Work Exchange & Work Parties

Work Exchange: Offer labor for education and experience.
Work Party: Ask for help on your building project in exchange for sharing your knowledge.


  • Lisa says:

    We are a family of 5 looking to help while learning how to build a cob home in California or locations near our boarder.

  • Rachel Louise says:

    Hello! I am looking to learn how to build a cob house or shed, I live in Portland Maine and am willing to travel. Thanks!

  • Rebecca Jenkins-Miller says:

    Labeba and John, where are you located? and how far are you willing to relocate to?

  • Shawna says:

    My name is Shawna I’m interested in learning Cobb building, I’m a healthy strong woman who’s into all things healing and balancing. I’d love to join a work party or do a work trade , to learn hands on skills. I’m a massage therapist and have spent time working on farms as well. I prepare a lot of delicious healthy food as well. I have much to offer and work well with others. I am currently in the Santa Cruz Ca Area

    • doug mackenzie says:

      hello shawna

      i’m building a mud house in the foothills of the sierra nevada (fresno co.) – give me a call if you are interested in helping/learning – doug mackenzie – 559-855-4899

  • Labeba and John says:

    We are interested in learning more about cob building. We have a lot of skills in permaculture and organic farming. We would like to rent or lease land for growing food and we want to continue our study in sustainable living. We have a small family and want to grow food, live consciously and share healthful food. Our skills include: Planting, harvesting, orchard care, farmers market experience, farm to table cuisine, small scale gardening and farming, animal husbandry, bees wax candle making, ceramics, fiber and land crafts. Thanks 🙂

  • Brita says:

    I am looking for someone who could come out to my land and give an on site consultation including showing my boyfriend and I how to make cob from our particular soil type, and just getting us started in the right direction!! We have a cleared spot in Ironton, MN and are interested in building a community center for education of cob buildings after we build a house there and know what were doing more. Also, any workshops in MN or near or any known work groups nearby would be much appreciated! We have looked and looked and its hard to find experts in northern, iron rich soil on the range where we are. Just need in person help.

    • doug mackenzie says:

      hi brita

      i’m a ‘natural builder’ in california who has family in minneapolis – i may make a trip that way in the fall and would be intrigued to see what ya’ll are doing – doug

  • Rose Fairley says:

    Looking to help anyone doing cob work in the North Carolina/Tennessee/South Carolina area. I’m in the Asheville area, but willing to travel a few hours for a weekend. Minimal experience, but hardworking and eager to learn!

  • I met Brenda on Saturday at the Middletown Art Downtown Center

  • doug mackenzie says:

    hey jameson – likely i will still be building in august although how much i can build as the summer progresses is contingent upon there being water in the creek – regarding what i can teach you, i have lots of experience with building rock foundations and walls, installing doors and windows, pouring earthen floors, mixing and applying plasters and building a conventional roof – i have gained this experience by participating in workshops (at cob cottage co. and in california), building a cob house near watsonville with terry ellis, building a foundation for a two room cob cottage in catheys valley with dave gonzales, and working on my own mud hut in the sierra nevada – i’m also interested in rocket stoves and have been developing a rocket stove heated earthen oven – i’m also in the process of building a rocket stove heated hot tub – what you learn depends upon how long you can stay and help – and of course i’m still learning and anticipate building a rumford fireplace in my abode

  • doug mackenzie says:

    hello jameson – can you make it to california? – i am looking for help building a berm house using decomposed granite, creek rocks and redbud – please give me a call if interested @ 559-855-4899

  • Jameson Knight says:

    Looking for a workshop/apprentice/work exchange who can teach me how to build my house from the ground up with on site materials, I live in Connecticut.

  • Learn to build your home with cob in five days:
    “From the Ground Up with Cob,” July 17-21, 2016
    Last Minute Special, save $100

  • Hello Yolanda,
    Thank you for your interest in Disputanta Cob. Yes, we do occasionally lead cob workshops near Central KY. Plus, there are several graduates of our, “Cob Trainer Instruction,” course that may be able to help you. It is a VERY good idea for you to attend a workshop first, to be sure you know what you are getting into.
    Sincere Regards,
    Diane Jennings

  • Hosting says:

    Third parties may request verification from the state Medicaid agency that the MCO or its contractor is working on behalf of the agency and the scope of the delegated work.

