Charles T. (Chuck) Marsh Jr

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  • "So sorry to hear of the passing of such a special person. ..."
    - Mary Bevier Toad Song Farm
  • "The Marsh and McCall families lost a wonderful man, son,..."
    - Marjorie Vestal
  • "Chuck was one of my closest early childhood friends. We..."
    - Charles Henshaw
  • "So sorry for your loss, may you find comfort in knowing you..."
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Charles T. (Chuck) Marsh, Jr
Permaculture Activist,
Innovative Spirit
WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA - Environmental activist, bio-regional educator, permaculture designer, and landscaping pioneer, Charles T. (Chuck) Marsh, Jr., departed this world on August 27, 2017 after a brief illness.
Born to Charles T. (Tom) and Ruth Banks Marsh on August, 20, 1951, he grew up in Aiken graduating from Aiken High School and from Wofford College with a B.S. in Biology. After graduating from Wofford College, Chuck completed his formal education at The Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.
A resident of Western North Carolina since the 1980s, Chuck ran a successful landscape design business for many years. Chuck was one of the first Permaculture Design graduates taught by Bill Mollison, co-originator of Permaculture, and went on to teach Permaculture Design Courses (PDCs) throughout the US and the Caribbean. He was also a co-founder of the Eastern Permaculture Teachers Association.
Chuck was a founder and developer of Earthaven Ecovillage. Earthaven Ecovillage, located outside of Black Mountain, NC, is known as one of the world's oldest and most successful rural ecovillages. Worldwide, fans have sent messages of appreciation for the many ways he impacted their lives.
Chuck shared his wealth of knowledge and experience with several developing nations, or what he would have called the "Two Thirds World." He went on volunteer trips to Angola and the island of Dominica through the USAID Farmer to Farmer program, and was instrumental in developing the 3.5 year Jamaica Sustainable Farming Enterprise project which brought Permaculture and organic farming education and business development to Jamaica. He also taught the first Permaculture Design Certificate course on the island.
In the Carolinas, Chuck was an early member of the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (founded in 1979), a non-profit that works to develop local and organic food systems. He was a highly sought-after workshop instructor at their annual conference. Chuck was also, since 1994, a regular speaker at the Western North Carolina Organic Growers School. He co-founded the annual Southeastern Permaculture Gathering, which celebrates its 25th year in 2018.
An accomplished nurseryman, Chuck founded and helped develop Useful Plants Nursery, the only regional nursery dedicated exclusively to edible, medicinal, and dye plants. He trialed and evaluated hundreds of plants for winter hardiness and adaptability to the mountains; his plant collection remains available at the Useful Plants website.
A unique individual for his time and place, Chuck was committed broadly to environmental education, bigger- picture thinking, and a deep love for people and for the future of the world. He liked to be known as a spirit warrior on this planet. Years later, on his inward journey, he became part of The Mankind Project of Asheville. He was a compassionate friend and teacher to many. Clearly, Chuck's love for God and for God's creatures and creation were manifested in his daily living. His earthly body was interred on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 at Earthaven, Black Mountain, NC.
Chuck is survived by his mother, Ruth Banks Marsh, and his sister, Camille Marsh McCall (John), and nephews Marsh and Perry McCall.
Published in The Aiken Standard and North Augusta Star from Sept. 23 to Sept. 26, 2017