Become a Dancing Rabbit Wexer:

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).

2020 Work Exchange at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage

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Check Out Your Opportunities for 2020:

Village Projects

 
We’re excited to offer a new work exchange geared towards maximum exposure to many different activities at Dancing Rabbit. Participants will have two host liaisons, but will work with many different Rabbits on a wide variety of tasks and projects. Because you won’t be limited to one host or “scene,” this work exchange really does have potential exposure to the whole breadth of flavors, angles, projects, and varieties of daily life that combine to form the inner workings of Dancing Rabbit. This program is designed to provide folks an affordable avenue to experience Dancing Rabbit– you’ll be helping around the village for 20-30 hours per week in exchange for coverage of your cost of living. This work exchange will likely be limited to two participants for one month in the first half of the summer.

The Milkweed Mercantile:

 

The Milkweed Mercantile, a cooperatively-run inn, cafe, bar and store at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, is looking for Work Exchangers for our upcoming 2020 season.

The mission of the Mercantile is to provide meaningful work and to demonstrate a life that is sustainable in all ways. In our straw bale, solar-powered building we provide rooms and meals for Dancing Rabbit Seminars & Workshops, host a weekly Pizza Night (where even the dough is made from scratch), have a quirky little bar that is open just two hours a day, host coffee hour each morning, and serve as an informal Dancing Rabbit Welcome Center. Our wrap around screened-in front porch is a popular gathering place each evening as the sun goes down and the fireflies come out.

We are seeking two or more folks who are passionate about sustainable living, and interested in learning more about local and organic food, whole-foods cooking, eco-hospitality, and sharing a more sustainable life with like-minded people. We would like you to enjoy working with the public, and have experience in customer service, restaurant or other hospitality. Please be 21 or older and available for at least three consecutive months between April and October, 2020.

Tasks will depend upon your skills and what needs to be done, but may include assisting with baking, cooking, food preservation, and dishwashing in our kitchen; cleaning and helping with the inn and store; landscaping and vegetable/herb gardening; and helping customers to feel more comfortable.

In exchange for your help 30 hours a week, we provide you with a shared room in our inn, a spot in an eating cooperative, a monthly stipend, and a way to be in the center of all that is happening at Dancing Rabbit.


For a complete job description and details about the work exchange, please go to the Mercantile’s Work Exchange page. https://www.milkweedmercantile.com/workexchange . We hope to meet you soon!
 

 

Goat Co-Op:

This summer the goat co-op is looking for someone to help us with the work of running our small dairy.  We use management intensive rotational grazing, milk by hand, and make raw cheese on site.  We have 7 does, a similar number of wethers, and a couple of bucks.  We are planning to get a cow this season as well.  The help we are looking for could begin as early as April and go all the way through October, depending on the weather and the hardiness of the individual.  Routine tasks will include milking, hauling water, moving fence, mulching, bringing milk to the refrigerator, dishes, making cheese, and chores associated with being in a kitchen co-op/eating scene.  In the early part of the season, before we start milking, it is important and enjoyable to spend time every day playing with the goat kids!  Hopefully we will also be making hay this year, and continuing construction work on our new timber frame barn, adding awnings and a permanent fence.  There is also work that could be done to manage and improve pasture, and creating/managing an emergent silvopasture out of scrubland. 

We are seeking an easy-going individual who is comfortable in a rustic setting and who values direct communication.  Our accommodations are rustic; we provide a wooden tent platform and our work exchangers camp for the duration of their stay.  There are storms, ticks, poison ivy, and interpersonal challenges.  There are days that are really, really hot and everyone feels angry.  There is also the swimming pond, song circle, dance parties, potlucks, 280 acres with paths, and the chance to experience deeply what it is like to live a life that consumes 90% less resources than the average American.

The standard work exchange expectations are that you will work an average of 35 hours per week, and we will cover your basic needs.  This looks like a tent platform for camping, an outhouse for pooping, an eating scene, showers and electricity for charging things in the Common House.

With the eating co-op, we each take a turn cooking for everyone and cleaning up.  Generally, this means a weekly scheduling meeting and then we each cook one dinner and the following lunch per week. 

We have not yet decided for sure which kitchen scene we’ll ask to include this intern, but one likely possibility is Critter kitchen, where breakfast is haphazard, but there is coffee.  Our diet places a heavy emphasis on foods that are minimally processed, local, and inexpensive.  Critter kitchen is also proud to use no fossil fuels for cooking, so they use mostly wood fire.  Experience with whole foods and cooking over fire is a plus!

Childcare:

This summer we are looking for someone to help us with our 4 year old son, Arthur, in addition to various and sundry tasks.  “We” are Mae and Ben, a family who have been homesteading at Dancing Rabbit since 2012.  We raise livestock, which right now consists of a small herd of dairy goats, a flock of chickens, some pigs, assorted ducks, and a miniature donkey.  We also have a 10 year old daughter and are part of the vibrant Critter Collective sub community.

The work we are looking for help with is not particularly glamorous and is not designed as an educational experience, although there is no doubt that you will learn plenty!  As mentioned above, we are especially expecting to need help watching the kids.  Althea is planning to build a small playhouse this year using mud bricks and other found materials.  Other routine tasks include hauling water, hauling garbage and recycling, exchanging ice packs for the cooler, processing firewood, fetching duckweed from the pond to feed to the animals and food scraps from within the village to feed to the animals, gardening, and preserving the harvest.  There will certainly be small construction projects, cleaning up, work in the barnyard, and chores related to being in our eating co-op.  In the fall, we will appreciate help with processing the birds, usually 6-15 birds per week for a couple months.  The sensitive person should note that we do occasionally butcher animals at other times as well, primarily if we find a bird that has been killed by a predator but is still in good shape, or sometimes rabbits, raccoons, or groundhogs from traps set in gardens. 

We are seeking an easy-going individual who is comfortable in a rustic setting and who values direct communication.  Our accommodations are rustic; we provide a wooden tent platform and our work exchangers camp for the duration of their stay.  There are storms, ticks, poison ivy, and interpersonal challenges.  There are days that are really, really hot and everyone feels angry.  There is also the swimming pond, song circle, dance parties, potlucks, 280 acres with paths, and the chance to experience deeply what it is like to live a life that consumes 90% less resources than the average American.

The standard work exchange expectations are that you will work an average of 35 hours per week, and we will cover your basic needs.  This looks like a tent platform for camping, an outhouse for pooping, an eating scene, showers and electricity for charging things in the Common House.  With the eating co-op, we each take a turn cooking for everyone and cleaning up.  Generally, this means a weekly scheduling meeting and then we each cook one dinner and the following lunch per week.  Breakfast is a little more haphazard, but there is coffee.  Our diet places a heavy emphasis on foods that are minimally processed, local, and inexpensive.  We are also proud to use no fossil fuels for cooking, so we use mostly wood fire.  Experience with whole foods and cooking over fire is a plus!


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.

Building Opportunities

9573107511_2cd356f8d0_bAs an ecovillage 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
  • Cob
  • 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

Harvesting organic veggies for the communeMany Dancing Rabbit members have garden spaces around their homes or in designated garden spaces around the village. As a work exchanger/intern you may have opportunities to:

  • 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!

If you’d like to come see what we’re doing and experience one or two weeks of life among the Rabbits, please check out our visitor program.

You may also want to check out the internships available at our neighboring communities, Sandhill Farm and Red Earth Farms.