Work Exchange and Internship Opportunities at Dancing Rabbit
If you’d like to see what life is like at Dancing Rabbit and build your skills in sustainable living at the same time, you may be interested in a work exchange or internship position. In exchange for your help on a project, your project host typically provides for your living accommodations, food, and other living expenses while at Dancing Rabbit. Opportunities to gain hands-on experience is, of course, also part of the exchange. Projects often include natural building, green building, building design, organic gardening and food preservation, small agricultural endeavors, small business projects, childcare, and sustainable technology. The work exchange/internship “season” generally runs from April through October (though occasionally extended season opportunities arise).
The Dancing Rabbit work exchange application for 2015 is now open.
2015 Available Positions:
Critter Collective Work Exchange – Work exchange on a small farm in DR. We have 3 goats in milk this season, a layer flock of about 40 hens, 100 or so muscovies and chickens for meat, and a miniature donkey. We process the birds ourselves, generally from August- November. We will also be buildling systems and infrastructure to further reduce our inputs and more completely utilize our outputs. More information here.
Technology-Engineering/Sustainable Living Work Exchange – Work exchange on a variety of projects including: CAD/CAM, Welding, Machining, Assembly, Woodworking, Gardening, Tree Planting, Fence Building/Repair, Animal Care, Building and Plumbing. We want applications from enthusiastic, hands-on, self-starting, roll-up-your sleeves-and-get-it-done kind of people who have experience AND interest these areas. Interns are expected to work 4 days, 8 hours a day per week. Remaining time can be used for personal projects or recreation. More information here.
Super Life Helper – Looking for a couple of self-motivated work exchangers to help in the garden, do some natural-building finishing on my house-bus, Aubergine, and cook in our totally awesome (propane free) kitchen of the Critter Collective. More information here.
Ironweed Co-op Work Exchange – Looking for 1-2 self-motivated individuals to join Ted, Sara, Aurelia (our daughter), and Ironweed coop to participate in an apprenticeship in homesteading at Dancing Rabbit. We have been here 12 years, hosting work exchangers throughout, and want to share our experience with those who are interested in these skills, this way of living. Our work is varied, including everything from natural building projects to chicken care, gardening and garden establishment, orcharding, fencing, firewood processing, cooperative work parties of all sorts, and various other activities. All this in the context of an active intentional community (with lots of like-minded community and friends nearby) with all manner of cooperative activities and entertainments ongoing. More information here.
Yarrow Hill Farm Internship – Farm internship with DR’s next-door neighbors at Yarrow Hill Farm. Work includes vegetable production, from seeding to sales and animal care from breeding to butchering. There will be opportunities to spend time at farmers markets, and community events, learn food preservation, how to prepare meals from seasonally available produce, seed saving, foraging, knitting and spinning, season extension, tractor operations, irrigation maintenance, record keeping, seedling production, welding, carpentry, and access to a growing library of farming and homesteading books. More information here.
Assistant to the Innkeeper – help our Innkeeper maintain the Mercantile’s 5-star ratings, and help keep our guests happy! Seeking someing with social media savvy, a knack for writing, ability to get along with all types of personalities, and a willingness to get your hands dirty – there are always dishes to wash and rooms to clean! More information here.
Culinary Assistant – The Mercantile Cafe is gearing up to serve more meals in 2015, and so will need more help with everything. We’re looking for maximum enthusiasm with minimum attitude – everyone washes dishes as well as cooks. You’ll be lending a hand with serving and food prep, as well as learning the ropes re: baking morning muffins, biscuits and other goodies. Also included: helping with preserving jam, jelly, and pickles for the Mrs. Milkweed’s line. More information here.
What is it like to be a work exchanger/intern at Dancing Rabbit?
Work exchangers and interns are hosted by individual Dancing Rabbit members. Arrangements between members and work exchangers/interns vary from project to project.
While a major focus of an work exchange/internship is on the work project, these opportunities offer much more. Typically, as a work exchanger or intern you are part of an eating cooperative or family-style eating arrangement. This allows you ample opportunities to prepare food, cook, and be involved in kitchen upkeep. You are also invited to be involved in the broader community of DR. You can attend the many and varied events that go on in the village and in neighboring communities. You have opportunities to participate in work parties and routine community duties. You also have access to the swimming pond as well as the 280 acres of land owned by Dancing Rabbit Land Trust.
As an eco-village literally “under construction,” we often have many building projects happening at once. As a building work exchanger/intern you may have opportunities to experience one or more of these natural building methods:
- Straw Bale
- Earth & Lime Plaster
- Earthen Floors
- Light Clay Straw
- Timber Frame
- Post and Beam
- Earth Bag
- Urbanite Foundation
- Rubble Trench
Some of the work takes some prior knowledge and skill, but a lot of it simply takes willingness to do hard, sometimes repetitive, physical labor and a good attitude. You’re sure to get lots of practice in what natural building is all about!
Organic Gardening Opportunities
- prepare garden beds for planting
- tend to plant starts in a greenhouse
- transplant starts
- weed and water (a summertime favorite!)
- apply natural pest control methods
- harvest the goodies
- cook, dry, pickle, and preserve food in many other ways
- prune trees
- tend to a vineyard
- inoculate mushroom logs
- gather wild edibles
- tend to worms, chickens, or other animals
The work will depend on the time of the year and the gardening style of the host. As a work exchanger/intern you’re sure to get muddy and sweaty and to eat good home-grown food!
How to apply for a work exchange or internship position:
- Fill out the Work Exchange Application, with as much detail as possible.
- Be sure to indicate your preference for working in natural building, gardening, or another field for what sort of work are you interested in doing. We may not be able to guarantee you a position in the field of your preference, but it helps guide our selection. You can also let us know if you have an interest in multiple areas, or no preference and you simply want a chance to work exchange at Dancing Rabbit.
- Submit the application. We receive many, many applications, so it’s advisable to apply before mid-March. The work exchange season here is from April – October.
- Potential hosts will contact you if they are interested. We can not guarantee if or when someone will get back to you, since individual hosts operate independently and on different schedules.
- Often hosts set up phone interviews with applicants. If you seem to be a good match, the host will offer you a position. You can then work through details of timing, transportation, accommodations, work schedule, etc. with your host.
If you’d like to come see what we’re doing and experience one or three weeks of life among the Rabbits, please check out our visitor program.