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, Ethics and Diversity: Can Permaculture Ethics Help with the Evolution of Human Culture?

Using permaculture as a tool can be hugely beneficial for people to create practical ways of improving their immediate environment. Many have suggested that such a tool only works if we use the lens of permaculture to first create our own empowerment from within (see for example 1). This view can be seen indeed as underpinning much of permaculture thinking, for example, with the three permaculture ethics of “Earthcare, Peoplecare […]

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Language and Permaculture, Part 2: Practical Ideas for How We Use Terminology

In the first part of this article I explored a few of the key terms associated with permaculture and how becoming conscious of their meaning and implication can help us empower permaculture as a tool, even more than it may be already.  In this part I look at some practical ways we can apply these terminological changes, and some examples of organisations or projects who are putting them into action. […]

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Language and Permaculture, Part 1: Why we need to focus on Terminology to take Permaculture to the next level.

One of the most universally applicable attractions of permaculture is that it is a practical set of design tools, based on directly observable effects and which can be used to create physical solutions to problems in the world. Indeed, co-conceptualiser of permaculture Bill Mollison famously pointed out that one of the reasons permaculture is so useful is that it involves actually applying what you are saying to what you are […]

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Shou Sugi Ban: How to Preserve Wood Using Fire

Modern building practices often use designs and materials which cause destruction or detriment to the surrounding ecosystem and utilize resources which may be cheap to buy but are expensive to the Earth (see for example 1). Luckily for the Earth, a myriad of projects out there are following the “use and value renewable resources and services” principle with building materials and techniques. One common natural resource to use is wood, […]

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Walipini Greenhouses – Some DIY Tips

A Walipini is an underground greenhouse with a transparent or translucent roof. The word ‘Walipini’ means ‘place of warmth’ in the Aymara language of an indigenous Bolivian tribe. These greenhouses work on the principle of using nature’s resources – i.e. the earth – to create a stable-temperature environment in which a cool climate area can significantly increase the variety of crops you can produce as the greenhouse, with little or […]

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The Birth of a Wooden House: Carpentry and Resilience in Latvia

In this video Jacob Neeman shows us an account of the building of his house in Latvia. What do you need to build a wooden house? Jacob starts at the beginning, with the forest. From a permaculture perspective this is very interesting; he is clearly engaging with the local ecosystem and uses mainly natural and local resources, with “Lime, sand and concrete mixture [used] only in small amounts”. Every step […]

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The Power of Permaculture: An Enthusiastic Introduction

In this video, UMASS student Ryan Harb tells the TEDx audience in Utica, New York State, about the permaculture project he initiated back in 2010 which resulted in the first public university permaculture garden in the United States. During the talk he gives a very succinct definition of permaculture and how it can practically apply to “all people, not just those of us who are privileged”. If you are new […]

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The US Election: Inspiration for Instigation

Editor Note: The topic of these articles is the environmental aspect, as the President elect of the United States of America – Who was voted in accordingly to the laws of that country – has made a number of comments on the topics of climate change and the environment, these are relevant to the Permaculture movement as it impacts the overall framework of the work we do and the systems […]

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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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