  • Malachi Ennis says:

    All ye learners, all ye experts, all ye with knowledge and/or experience! We are a family in Humboldt County, California, looking for help in building a very small cob room in our backyard. We are willing to pay anyone who has a good amount of cob experience. Volunteers can have tent space, food, gain experience, and friendship. Plus, we live right by some of the most beautiful beaches ever! We are expecting to have volunteers stay for a week or two at the most. Interested folks please email to, or call (area code 1) 707-382-3856

  • Rachel says:

    Hi I am seeking an experience in my life to work and learn in exchange for housing accommodations. I am at a path where I am seeking real guidance of my purpose and the next steps of my vision; I believe learning and living with the land with be one of the many ways for me to achieve this. Please feel free to contact me for any upcoming apprenticeship or work exchange programs. I look forward to speaking with you for possible opportunities to grow along with your organization.

  • Dani says:

    I would like to learn how to build cob houses. I intend to build them in my land in Rio, Brazil.
    I am in Southern and Central Coasts of CA and will be here until September of 2016.
    I don’t have money, but would exchange help in building with you in exchange of know-how, workshops… I am a fast learner and hard worker. Please, contact me if you are seriously about teaching the technics of cob works.
    Thank you

  • Wren says:

    love to hear more about work parties and work exchange on your land!! blessings ~

  • Wood-Fired Earthen Oven Building Workshop
    May 20 – May 23, 2016
    Auberry, CA

    Learn how to build a wood-fired earthen oven in this three-day weekend workshop. Basic earthen building construction concepts will be presented including; oven design , properties of building materials including rock, clay soil, sand and straw, natural insulation, natural plaster and sculptural considerations, earthen oven thermodynamics and baking in an earthen oven. Participants will experience all aspects of building an earthen oven from the foundation up using locally abundant natural materials. For more information including location and fees contact or 559-855-4899.

  • Andrew Gilligan says:

    Hi, I am a Waldorf teacher in Rhode Island interested in learning the processes of natural building. I don’t have money to pay for a workshop, but I have the summertime to dedicate. Please let me know if you need help.

    Thanks, Andrew

  • Kari says:

    I would love to help out also in Virginia. I am in NJ. Please contact me! Thanks, K

  • Seth says:

    I to learn the alternative building methods

  • Sarah says:

    Hello! I am a student in Austin Texas who is very interested in cob building, any cob owners or cobbers in the area?

  • Kate and Bob says:

    We are a couple in Phoenix, AZ who would like to learn about cob building in preparation to build our own home some day. We would love to help someone build their home in Arizona or Southern California. We both work physical jobs and can would be able to perform the work needed effectively. Let us know if you are in need of some extra hands…or feet!

  • We are looking for some weekend warriors for a work trade opportunity at the building school. In exchange for free registration for our most popular workshop, “From the Ground Up with Cob,” we need a couple people to help us get ready the two weekends before the workshop, and clean up the day after. It’s a five day work trade in exchange for a five day Workshop.

    “From the Ground Up with Cob,” workshop is May 1~5, 2016, and the highlights are ~ Natural Stone Foundation, ~ Building Cob Walls. ~ Sculptural ~ Artistic Cob, ~ Natural & Lime Plasters, ~ Earthen (Adobe) Floor. We are located in Central Kentucky, about 15 minutes outside of Berea. For more details about the Workshop go to For more information about the work trade call Diane Jennings at 606-256-8954 or contact me through the website contact page.

    ~ Disputanta Cob

  • Looking for individuals in or around the Central VA or just anybody that wants experience in natural building particularly cob building. We are currently underway in our 2016 building season and welcome individuals the would like to lend a hand, couple of hands and feet to building this years projects. We are working this year on a two story cob building that is solar powered and completely off grid. There are outdoor showers, campsites and ample learning experience. We won’t be providing food, however, there are several stores local and plenty of fires to cook on. Looking forward to an amazing building season here in VA!!!!

    • Kari Cooper says:

      I am in NJ but happy to travel to Virginia! I have cob experience, etc. Can’t wait 2 hear from u folks!
      K???yurt grrl

    • Ashley says:

      Hey Natalie and David,
      I am interested. Please let me know what weeks and where! I live outside of Baltimore.


    • Sarah says:

      Hello! I am very interested in helping out after school gets out may 5th. Please let me know am hard working am very interested in cob building!

    • Andrew Gilligan says:

      Hi, I would love to help. I could come for a week or two in July or August. Let me know!

    • Jameson Knight says:

      Are you in need help in August, I would be coming from Connecticut with little experience but a young strong body. If I were to come out there, would you be confident enough to teach me how to build my own house from ground up?

