(Above) Rae works on the timberframing of the home she shares with her partner Aaron. Both are instructors for this workshop.

(Above) Tamar shows her badass skills while building Dancing Rabbit's Common House. Here's a cool fact: all of our power tools run on solar and wind!

(Above) Stompin' cob! You'll get lots of practice making and applying natural plaster

(Above) Kristen (one of our instructors)is a former Dancing Rabbit Work Exchanger who now works in the natural building and solar industry in Colorado. 

All of our meals are as local and as organic as possible. Plus, they're made with love!

Natural Building for Women*

Saturday, August 26 - Thursday, August 31, 2017


 Early Bird Price: $360 before

May1, 2017


$410 after May 1st!

Register now and save $50

Learn construction skills from the ground up in a safe, supportive and fun environment!


This course is designed to present hands-on learning opportunities that will provide participants with many of the skills needed to construct a building of her own. We've spent years learning how (and how not) to build strawbale buildings; we'd love to share it all with you!


*a note on gender: we recognize that gender is fluid. If you identify as female, or would simply feel most comfortable learning in a group that is on the female-ish side of the scale, you are very welcome!




You'll learn:


  • The Melding of Conventional and Alternative Construction – The ten most important considerations for designing and constructing a safe and durable building. This includes the all-important concepts of level, plumb and square; effective ways of using alternative materials in conventional roles; why we choose natural/renewable/reclaimed materials instead of conventional materials; how reclaimed materials affect timelines; the benefits of non-toxic natural materials vs. conventional materials; breathability of natural buildings; and much more.

  • About Tools – Hands-on instruction in safe and effective operation of power tools and hand tools. This includes some of the “modified” tools that make working with bales easier.

  • Finding and Using Reclaimed Materials - We'll  experience the benefits and quirks of reclaimed lumber as we select lumber, de-nail (if needed) and construct the framing for the entryways.   

  • The Secrets of Strawbales – Hands-on learning will include how to tell a good building bale from an inadequate one, how and when to find straw bales for construction, placing and stabilizing the bales in your building, and prepping them for plaster. And let's not forget a “truth window!”

  • Righteous Framing – Hands-on construction of window bucks and fitting a door frame into  Woodhenge's entryway. This will give you a new appreciation for the above-mentioned level, plumb and square.    

  • Making and Appyling Natural Plaster -(i.e.: stompin' cob) and applying the first coat, the second coat and then a finish coat (i.e.: playing in the mud!) of Gobcobatron's shed. If time allows, we’ll also experiment with lime plaster and natural pigments.

  • Foundation and Roof – The importance of a “good hat and good boots,” how to protect your bales from moisture with vapor barriers, and more.

  • Wiring/electric – An overview of wiring in strawbale buildings.

(Above) Work Exchanger Lety trims straw bales before plastering.

Register NOW! Call 660-883-5522 or click here!

"The food was incredible!  The Mercantile was SOOO accommodating and comfortable."


~feedback from a workshop participant, 2016

Included in this workshop:

  • All instruction Most instructors have built their own homes here at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. They are all enthusiastic about building and about sharing their passion!

  • Extensive hands-on experience - this is not one of those workshops where you sit and listen to an instructor drone on! You'll have plenty of time to learn while being supported by knowledgeable, compassionate teachers.

  • All meals – meals will be served in the Milkweed Mercantile. Meals are as local, as organic as possible, and always delicious. Meals begin with dinner on Saturday, August 26 and end with lunch on Thursday, August 31, 2017.    

  • Afternoon snacks

  • The Lingo you'll learn the secret code that will enable you to walk your talk in lumber yards and hardware stores from now on!

  • Tours given by the builders themselves, of up to six strawbale and cob homes here at Dancing Rabbit and Red Earth Farms.

  • Small class size (10) for maximum learning opportunity.

  • Take-home resources – booklet and building checklist.

ACCOMMODATIONS (not included in Weekend fee)



Cost depends upon the room. Room prices are based on double-occupancy; share your room with a friend and cut your cost in half!


Aldo Leopold Room - upstairs king bed, $60/night ($180 for the 3 nights) Saturday, Sunday & Monday nights. (Regularly $95 - $139 per night - significant discount for yoga participants!). Double occupancy.


David Brower Room - upstairs, queen bed, $50/night ($150 for the 3 nights) Saturday, Sunday & Monday nights for TWO people. (Regularly $90 - $129 per night - significant discount for yoga participants!)


Rachel Carson Room - Preferably reserved for a group - bring your friends!

upstairs queen bed and two twins in a trundle $50/night  ($150 for the 3 nights) Saturday, Sunday & Monday nights for TWO people. (Regularly $90 - $129 per night - significant discount for yoga participants!)

  • Extra 1-2 people $10 each per night for the 3 nights.


Wallace Stegner Room - two twin beds, downstairs, a very small room, $80 for the 3 nights - Saturday, Sunday & Monday nights. (Regularly $75 - $98 per night.)



CAMPING IN THE DANCING RABBIT CAMP GROUND - a 3 minute stroll from the Mercantile

- $30 for 3 nights, Saturday, Sunday and Monday

  • You provide your own tent, sleeping gear and towels

  • We provide a tent platform (Tent must fit on a tent platform that measures approximately 8' x 10')

  • Includes access to the Milkweed Mercantile’s showers and toilets.

 Early Bird Price: $360 before May1, 2017

Register now and save $50

$410 after May1st!


Cancellation Policy: One-half of workshop fee and one-half of accommodations charge is due at time of reservation; balance due upon check-in. Full refund (less $20 accounting fee) returned with a full 7 days notice. Less than 7 days notice for a cancellation will result in loss of deposit.