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david spicer
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tumut, nsw, Australia
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Warm Temperate
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Eagles Deep update the most awesome porject I'm involved in

Posted by david spicer about 9 years ago

One of Bill Mollison’s famous quote’s is,

let your site demonstrate its evolution

Earthworks hydrology construction is one of the first big steps in getting a property established and can be an invaluable investment into its future, so it is something you want to get right. Earthworks going wrong can be very expensive and a major setback for you and your property.

We have had a bit over 12 months to watch, observe and interact with the site. We have watched how the major mainframe earthworks changed the dynamics and zoning of the site.

After observing the spillway above the overflow for around 6 months, we have decided to take advantage of current resources and install some cool aquaculture elements. This can be seen in the photo’s below:

  • chinampa
  • 150,000 litre fishpond
  • rice paddy
  • 150m of swale
  • 3 more level sill spillways


We have the ability to flood the system to form multiple storage opportunities, all of these are gravity feed we can deluge our main crop terrace, or any of the other elements, with nutrient rich fishpond water.

April 2015


The retrofitted top dam spillway, flows periodically, during our winter rain season, but it is still a resource not to be missed due to its entropy. We have surveyed the contour line for this swale last year and it lined up beautifully to take the over flow of a spring feed pond 700m around the ridge. With this we have water coming in surges from the primary valley and also at the other end, we have water coming in as a constant feed from the spring feed dam/pond.


The Living Systems

In keeping with the theme of observation, we are on the road to identifying what species we use as pioneers;


  • Acacia howittii
  • Acacia dealbata
  • Tagasaste
  • Casuarinas

In the photo below you can see 18 months of growth put on by these pioneers forming up part of the sites windbreak and food forest. The guys have been busy chopping and dropping this summer’s cover crop, a mixture of millets, sorghums, legumes and lots of dynamic accumulators AKA weeds.


We Are currently running a Permaculture Earthworks Course (5 days – Monday to Friday)

– Learn the skills you need for water security on the land.

REGISTER NOW for the Permaculture Earthworks Course

Course Dates and Venues:

• 1st to the 5th of June 2015, Eagles Deep Permaculture Farm, Tatong Victoria, Australia.

You will leave this course with an understanding and the knowledge needed to

  • implement earthworks hydrology
  • where it is to be implemented
  • why it is to be implemented there
  • how to implement it there
  • how it will work once constructed


Danial Lawton of Permaculture Tools.

David Spicer of Permaculture Works.

Danial and David have worked in the permaculture education field for over 10 years and have seen the need become more apparent for a course to skill people on the ground, in the basics. They have both worked on large permaculture earthworks hydrology projects within Australia and over seas, including both operation and instruction.

Danial and David are a dynamic team with many years of knowledge and practical experience between them, and each with their own charismatic teaching style, making them a teaching duo that is a pleasure to learn from.

We understand earthworks hydrology on a macro and micro level we can apply it to the urban built environments using examples from Brad Lancaster’s rain gardens. From storm water catchment, to raised beds on contour for main crop production, and water harvesting and storage on a large scale for farm uses. Water and the water’s edge is 30 times more productive than land, having the classic edge effect. When thinking about earthworks design the aim is to keep water as high and as long in distance and time in the landscape as possible. Earth works are major elements in design; we are always starting with water in any design.

To book on this course or for more information, please click here.

Comments (2)

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David Connell
David Connell : Looking forward to catching up with David, Dan and others over this course - juggling a few balls to get involved :)
Posted about 9 years ago

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david spicer
david spicer : gday David, thanks for the juggling act to make, you won't be disappointed.. see Sunday or Monday morning safe travels
Posted about 9 years ago

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My Badges
Consultant Aid worker PRI PDC Teacher
My Permaculture Qualifications
PRI Unverified
Type: Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course
Teacher: Bill Mollison
Location: sisters creek tassmaina
Date: Oct 1999
Pri verified
Type: Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course
Teacher: Geoff Lawton
Location: tagari farm
Date: Jul 2000
Other course verified
keyline course
Type: Other
Teacher: Darren J. Doherty
Location: milkwood
Date: May 2009
Other course verified
teacher training
Type: Teacher Training
Teacher: Geoff Lawton
Location: zaytuna farm
Date: Mar 2010
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2 PRI PDC Graduates (list)
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david spicer has permaculture experience in:
Cool Temperate
Warm Temperate
Sub tropical
Wet/Dry Tropical
Semi Arid

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