Earth Ways is a Regenerative Culture Enterprise, initiated by Ludwig in 2007.

 

About Ludwig Leòdhas Appeltans


Ludwig AppeltansWhen I was 8, I realised that I was different than other people. I noticed that adults were essentially identifying with a ‘character’ and not aware of it.  I decided I didn’t want to be like them and refused to grow up. Spoiler, I didn’t. I rebelled throughout my childhood and was deeply traumatised by the school system and … healed by Mother Nature.

Now, fast forward, many years later, I understand that adults had learned to play these roles as kids to cope with schooling and kept these characters alive to cope with life.

I have since learned that I am an Autistic adult. I am proudly neurodivergent and after long reflection, research and peer advice, have self diagnosed to have Aspergers. (It’s not so easy to get a diagnosis as an adult)

If you want to understand me and other Aspies better, I recommend
the Aspergers on the Inside Youtube Channel.

Other famous Autistic Activists and Nature Lovers: Chris Packham, Greta Thunberg,. Dara McAnulty. 

To sum up the uniqueness this brings to me personality and my enterprise:

– I am not easily distracted by social static like chit chat, popularity contests, wealth or power games, or other social ‘games’ that most people play because I don’t intuitively feel the rules. The understanding of social rules doesn’t come naturally to me. Instead I observe and operate on a level of complete authenticity and truth. You will get from me exactly what I mean. Sometimes too bluntly as I sometimes struggle to fully understand the full impact of my words. I feel like an alien who landed on a different planet a lot of the time.
Aspergers is not a disability in itself. Though living with Aspergers in this current society is deeply challenging and limiting. Neurodiversity is nature’s diversity in action. A recent new connection told me that I am one of the most socially capable people they know. This is because I approach social interaction on a conscious level and am hyper sensitive and can read people easily with a learned understanding. It is because I worked hard on adapting to my challenges and I have mastered the art.
Jonnie Peacock can out run all of us on one leg. It would be foolish to challenge him for a race.

I am socially skilled because I trained hard to compensate, but it is not my comfort zone. It takes me a lot of energy to interact and often I don’t have much energy spare. There for I often come across as unable to connect, yet people that really know me, know that I am able to connect on an unusually deep level.

A lot of people think that people with autism don’t feel empathy. For some this is the case, for many it is the opposite.  I am hyper sensitive. The real problem we have is one of double empathy.   Neuro typical people often can’t empathise with people, because they don’t understand it and makes assumptions. If you like what I do, but feel a dislike to my personality, this could be the cause of that. I welcome anyone to contact me to have a chat and invite you to share with me in clear language.

I have created a model of communication, that works really well for me and it helps everyone else to feel heard too. I recommend it to everyone, Neurotypical and Asperger people alike.
If you want to work with me, to avoid confusion, I suggest and request to use clear language to tell me exactly what you want or need.

– My high functioning autistic mind has consciously trained me into being able to be fully aware of the culture of interaction between people. This awareness allows me to be an excellent conscious designer of a connecting culture. My skills combined with the model designed by Jon Young and the 8-shields institute give us a real treat at Rubha Phoil. Our culture aims to help us and future generations achieve the 8 attributes of connection:

The 8 attributes of connection. Credit to the 8-shields institute and Jon young.

– To be able to understand my world better, I have specialised in observing human behaviour and have studied psychology (outside of the school system only during the last 20 years!!). I understand and operate foremost on the level of non-verbal communication. I have separated myself from Western Culture for 4 years when I went to live in the forest. This long hermit time in nature has given me an opportunity to gain a unique perspective on my own conditioning and on Western culture and decolonise myself gain my freedom. This treasure of skills and experiences enable me to help create a connecting culture, a regenerative Culture in my own being and around me. This is what makes me a good mentor. I am able to help other people to decolonise their minds too, by using a technique I developed and call “echo location”.

-This also enables me to see manipulative dishonest behaviour easily, which combined with my  disregard for being popular and a compulsive tendency to blurt out the truth as I see it (I have a weak filter), makes me not always liked within a certain group of people ;-). I am sometimes seen as a trouble maker.

 

I met this landowner. He told me he was scared of the dark, as there are demons hiding in the shadows. He invited me to join the religion he created to keep them away.  He didn’t appreciate it much when I asked if he had considered the demons  to be reflections of his own inner darkness. After this, I was seen as a demon who tried to break into his ‘protected zone’. Bullies often are just really scared people. 