  • Justin Coats says:

    My name is Justin. I am an Army veteran, and I am here to learn. I do not have money, but I have a clean record, time, and love to learn and to work out doors. I live in Colorado, but will be moving to Alpine TX soon, where I plan to build a house. I have about a year of concrete finishing, mixing, and testing experience. I can travel just about anywhere. If I could get lodging and food for my time and labor, that would be ideal. Please consider contacting me, I look forward to speaking with you.

  • Hope says:

    I live in East Tennessee and am going to build a cob oven. You are welcome to help. I have water and sewer hookup, no power.

  • Hello! We’ll be living in our bus full time in Fall of 2016 and are looking for work-trade opportunities. The end goal for us is to be able to build our own tiny house that can be on and off grid.

    The community built around Cob houses seems like a great fit! Does anyone have any events/workshops in the fall/winter/spring coming up? We’re able to do any location 🙂

    Thanks in advance!!


  • mel says:

    I am wondering if you can help me.Iam planing to build cob house on the farm. I have no idea how to start
    thanks for your help

  • William says:

    I Am Really interested in doing this Cob building, I’m in Ohio right now but would love to get to know a few cob builders in the south area’s of central Florida or Swainsboro Georgia are..if anyone can point me in the right direction I am a very hard worker and would love to learn to build from the elements of nature, it just seems right!

  • Kate says:

    If anyone could use help with a natural building project near Arcata, CA, my partner and I would love to help and experience natural building.

    • doug mackenzie says:

      hi kate – i’m not ‘near’ arcata but am in the foothills of the sierra in central california – i plan on resuming building a cob/berm house in the next few weeks – ya’ll are welcome to stop by for a weekend/week so see what i’m doing and help as well – and anyone else on this list is welcome too – give me a call for more information – doug mackenzie 559-855-4899

  • Wesley says:

    Looking for a work exchange opportunity near or in North Carolina. Hard working and devoted to learning.

  • Torym says:

    Sean, we’re a couple of years away, but we plan to live in the Piedmont, garden our own food, live simply. We liked Asheboro when we visited. Is the area (if you know) friendly to solar, of fun-grid, etc.

  • Carolyn says:

    Hi All,
    I don’t have a lot of construction experience, but I am a skilled crafts-person. I have lots of experience with ceramics and fibers (perfect for cob, right?) and limited experience in woodworking and metal working. I am a hard worker with an eye for detail and a high standard of craftsmanship. I am eager to learn more about natural building and willing to work for it. Please send me a message if you need a hand on any summer projects.

    • Dale says:

      Hi, Carolyn,

      Are you interested in spending some time in Alaska? My wife is a textile/fiber artist who works with ceramics as well. She is preparing an exhibit in Central Europe right now with a local ceramic artist. Part of their exhibit will be to blend their works together. So, you two will have a lot in common.

      About our project. I have written extensively on here about a year ago, so I will keep this short. You can also email me if you have questions. We are doing natural and totally off-the-grid building in rural Alaska. We are using earthbags, cob, strawbale, timberframe, reciprocal earthen roofs, earth-berming, and more. We will be do a lot with natural plasters this year. If work progresses well enough, we will do some very interesting work with Tadelakt. This is the Moroccon method of waterproofing cob, so that it can be used for showers, hot tubs, saunas, etc. We’re excited about that! We will also be finishing our earthen roofs and earth-berming our cabin, refining our composting toilet, putting in earthen floors, and doing light-straw insulation this year. There is a lot going on, and there will be time to explore the beauties of Alaska, as well. Let me know if you are interested.

      • Corrine says:

        Hey Dale I spoke with you months ago and wasn’t able to connect this past summer. Know your timeframe for working this summer?


        • Dale says:

          Hi, Corrine,

          We’ll be starting work mid-April, although the first week or two is basically de-winterizing, setup and preparations for the building season. Depending upon the weather (including how fast the ground thaws so you can dig the clay…), we usually begin the serious work around the first of May. May is usually the best month for work. It is typically, dry, reasonably warm (by local Alaskan standards) and pleasant. The rest of the summer can actually be quite a bit warmer, but the weather is a little less predictable. Regardless, we will be working through the summer until late August, or perhaps even into late September.

          We have lots planned for this summer: finishing the earthen roofs, earth berming with PAHS (Passive Annual Heat Storage) membrane, earthen plasters (inside and out), heated cob bench, and more. We expect to get the small cabin liveable. Then, we plan to build a timber-frame post-and-beam garage and shop with straw bale infill. If we have time (or, enough help), we want to build a bathhouse with tadelakt cob (waterproof), either as a shower, or as a hot tub. Lots of plans! There’s always more to do, and we’re happy to share the adventure and learning opportunities. Let me know if any of that interests you. If you want to email me, you can at shorbus shamansweb dot com.

