards from the […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

Human Permaculture: Communication as Flow part 2

In part 1 of this article (1), I explored a little how we might use permaculture as a lens through which to visualise communication. By seeing our communication with other humans as an energy flow which could potentially be mapped, we could find efficient and holistic ways to utilise this energy. In this article I will focus on some possible practical applications of this, and how we can communicate in […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

How to Green the Desert: Europe’s Heatwave and some Holistic Suggestions

In the Northern Hemisphere, the balance of light is turning ever more towards darkness as we approach the Autumn Equinox. This is following a summer which in many places was unusually hot and dry(1, 2). This is perhaps not unexpected; climate change scientists have been predicting extreme temperature spikes for a number of years(3). However, it seems that a lot of farmers were nevertheless unprepared and many crops have been lost(2). […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

Human Permaculture: Communication as Flow part 1

Permaculture design can be about much more than deciding where to put plants and landscaping particular sites. Indeed, many people who practice permaculture do not have a piece of land in which they can create a design. We can utilise permaculture to help with design of our finances, time management, social structures, or a myraid other applications (see for example 1, 2); and indeed as I have said in previous […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

Permaculture and Community Part 2: Using the Moral Imagination in Permaculture

In part 1 of this article (1) I explored how permaculture is very much linked to practices of peacebuilding and in particular to the use of our “moral imagination” (2). As a holistic lens through which to view the world, which encourages curiosity and creativity and includes the possibility of stepping outside of societal or cultural norms, permaculture has many similarities to the moral imagination as described by John Paul […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

Permaculture and Community part 1: Permaculture as a Tool for Peace

For many, permaculture offers not only practical guidelines but also a particular lens through which to view the world. With the permaculture ethics and principles in mind, it is perhaps easier to maintain a holistic view of the world and yourself within it. This means, in my experience and opinion, that you can be more open-minded about what comes into and goes out of your experience, and by seeing the […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

Soil Mineralisation part 3: Why and How do we Remineralise the soil?

In part 1 (1) and part 2 (2) of this series I looked at some ways in which the different elements present in the soil are connected, and how building up organic matter in soil can help to create more of the things that soil needs to be healthy. The intricate web of connections between every living thing may never be fully understood and so with soil, as with much […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

Soil Mineralisation part 2: Major Soil Elements and Where WE Can Source Them

In part 1 of this article, I discussed why you might want to change the chemistry of the soil you are working with, and how, although humans have developed a number of useful ways of identifying which chemicals are present in soil and how these interact with each other to make balanced soil, we do not know everything about these interactions. The upshot of this is that even though isolated […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

Soil Mineralisation Part 1: What Do We Need To Add To Our Soils And Why?

If you want to grow plants effectively, one of the most fundamental things you can do is provide them with soil which is appropriate for the species and which provides a rich and balanced amount of nutrients. The ideal of creating a permaculture system such as a food forest is that the soil will be balanced and nourished naturally by the diverse amount of species living there, with humans having […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

Permaculture as Philosophy: How to Apply ‘Turning Problems into Solutions’ in Real Life

Many people who use permaculture find it can be helpful not only in producing actual effective results from the systems they design, but also in assisting in the cultivation of a worldview which may be more beneficial in terms of creating a happy, healthy life than the one held previously. This is not to say that permaculture should be considered as an ideology, since it is more about looking at […]

Read More >
Shares Comments