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.

Mental Farming 2: Tuning Into Your Environment

In my previous article, Mental Farming – Ideas for Improving Education Approaches (1) I examined a few ways in which children’s education and permaculture are linked. Some of these are surprising, such as the Immersion English camp organised by the Spanish government during which the children are exposed to an organic garden and learn about different tree types, seemingly almost as a kind of side effect from the main aim […]

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Unseasonable Heat: The Unusual Weather of Our Times and Ideas for How We Can Work With It

As the light begins to come back into the days of the Northern Hemisphere and springtime comes closer, now is traditionally the time to be planting seeds, ready for the proliferation of life and colour which the new season will bring. However, this year the season seems to have come early – so early that in many countries, from Spain (1) to the USA (2), flowers which should normally arrive […]

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Food Forests – An Exploration (part 1)

Forest gardening is one of the most exciting techniques of practical permaculture, aiming as it does to create a fully functioning, self-regulating and ecologically beneficial ecosystem which also provides a huge proportion of your food and other needs. Over time, as they become established, forest gardens require less maintenance but give more produce, until eventually the “designer becomes the recliner” as Bill Mollison has been famously quoted as saying. European […]

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Mental Farming: Ideas for Improving Educational Approaches

Education as Permaculture If we are to continue creating a better world for ourselves, it is important to adapt and learn from others. This learning process never has to stop; even when one feels expert there is always more to investigate. Yet how we go about learning is also important, and looking at how we can best create a process and environment which fosters exploration and mutual benefit. Such systems […]

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Human Permaculture: Some ideas on how to ‘Seed’ Information for Fertile Results

Seeds and Stories In my previous article, ‘Human Permaculture: Looking at Migration as Flow to Solve Problems’ (1), I explored how we can apply permaculture water-designs to help people who are ‘flowing’ from one place along particular pathways to reach the destinations suitable for them in a way which can benefit those arriving and those already there. Applying such principles will need a concerted effort of communication among all those […]

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Some Tips on Making Compost

As every gardener knows, one of the key things you need if you are going to grow plants is good soil. When using permaculture this necessity can sometimes be challenged; for example, in very dry or extreme (very dry/very wet) climates such as Mediterranean, some people recommend using no soil at all but instead growing all of your plants in gravel or small pebbles. This technique, suggested by for example […]

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Human Permaculture: looking at migration as flow to solve problems

Permaculture is largely about turning problems into solutions. Many social issues currently seen as problems, when looked at closely, simply require a little re-organisation or ‘re-design’, which permaculture techniques, even those normally used to design land or water flow, can apply to. These involve looking carefully at the energies which go into a system, and human movements and desires can also be seen as energies. This article will examine a […]

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The Invisible Dimension: Suggestions for how to relate to the air we breathe

It brings us what we need and takes away what we don’t need; helps to cool us when we are hot and warm us when we are cold; it’s inside us and around us – in fact, we are constantly moving through it, and there are not many places on the planet where it is totally absent. Yet this most basically necessary of elements, the air, is also the place […]

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Understanding Water Part 2: Working with Flow

Copyright Ingrid Pullen Photography In my previous article, we explored how the basic principle of water is that of flow, and so in order to work well with water it is important to be aware of what the flow is and where it is going. On a practical level, this involves some basic observation and a wealth of techniques which can be used to help utilise water to the advantage […]

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La Loma Viva

Of all the countries in Europe, Spain could be arguably said to be the most destructive and irresponsible when it comes to agriculture: widely condoned cultivation of genetically modified crops (see for example 1), high-input intensive farming and notably heavy use of chemicals for fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides (see for example 2). This is especially true in Andalucía, where the most common method of agriculture is use of controlled environments […]

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Understanding Water Part 1: The Theory of Flow

It’ such a key part of our lives – indeed, all of life – that it can be said to be quite literally elementary; but much of the way in which this vital force is being used appears sometimes to lack some understanding of what water is, and how it behaves. A Fragile Resource? Much of current thinking (see for example 1) emphasises the fragility of our access to water […]

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Real Farming and Seed Exchange: Making Connections and Sowing Change

Photos © Ingrid Pullen Though we are less than three months into 2015, already the year has seen some momentous occasions in the sphere of changing attitudes towards food and agriculture. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) (1) has designated this year the ‘Year of Soils’ (2): a positive sign, perhaps, that soil is becoming recognised by international organisations, although the time designation does seem to beg the question […]

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