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.

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Deciding Factors: Permaculture, Society and the Wisdom of Crowds

One inspirational thing which learning about permaculture can help us to realise is that there are abundant resources in the world for everyone to live together in harmony. But when it actually comes down to putting techniques for doing this into practice, often what can stand in the way is what Alan Watts called the “element of irreducible rascality”(1); that thing which makes us all human, but which can sometimes […]

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Permaculture and Diet: Can Permaculture Help Us to Decide What to Eat?

Permaculture, as a design lens, can be looked through to apply to all manner of things. Whether it is a piece of land or a social structure at your place of work, your child’s education or your own personal finances, there are ways you can utilise permaculture to help you with your organisation of a diverse range of activities. After all, permaculture is holistic so it makes sense that you […]

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Permaculture and Art Part 1: Using Art in Ecosystem Restoration

This week we saw the tipping-point of darkness and light start to shift; after 3 days of the sun seeming to ‘stand still’ in the sky, we now begin to move inexorably towards more or less darkness in the day, depending on which Hemisphere we live in. As humans, we have been noting and celebrating this ‘sun-stillness’, or ‘solstice’, for thousands of years (1), though in much of modern society […]

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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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