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).


2019 Work Exchange at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage


Opportunities for 2019:

Goat Co-Op WEXER:

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 WEXER

This summer we are looking for someone to help us with our 3 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 for 7 years now.  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 9 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!


Natural Building Internship

Looking for natural building opportunities? Check out our Natural Building Internship linked above!


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 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
  • 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.