Work Exchange

Work exchange and internship opportunities at Dancing Rabbit


Are you ready to immerse yourself in a radically different lifestyle, rooted in connection to the Earth and community within a well-established ecovillage, while actively contributing to various projects aimed at building a regenerative, resilient, and cooperative culture? If so, then you’re in luck! We are actively seeking individuals to participate in our 2024 work exchange program at Dancing Rabbit. We have a single opening in March, and openings for July and beyond. In exchange for your help on various projects, your host provides for your food and other living expenses while at Dancing Rabbit. There is no cost to participate in this program.

Gaining hands-on experience is an integral part of the exchange. The types of work include natural/green building, organic gardening, food preservation, animal husbandry, Cheesemaking, Agroforestry, small business projects, and seasonal homesteading/village activities. The majority of our work exchange/internship opportunities exist from April through October.  We’re also seeking an Innkeeper for the Milkweed Mercantile, this is a paid position, and could start in March as well. Please reach out if any of this sounds interesting!

Minimum commitment: 4 weeks (a hosting fee may apply for shorter stays)

Apply for a 2024 Work Exchange


This year we’re trying something new: In an effort to create a more fun, robust, and dynamic work exchange program, all work exchangers, colloquially known as “wexers,” will form their own subcommunity and kitchen co-op known as the Bloom and Build Brigade!

This subcommunity will include a few Rabbits (folks that call Dancing Rabbit home) and between six to eight wexers. We ask for a minimum commitment of four to five weeks, and welcome longer stays! Work will involve a variety of tasks, both independent and group-oriented. There are lots of projects in the works at DR; some of the big ones this year are:

Working on Critter Kitchen

This community building utilizes lots of round wood timbers harvested sustainably from our own land, as well as reclaimed dimensional lumber. This year we’re going to focus on getting the roof up (combination of living and metal), installing the floors (brick and “dirt-crete”), and building out the kitchen space.

Growing so much food!

Using a combination of local wisdom, mountains of compost (thanks to our cows and goats), permaculture principles, hard work and cooperation, we plan to seriously up our gardening game this year. Typical tasks include: prepare garden beds for planting, tend to plant starts, 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, inoculate mushroom logs, gather wild edibles

Establishing a chestnut orchard

We’re planting 250 chestnut trees this year, and we need help at every step! Learn how to establish and maintain the “rice of the future” using organic and regenerative techniques.

Participating in the Dairy Co-op

Milking, cheesemaking and pasture management. A great way to learn the ins and outs of small scale regenerative animal agriculture and/or artisanal cheesemaking.

In addition to these projects, other work areas include: 

Natural building at the Hub (formerly SubHub), building roofed tent platforms, invasive species management, forestry, firewood processing, hospitality work, cooking for visitor program participants, regular community chores and whatever the season calls for. 

You will have some choices in areas of focus for your time as a wexer, although you will inevitably need to do some things which you might consider “menial.” We will have regular planning meetings where we will divide the week’s tasks to ensure that folks are engaging with what they love AND the highest priority work still gets done.

For those open to more focused roles with higher responsibilities, specific positions are available. While these roles are unpaid, they offer a valuable opportunity to deepen your skills and knowledge in specific areas, and contribute meaningfully to a thriving ecovillage. On-site training is provided for all positions, and while prior experience is beneficial, a strong work ethic and a genuine desire to learn are the most important attributes!

We do have one paid position: Innkeeper for the Milkweed Mercantile. This is best for someone who is seriously considering moving to Dancing Rabbit and/or has been here previously. Minimum commitment: Three months.

More details about work exchange

A work exchange position at Dancing Rabbit can be a transformative experience, allowing you to become fully engaged in a lifestyle deeply rooted in connection to the Earth and community living. You’ll collaborate with like-minded individuals, gaining both physical skills and the intangible abilities necessary for effective, authentic cooperation. In a standard work exchange, we ask for a minimum commitment of 4 weeks and expect 25-30 hours of work per week (which includes cooking two meals a week for the work exchanger co-op). Amenities include a tent platform for camping (indoor spaces available to rent), an outdoor kitchen co-op for shared meals, and access to the common house with showers, composting toilets, electricity, and wifi. Perks include the ability to participate for free in a diverse range of community activities and offerings. These include our three-day Ecovillage Experience weekend, weekly song circle, potluck, game night, bonfires, a delightful swimming pond, a Finnish-style sauna, dark skies with bright stars, abundant wildlife, 280 acres with mowed trails, dance parties (sometimes ecstatic), jam sessions, and plenty of serene spaces for relaxation with (or without) a book.

Required skills for all positions:

  • Motivated, hard-working and diligent. 
  • Flexible
  • Adaptable to rustic and rugged living/working conditions (limited running water, sharing spaces with bugs and rodents, working outdoors in heat, and inclement weather) 
  • Self-directed 
  • Self-reliant (ability to take care of themselves and speak up if needed)
  • High level of emotional awareness and stability (or a desire to improve)
  • Open to seriously grappling with the ways in which privilege, colonialism, racism, and sexism have shaped society, everyday social interactions, and one’s own life
  • Non judgemental and generous of spirit (not entitled)
  • Passionate about grassroots sustainability, community, and exploring alternatives to mainstream culture while remaining humble and understanding that everything is a work in progress!