– I am able to observe and receive and process lots of information at the same time and hold large amounts of information in my awareness all in one. From unknown amounts of small details to the whole overview. This does take a lot of energy from me, so I do need to rest a lot and spend time alone in nature to recover. This capacity makes me an excellent permaculture designer but also a bit of a hermit.

– Add to the above my ability of being able to read patterns and relationships really well and you’re starting to understand why some people with Aspergers are a real asset to the Permaculture Design network. Being able to read patterns and the relationships in designing really well leads to quick and deep understanding of how nature works, predict certain future events, efficiently reduce leaks and increase the yields many fold. This is needed to be able to create a massive spiral of abundance. You’re in for a treat. I’m really proud of what I have created.

– My mind works much faster than most other peoples’, but can get overloaded easily too. I can get deeply obsessed with certain topics. My pet subject for 42 years already is: find a solution so that we won’t go extinct. I started looking when I learned that trees produce the oxygen that we breathe and

Oak tree
The Oak tree is now pollarded and carries a swing.

I persuaded my parents to plant an oak tree in the garden. My passion for a regenerative culture was born, even though I didn’t know the word! Once I learned of the challenges we would face for survival from the 6 o’clock news, I never was able to carry on with life as ‘normal’. I was obsessively looking out for solutions and learning new things that would be useful in the challenged future we are in now.

These were the prediction of the progress of Global warming in the early 90ties. Several scenario’s. The red one would be the worst case scenario
The dot is where we are now. After learning   the science of Global Warming and learned to understand how feedback loops, I knew that the predictions were inaccurate. And that we’d be in deep trouble in my own life time.

 

As a kid my learning was about building fortresses and reading book about heroes and native peoples. Once I was old enough to make my own choices, I changed the direction of my life to train myself to be ready to be part of the solution I since identified as being the root cause:

a regenerative culture as opposed to a disconnecting culture.

I have looked into as many aspects of that massive topic as I can imagine:  permaculture growing and forest gardening, permaculture design, psychology, trauma healing, spirituality, peace making, healthy sexuality, simple technology life hacks, culture and community, democracy, activism, education, land management, survival skills, nature connection, mental and physical health and well-being, circular economy, good food, grief tending… I am still learning more every day and have connected with a rich network of experts in their fields.

– Nature is always real and doesn’t play games in which I do not fully understand the rules. This is what normal social interactions for most of you, looks like to me. So I have felt a desire to be deeply connected with nature instead. Over the years my connection with nature has included playing in the rain as a child, being a scout master in my late teens, organizing survival expeditions for kids in care in my early twenties and living entirely off grid in a Scottish woodland on the West Coast for 4 years in a self-made shelter with a wood burning stove. This 4 year long hermit phase, living on my own in the woods, gave me a unique experience. I learned to connect with and read my ecosystem to be able to live in harmony with it. I unlearned the conditioning from Colonial Culture that inhibits our human development and retrained myself to unleash my full human potential. The forest switched on all my senses and made me into the man I am born to be: A village builder, a teacher, a designer for a resilient future. A warrior for peace, justice and the planet. But most of all: a mentor to help other people connect with themselves, nature and others.


About the solution I Designed:

I am ready for what is to come as best as I can be. The solution I have dreamed up to contribute my part to the survival of our species: 

  • Rubha Phoil
    In 2016, the nature-based permaculture community at Rubha Phoil on the Isle of Skye was born.

    A 15 acre rock in the sea off the Isle the Skye. Home for a small residential community, unimaginable amount of opportunities to create resilience for all it’s members and for the local community. A place to come and rest and heal. A place to come and learn and be inspired. A place to be part of the solution. Read more here.

  • A Virtual Village too. A place to connect, learn, share and trade. You are invited to join here.

 
About Earth Ways

I have created Earth Ways in 2007 as the enterprise face of my presence on this planet, to earn the coins I need to fund my self and my work.

I offer you my services as a forest garden, permaculture, regenerative culture designer and teacher, and as a nature connection mentor. Feel free to contact me if I can help you in providing solutions for sustainable ways of living that work in collaboration with nature rather than continually fighting against it. I have many years experience of restoring natural habitats, re-introducing biodiversity, pioneering sustainable ways of growing food and harvesting bio fuels, designing permanent culture projects of various sizes as well as mentoring in nature connection, regenerative design, bushcraft and survival skills.

I can offer online and in real life talks, workshops and courses for individuals or for groups. Feel free to contact me for a chat.

