Charlotte Ashwanden (nee Haworth)

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.

A Question of Chemistry part 2

In part 1 of this article (1), I looked a little bit at which chemicals are generally present in soils around the world as well as what is being done to mitigate the harmful effects of such chemicals. Knowing what chemicals are where, how they affect the human body and the wider environment, and how we can lessen these effects if they seem detrimental or out of balance, are all […]

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Rak Tamachat: Reaching out with humans and nature

On Sunday May 7th, permaculture practitioners the world over could be seen marking the 8th International Permaculture Day (1), a celebration which began in Australia but which this year had hundreds of events in 35 different countries listed on the official ‘International Permaculture Day’ website (1), with probably as many small-scale celebrations happening worldwide as people showed their appreciation for permaculture in their lives in their own special way. Of […]

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A Question of Chemistry, Part 1: Some Ideas About The Effects Of Chemicals And How To Rehabilitate Chemical Companies

They are all around us: in the air we breathe, the food we eat; even in our very blood. Like them or not, chemicals make up the world in which we live, although, with our current chemical knowledge and technology, we have got to the point where millions of humans around the world routinely spray recognised poisons on things which they, or other humans, will subsequently ingest. This would suggest […]

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Storytelling for the Future: Permaculture, Star Wars and Mythology

A rocket model and buildings in Ong Jemel, Tunisia. Ong Jemel is a place near Tozeur, where the movies Star wars and the English Patient were filmed.

If you have never seen any of the ‘Star Wars’ films, you may be forgiven for thinking that Thursday, the fourth of May, is not any particularly special date. But then again, you probably have seen at least one of them, since they are part of one of the most popular movie franchises in the world (1), and even if you haven’t, you have probably heard the phrase “May the […]

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Techno-culture: Ideas for Encouraging Regenerative Technology in Our Lives

Bill Mollison “one described modern technological agriculture as a form of ‘witchcraft’”, or a “kind of war against the land”. (1) The technologies of much of modern agriculture, as Mollison explored, are driven by the chemical fertiliser and pesticide industry, the main companies of which (some of the largest in the world) started out in the chemical weapons business ( see for example 1, 2, 3). While it could be […]

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Water-Farming Part 2: Practical Ways to Harvest Your Sky-Fruits

In Part 1 of this article (1), I went over the importance of incorporating water and water flow into any design you make, as well as sharing some ideas about how, if we want to encourage using water in a way which is beneficial for ourselves and our environment, we need to also reconsider how we relate to this element  (for more ideas about this see 2). The easiest and […]

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Gardening with Woodchips: What, Why, How and Who?

With permaculture, we can grow plants using imaginative techniques and materials, negating or diminishing the need for synthesised chemical additions to the soil and using nature and the ‘soil food web’ as our guide. Because we need to ‘Observe and Interact’ with what is going on in our system before adding things in, every site is unique and so what works for one person may be ineffective in a different […]

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Water Farming Part 1: Why And How Can We Start Farming Water?

farming, gardening and agriculture concept - watering cans at farm water tank

Permaculture design is about working with energies. If you have already got lots of elements in your design, such as trees, buildings and animals, it may not be very practical to design a water system from scratch. However, it seems energy efficient to take into account the flow of water as the starting point of any design. As much as possible, it’s advisable to plan where the water is going […]

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Where Are We Really Building Walls? – How to use Permaculture to Help Create More Connected Society

Last month the order was signed (1) to begin construction of a wall, planned to stretch 3,100 km along the border between the two countries of Mexico and the USA (2). The impact such a project could have on human society means it has received criticism from many diverse angles (see for example 3, 4). Yet humans are also part of a wider ecosystem, and the proposed wall would also […]

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Why Are Banana Circles Important? What Are The Benefits?

Banana circles are a popular and fairly easy-to-make addition to any tropical permaculture system. As there is already a lot appropriate literature out there on how to make banana circles I will not focus on the practicalities in this article (see for example 1, 2, 3). But why exactly are they so important? Can they be integrated into any system? And what are the benefits? Read on to explore these […]

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Mental Permaculture, Part 3: Energy Flows

Permaculture: a set of design tools, a way of creating gardens, of perceiving connections, of gaining insights into our environment. But can it also be rebellious? Co-founder of permaculture Bill Mollison once remarked about a book review describing Permaculture Two (1) as “seditious”,

“If you’re a simple person today, and want to live simply, that is awfully seditious. And to advise people to live simply is more seditious still.” (2)

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Corporations Seeking More Power than Governments: Ideas for working with power-flow

Last month a report (1) was published by five international rights groups analysing the possible side effects of a new free trade agreement, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (2), currently being negotiated among 16 Asian and Pacific states. The main concern of the report is that the agreement would put into law the ISDS, or Investor-State Dispute Settlement, essentially giving multi-national corporations the right not to adhere to national legislation […]

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