David Spicer

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David Spicer’s approach to design and education is based upon a proven emphasis on practicality, having over 18 years experience in Permaculture education working and teaching with Bill Mollison at the Permaculture Institute (Tasmania) and Geoff Lawton, the managing director of the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia and Zaytuna Farm. He is renowned for his ability to explain concepts and ideas simply, conveying the basics. David previously worked as farm manager of the renowned Tagari Farm and Zaytuna Farm in northern New South Wales.
He has taught and worked extensively within Australia and internationally on various projects, covering six Australian states, Morocco, Jordan, New Caledonia and Palestine covering a broad array of different climate zones. David is a valued member of the permacultureconsultants.com team headed up by Geoff Lawton.

He has the distinction of being Registered Teacher #5 with the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia.

David currently serves as Lead Consultant and Educator for permacultureworks.org.

Water Harvesting Earthworks “Design To Reality” . Part 2

How to determine a starting point for surveying: Dams For me the starting point to survey is often a dam for high water storage. Dams are a major investment and it’s a must to have specific characteristics to construct the dam particular to that site. What I look for is the shortest dam wall possible to hold the most amount of water while staying as high as possible. These major […]

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Water Harvesting Earthworks “Design To Reality” . Part 1

So, you have been contacted by a client and you’ve discussed the client’s brief. You’ve started to look at the contour map, aerial images, whatever data you can find on the site. And with the client brief in mind, always remembering WATER IS LIFE, you set to the task of patterning the landscape using functional forms. You start to look at what’s the most economical way to hold water in […]

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Win-Win Situation. Retrofitting Farm Dams to Increase Freeboard and Increase Wildlife Habitat and Productive Edge

The first thing I look for in a dam retrofit other than the spillway, is the freeboard. The freeboard is the height of the dam wall above the spillway. The freeboards presence is critical to the safety of the dam.  After looking at the spillway and the freeboard, I would look at the batters of the dam wall bot. inside and outside.  What degree slope are they?  Can you build […]

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Morocco Project Update

The earthworks have progressed nicely and below is a series of photos of when we were installing the earthworks and after the first decent rains of the season. Keeping in mind the site receives 250mm of rain per year and like a lot of dry-lands come’s in about 3 events in mid-winter.

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Mogendoura Earthworks 1 Year On

Recently I had the opportunity to check out the earthworks performance where I installed a mainframe design in January 2015. I was contacted to sort out the dam wall and spillway as the client was concerned about its safety due to very little free board between the high water mark and the top of the dam wall. Also installing two levelsill spillways on each backflood swale 1, as a primary […]

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Morocco Design and Install of Mainframe Earthworks

Recently I was contacted by a student from a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course I taught in Morocco in 2010. He expressed interest in me designing a mainframe site from half a globe away, here in Australia. After studying the maps, some photos and plenty of video footage I come up with a very loose design (meaning the map is not the territory). And then I was asked to come […]

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Eagle’s Deep Permaculture Farm Update

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 […]

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Project Establishment, Eagles Deep (Victoria, Australia)

I was contacted back in October last year for an initial consult, on pre-property purchase in Tatong, Victoria, Australia. Since then the project has come along in leaps and bounds. Below is a photolog of the events, trials and tribulations of the project this far. My first job after purchase was to secure the dam and install what will become a secondary spillway, but for now it’s the primary spillway […]

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Regenerative Farm Forestry 2-day Course, with David Spicer at Eagles Deep Farm, Tatong, Victoria, Australia (May 31 – June 1, 2014)

Learn how to manage our exciting native forest for saw logs, pole wood, fence post, firewood, etc., while having a very beneficial effect on the structure of the forest itself – increasing bio-diversity from the forest floor up to the canopy. You will also learn the basics of portable sawmills. Find out how relatively easy it is to set up a portable sawmill, then be ready to start milling in […]

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A Recent Trip to the Permaculture Sydney Institute

I was invited up to Bandusia, near Sydney, by Penny Pyett, to take part in International Permaculture Day and do some work on the site. The work was mainly on infrastructure, which is one of my strongest skills. Having spent some years working in the building and construction game, I developed a varied skill set and can turn my hand to most things. I also went to check out the […]

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Managing a Coppiced Eucalypt Forest

In Australia we really need to get back to our European roots of coppiced forest systems. As Darren Doherty states, we push out the stump after we cut the tree, when the eucalypts coppice beautifully. Ben Law, author of The Woodland Way, also talks about the various products that come from a coppiced forest in England. In my travels to Morocco, I have seen quite clearly the value of coppicing, […]

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Wadeye Permaculture Project Update

Recently I received a photolog update on the Wadeye permaculture project in the Northern Territories (see previous posts here and here), where myself and other great permaculturist were employed by Earth Ethics to install a permaculture garden system. I like to describe the earthworks as the bones of the system and the living components — pioneer species, fruit trees, cover crops and ground covers — the muscle and flesh. As […]

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