You can find testimonies from former students, clients and other people I have inspired here.

It is good to know that you need to Join the Virtual Village to hire me. I want to pioneer a local economy and I accept payment in Rubha Rocks only. You can invest in Rubha Rocks or earn them on the Village. You can learn more here.

 


Some video’s about me and my work

Treelines from Katie Revell on Vimeo.


Relevant Papers and certificates

I went to school in a Roman inspired classical setting. I studied Latin, mathematics, languages, sciences…. 
I have studied as a graduate in Ortho-pedagogy (pedagogy is the science of teaching and Ortho indicated a specialisation in special needs, from the perspective of Roman inspired education.) and worked professionally in that field with people of all ages for 10+ years.

I obtained my Permaculture Designer Certificate in 2009 from Patrick Whitefield, the famous author of many permaculture books and foremost permaculture expert in Britain.

Permaculture certificate course In 2010 I successfully completed a course in Permaculture Training of Teachers organized by ‘Designed Visions‘.

I also had my first encounter with the Art of Mentoring and the 8-shields institute, in 2009, where I learn ingenious indigenous ways of passing on knowledge and assisting nature connection. I have since taken part in 4 of these as participant and staff member and have organised and taken part in many smaller events.

Permaculture association Britain certified educator
Permaculture association Britain certified educator

I am a member of the Permaculture Association and am a Registered Permaculture Teacher.

Since 2011 I organized Permaculture Design and Nature Awareness Courses that reflects my own permaculture learning curve. If I may say so myself, they are a great success! I have taught more than 12 such courses and have written more than 100 certificates. Many former students are now teaching onwards.

certificate smallIn September 2011, I completed a Natural Health Coach training with the fantastic teachers Bill Tara and Marlene Watson-Tara.

In 2012 have set up a permaculture farm near Forres, with pigs, sheep, ducks, chickens, bees and lots of delicious vegetables. After 5 years this project moved to Rubha Phoil on the Isle of Skye.

In 2013 I started a Community Interest Company to help people crowdfund without charges, the funds they need for their ethically sound projects: www.earth-ways.com

I’m teaching courses, and am taking clients for permaculture design and consultation.

I purchased and took over custodianship of the paradise of Rubha Phoil. A 15 acre peninsula on the Isle of Skye. In October 2020, it finally was recognized as a Permaculture ScotLAND Centre.

Permaculture ScotLAND Demonstration Centre
Permaculture ScotLAND Demonstration Centre

This project is slowly progressing into a nature-based permaculture community.

I have created a Virtual Village to bring all people together that want to work towards a better world.


Earth Ways or Ludwig in the media:


One of many arrests as a non-violent accountable peace activist. This one was for entering Prestwick Airport and entering a plane of the US air-force, looking for evidence of war crimes being committed in the attack by Israel against The Lebanon in 2006. Bunker Buster bombs were killing scores of women and children hiding from the violence in places they thought they were safe. I was acquitted.

Drawing attention to the stupidity of the invasion of Afghanistan. This is a banner drop on the Belfort in Gent, Belgium.

As a member of Trident Ploughshares, Ludwig went to jail twice for non violent peace activism. Both sentences were for convictions for actions against the Trident Nuclear war system. I refused to pay the fines and went to prison instead. 

A special mention for this fun day. I managed to close the North Gate At Faslane on my own for quite some time by finding and exploiting a weakness: Lamp posts.

I didn’t get a mention by name, but I still stole the show

Maybe my best accolade: Ludwig is called a parasite by the Sheriff:  ‘Sheriff Smith said: ”I look upon you so-called peace protesters as parasites, causing untold damage to fences, disrupting the base and wasting this country’s money which could be spent elsewhere.’

A short movie made by Schnews about the occupation of a mast in Berkshire, to highlight the collaboration of the UK with the US military in the illegal invasion of Iraq.

A nice article about my time in the forest:
IN10Pg32-37

Ludwig Appeltans in HBVL
Het Belang van Limburg is a Flemish mainstream newspaper.

Polytunnel Permaculture design in PM magazine

Ludwig and Suzanne de Waard wrote an article on how to make your own permaculture polytunnel. It is published here

This article on how to live with slugs in your permaculture garden shows nicely how Earth Ways puts nature connection and ecosystem management central in the courses and workshops.

This article is also reproduced In Permaculture magazine  and in The Guardian  and on the Lowimpact.org website.