Homestead Work Exchange

Homestead / Childcare Work Exchange

This summer we are looking for someone to help us with our one year old son, Arthur, in addition to various and sundry tasks.  “We” are Mae and Ben, a young family who have been homesteading at Dancing Rabbit for 5 years now.  We raise livestock, which currently consists of a small herd of dairy goats, a flock of chickens, some pigs, assorted ducks, and a miniature donkey.  We also have a 7 year old daughter.

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 baby, Arthur.  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.  There will certainly be small construction projects, gardening, 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, and 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!

You can find the application to this position here. Please fill it out and email it to critterworkexchange@gmail.com. It will be helpful to put “Homestead Work Exchange” as the subject if you are specifically applying for only this position.

We look forward to hearing from you!