4th Annual Regenerative Permaculture Earthworks Course ← Spiral Ridge Permaculture

4th Annual Regenerative Permaculture Earthworks Course

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Date(s) - Oct/Fri/2015 - Oct/Mon/2015


Spiral Ridge Permaculture


Tags 2015 Permaculture Course, earthworks, Hands-on permaculture, Nashville, swales, water harvesting

4th Annual Regenerative Permaculture Earthworks Course

Regenerative Permaculture Earthworks Course

October 9-12, 2015

Regenerative Permaculture Earthworks is a holistic approach to healing the land and making it more productive, using human scale labor and machinery to sculpt the earth. Join Spiral Ridge for our 4th annual Regenerative Permaculture Earthworks Course.  Earthworks are one of the first and most important systems you want to set up on the landscape.  Often times the rest of the design will follow the flow of water.  Earthworks done wrong can cause many damaging and expensive problems. Slow, sink and store water in the landscape to mitigate drought and renew fertility.  Receive hands-on instruction and gain experience as you survey, design, plan, layout and implement a real project.  Plus you will get to see functioning earthworks already in place at Spiral Ridge Homestead.

Increased production     Drought tolerance     Passive water catchment    

Establishment of regenerative systems     Erosion Control

Land restoration     Watershed restoration     Rapid soil development     

Climate change resilience     Flood mitigation

You will be learning about:

How, when, and why to do earthworks

Stopping, slowing, spreading and storing water in the landscape

How to Survey the site with multiple tools

Mapping the site

How to determine the location, size and type of earthworks appropriate for your design

How to perform soil testing, the types of soils, how well they percolate as well as which soils are not suitable for certain earthworks applications.

The use of swales, ponds, vernal pools, silt traps, hugel swale terraces, types of damns and their uses, spillways, freeboards, keyways, reticulating water ways, Keyline® Design, roads, pipes, vegetative cover after disturbance and more

The types of equipment and how to use them

The 8 principles of Rainwater Harvesting

How to apply the ecological design process to uncover the design

According to Sepp Holzer, 70% of our agriculture is completed when we have our water systems designed and developed.

  • Pond Building - 2008 Advanced Earthworks Course
  • 2012 Earthworks Course. Seeding and mulching after earthworks.
  • 2013 Earthworks Course
  • Pocket pond and spillway, 2014 Earthworks Course
  • 2014 Earthworks Course
  • Don't miss the 2015 Earthworks Course.
  • Keyline Plowing is a form of Earthworks
  • Small ponds with fertilized water overflow zigzagging through food forest.
  • "Reticulating water way," slightly off contour type swale, right after a rain.
  • Small scale hand dug earthworks.
  • Quick seeding and mulching to stabilize soil.
  • Surveying options. Darren Doherty on left with hand level, intern Jason Hurd on right with laser level.
  • Machine dug earthworks.
  • A-frame level.
  • Small diversion ditches moving water to another area.
  • PDC students involved in an earthworks practicum.
  • Judicious use of machinery can be appropriate in the initial stages of earthworks.
  • Pick ax work.
  • A swale in a school yard forest garden prevents fast water runoff.
  • Pond excavation.
  • Bench "swale" (off contour). We call it a "twale" part trail, part swale.
  • "Twale" filled with water after a heavy winter rain. While raining, the water moves slowly on a 1/400 drop toward the pond. When it stops raining the water slows and sinks.
  • Bunyip water level.
  • Bunyip water level.
  • Rolling dips diverting water off driveway and into ponds or swales.
  • Earthworks demonstrations.


Lead instructors/organizers, Cliff Davis and Jennifer Albanese, co-own Spiral Ridge Permaculture, a family run education company specializing in permaculture, regenerative farming and nature connection.  Their full-scale design firm, Edible cliff & Jen bioHabitats, offers consultation, master planning and implementation, in the same specialities, including Keyline® design & plow services.  Jen and Cliff also run Southeast Organic Supply, a developing organic farm & garden supply company.  They developed these businesses out of their passion to; address cultural and ecological issues that demand real and lasting solutions, encourage more people to homestead and help save family farms, by making them more ecological and productive.  They have over 26 years of combined experience studying and applying permaculture in temperate, tropical/subtropical and dry land climates and have taught hundreds of students permaculture and homesteading skills.

Spiral Ridge Permaculture Teacher Cliff Davis Cliff Davis has vast experience in the fields of permaculture, food forestry, organics, appropriate technology, natural building, deep nature connection and regenerative agriculture, that allow him to offer an integrative approach to land and culture repair.  He empowers others to take a hands-on approach to design in his regular and advanced course offerings. His humor, straight-forward style and determination to make positive change, make him an engaging instructor, consultant and designer.   He has taught over 40 courses, and has taken over 20 professional development courses. As a professional designer, he has worked for farms, intentional communities, school campuses and homesteaders.  Cliff is the main instructor and curriculum developer for this course. He received his permaculture certificate in 2004 from the International Institute of Ecological Agriculture and his teacher training certificate from Dave Jacke. He later went on to co-teach the teacher training course, with Jacke.  Cliff began teaching Earthworks classes in 2008.  He has been trained by Warren Brush, Ric Valley, Darren Doherty, and Owen Hablutzel, in the use of various forms of earthworks.  Experience matters.  For a detailed look at his experience, training & mentors as well as a list of courses that he has taught, check out his full resume.

Course Details:  Course venue is Spiral Ridge Permaculture.  Includes meals and free camping.  Please see Course FAQ’s page for more info. on venue, food and cancellation policy.  If you are local and do not need meals or camping, write us for a reduced cost.

This course is part of our Agro-Ecosystems Series.  They can be taken individually, as a complete set or with mix and match savings.  The more classes you take, the more you save.  For details and to sign up for a multiple class discount, please go to the Agro-Ecosystems registration page.   For descriptions of each class in the series, click the name of the class below.

This Series Includes:

Regenerative Permaculture Earthworks – October 9-12  $750
Fertility Farming  – October 13-14  $250
Agroforestry – October 15-16 $250
Mushrooms, Molds, and Mycorrhizae with Tradd Cotter – October 17-18  $350


Sign up below for the 4 Day Regenerative Earthworks course only.  Sign up here, for more than one class in the Agro-Ecosystems Series.

Please read the directions below carefully.  Also review our cancellation policy here.

  • Minimum $200 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your spot.
  • Final payments can be made via personal check or money order sent to the address below, or we can send you a Paypal invoice for the balance.  You can also bring cash, certified check or money order with you on the first day of class.  No final payments with personal checks unless sent ahead of time in the mail.

Use the form below and pay via PayPal, or by sending a check or money order to:

Spiral Ridge Permaculture

444 Walker Rd.

Summertown, TN 38483

If you have any questions at all, shoot us an email at info@spiralridgepermaculture.com




Bookings are closed for this event.