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.

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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Varieties, Additives and Sourcing: What’s Happening with your food?

Photography by Ingrid Pullen Eating: one of the most simple and basic human activities. Yet as our food systems become increasingly more mechanised and complicated, this simple act begins to carry with it a whole spectrum of messages. When you lift that juicy apple to your lips, do you think about which chemicals were used to make it so perfectly red? How many miles has it been traveling in order […]

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Orchards Without Borders

Last week I joined one of the final (for now) in a series of trips between France and England in order to promote biodiversity, preservation of cultural heritage, and, some might say crucially, the joys of eating and growing high-quality food. The exchanges, which are a part of the project Orchards without Borders (Vergers Sans Frontiers) (1), were organised by a mix of British and French organisations with help from […]

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Seed Saving, Part 2: Practical Ways to Save Seed

Saving wildflower seeds can be a great way to spread biodiversity – like this selection harvested by Josie Jeffrey Having learned some background knowledge on why you would want to save seeds in the first place (see Part I), you may now be wondering how to go about doing it. There are many ways to do this, and though it can be as simple as keeping a few leftover tomato […]

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Seed Saving, Part 1: Seedy Issues

For many interested in permaculture, one of the first and perhaps simplest joys of becoming more involved in holistic design is the experience of being able to harvest something which you have grown yourself; whether it is pesto made of basil from your window-sill or a forest garden so packed with fruit, nuts and climbing vines that you are not sure what you will do with them all. If you […]

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