General wexer tasks

  • Help in a variety of tasks, both with and without direct supervision, independently, and as part of a group. You will be able to self-select some tasks which you are most interested in and focus on them more than others, however there are many things that just need doing! Please specify which types of work you are most interested in when applying
  • 25 – 30 hours a week (including cook shifts)
  • Types of work: gardening (watering, weeding, planting, harvesting, bed prep) , building (focusing on natural techniques and local/reclaimed materials), Dairy Co-op work (milking cows and/or goats, moving fence, pasture management and hauling water), Cheese making, Invasive management, tree planting/care, firewood processing, food processing, cooking for program participants, and whatever the season may bring! 
  • Participate in a kitchen coop and prepare one dinner and one lunch for the group every week 
  • Help with community chores such as clean team and emptying humanure buckets 
  • Participate in regular planning meetings
  • The opportunity exists to embark on an independent project if so motivated, feel free to discuss what needs exist within the community with your hosts and collaborate on a plan on how to meet them.
  • Learn by doing : Training is provided for all tasks, however you will be expected to learn these skills and work independently as your time progresses.

Specialized work exchange positions

For those wanting to really dig into a specific skill set or project, more focused, higher responsibility roles are available. While these roles are unpaid, they offer a valuable opportunity to deepen your skills and knowledge in specific areas, and experience a sense of achievement that comes from contributing meaningfully to a thriving ecovillage. On-site training is provided for all positions, and while prior experience is beneficial, a strong work ethic and a genuine desire to learn are the most important attributes! Essential accountabilities in bold

Garden Manager

Starts in Mid March. Minimum commitment of two months, longer preferred

  • Co-manage multiple small organic vegetable gardens, checking them regularly and deciding what needs to be done with regular consultation from experienced local gardeners.
  • Help to coordinate volunteers in daily garden care tasks, including planting, weeding, watering, mulching and harvesting.
  • Explore and implement integrated pest management for each crop.
  • Harvest fresh produce and bring it to the kitchen.
  • Take a lead role in preserving the harvest through canning, dehydrating, freezing and other preservation methods.
  • As needed, develop or maintain garden infrastructure and systems, including irrigation, composting, fencing, row cover, seedling protection.
  • Tame and prepare neglected garden spaces for future productivity

Dairy Co-op Intern

Minimum commitment of one month, longer strongly preferred.

Work closely with members of Dancing Rabbit’s Dairy Co-operative and learn the ins and outs of small scale regenerative animal husbandry. We use management intensive rotational grazing on diverse pasture land which incorporates many native prairie grasses and trees. Our aim is to regenerate our land and provide the best life for our livestock while producing high quality milk, cheese, and meat to our community.   

  • Make cheeses, yogurt, and ice cream to preserve up to 9 gallons of milk coming in each day. 
  • Learn cheesemaking by doing: using directions and recipes provided in books or online with some amount of direct instruction. Must be moderately detail oriented.
  • Do the dishes related to cheesemaking as well as manage the returned containers from customers.
  • Package the products and get them to the appropriate location for distribution
  • Coordination with other kitchen users.  (The dairy coop rents space in a commercial kitchen that is also used by other villagers.)
  • Help with daily milking cows and/or goats.
  • Monitor and maintain cleanliness and hygiene standards in the cheese kitchen.
  • Maintain records of each batch of cheese produced, including ingredients used, production dates, and any other relevant information. 
  • Keep track of cheese inventory levels and assist in managing stock.
  • Help with animal chores, including hauling water and moving fence.

Natural Building Lead

Minimum commitment of one month, longer preferred.

Dancing Rabbit is one of the largest collections of natural buildings in the US. Over our 26 year history we have explored numerous building techniques and materials, and learned an impressive about what works and what doesn’t. There is so much to be learned just by observing the buildings and talking with folks who built them, and/or live in them. Then, ofcourse, there is building them yourself! 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


  • Offer assistance to ongoing large projects here at Dancing Rabbit. The main ongoing projects in 2024 are :
    • The Hub (Formerly SubHub): A strawbale, earthen plaster community building which will serve as a meeting / workshop space, co-op kitchen space, low income and volunteer housing and more!
    • Critter Kitchen : The largest eating co-op at Dancing Rabbit, with 10-17 people spanning multiple generations sharing meals prepared without fossil fuels and working together in various ways. The main kitchen burned down in 2021 due to a faulty stove, and the group has been re-building since then. The new design utilizes lots of round-wood timbers harvested sustainably from our own land, as well as reclaimed dimensional lumber. 
  • Learn what tools and materials are available on site and how to source additional supplies
  • Lead other volunteers by helping them access necessary materials and tools, offering instruction in the safe use of various tools, empowering them by helping them find manageable tasks and useful work on each project
  • In coordination with rabbit hosts, decide which projects should be prioritized and then make a plan to build or repair a variety of simple structures. Likely including roofed tent platforms and possibly sheds, stanchions, doors, compost bins, gates, etc.
  • Organize materials for easier access, better resistance to weathering
  • Deconstruct unrepairable structures with an eye towards salvage, then appropriately sort and store or discard all materials.
  • Proactively assist with improvements to outdoor kitchen infrastructure and other structures that are regularly used by the Bloom and Build Brigade

Milkweed Mercantile support

Minimum commitment of one month. 

This position could become a part time job as Innkeeper for the right person!

  • Support the Innkeeper, Kitchen Manager, and other Mercantile staff in day to day operations.  
  • Communicate with and host guests
  • Laundry
  • Light housekeeping
  • Maintain the composting toilet system
  • Building and grounds maintenance
  • Work on our social media presence