  • doug says:

    hey ryan
    yes, i’m across the county line from you in tollhouse although i’m presently between vehicles and staying the winter months in Auberry – I’m building a mud/stone structure on the edge of sycamore creek above the cold springs Rancheria – I’ve got about 1/3 of the stone foundation completed and hope to start cobbing once it warms up a bit, perhaps in april – feel free to give me a call at 559-855-4899 or email me: ddmackenzie at gmail dot com and thanks for your interest

  • Anna Brown says:

    Hello. I’m Anna. My man want to learn how to build cob structures from the ground up, including installing wiring, plumbing, etc…. We’d like to do a work exchange this spring, summer, early fall (2016) – our labor in exchange for your building knowledge. We’re in the Pacific NW, willing to travel, if close (California, SW, etc.)
    If you’re interested in talking, please write!

  • doug says:

    hey ian — thanks – i’ll get back with you in the spring (march/april)

  • doug says:

    hey Jason – I’m building a berm/cob house in central California in the foothills – the building site is on the bank of a creek – plenty of rocks and decomposing granite to build with as well as manzanita and redbud – I will resume building in the spring and would welcome help

  • John Samarin says:

    Had heart attack and need help building straw bale and cob home. Footings are already dug.

  • Jason says:

    Interested to build in exchange 2 learn

  • Kelly says:

    Sounds great, Thanks!

  • Hello,

    I am interested in building a cob cottage from start to finish. I am curious about the work exchange/work parties program and what this entails. Thank you for your time.


  • HOPE says:

    I have a 3 acre property in TN that I am wanting to make into an off grid community of like minded people. There is enough room for 3 small cob homes or tiny houses, plus room for a goat yard, chickens and plenty of organic garden. If you would enjoy living in community setting in a VERY small town in TN only 1 hour from Knoxville, and you already have some way of supporting yourself while developing the land, please comment with your email..

    • Donna says:

      Hi Hope. My boyfriend and I just put an offer on a house with some land not far from Knoxville as well. We are also looking to do some off grid building. Would love to hear how you are doing with yours. My email address is

    • Hello, my husband Joshua and I, along with our two year old son Jonesy currently live in Athens, TN and are extremely interested and very excited about more information! My husband is a singer / songwriter and I make Artisan Jewelry. We are very unconventional to societies standards as being soul rich is more important to us than material possesions. We have always been interested in cob houses and earthships. We would be interested in helping build and interning, and possibly living long term if the fit is right. We wish to connect with more from our soul’s tribe. Much love to you! My email address is

      • Dale says:

        Hi, Emily,

        If you would consider Alaska, I can connect you with a lot of people who have similar life perspectives. I sent you an email.


  • Amanda says:

    Awesome! Looking forward to meeting you. 🙂

  • Coko Rose says:

    Hi Michael in Puerto Rico,

    Thanks for responding to my post. I will be purchasing the land by the end of 2016, and begin my build Spring/Summer 2017.

    My plan is to build a 1-2 bedroom main house for myself, then 4 separate one-room houses for others to stay and work a small organic farm I want to start. Additionally I will need another 1 room house as a community kitchen for everyone.

    Have you heard of WWOOFing ( I want people to be able to come and stay for periods of time to help and learn. I also want to do cob workshops once I know what I’m doing, but WITHOUT charging a bunch of money!!!

    Have a wonderful day!

  • jason says:

    Hi, I’m from Southern California, if you need labor in exchange please contact me. I’d be willing and happy, thanks.

  • Coko Rose says:

    Hello Everyone,
    I will be purchasing around 5 acres in Grants Pass/Cave Junction, OR area by June 2017. I know, it’s a bit in advance, but I want to have my ducks in a row. I’m a Professional Organizer…I can’t help it! =0)

    I want to build a cob house and am just learning of this whole process. I would like to find someone to facilitate the cob build who knows what they’re doing (getting it to code, etc)…charge others to come help/learn & the facilitator keeps the $$. In my humble opinion, the building/learning sessions are pretty expensive (upwards of $500) and I don’t want to charge that much so more people can show up, learn and help.

    I will be collecting all the necessary items off craigslist freebies in the next 18 months; doors, windows, counters, sinks, fridge, toilets, washer/dryer, etc. I encourage all to add their personal artistic touch to my home – I will also be collecting glass bottles, tiles, whatever to re-purpose and get creative with.

    I have lots of ideas, such as I know I want a self-composting toilet. I would like 3 or 4 single room buildings set away from my house to rent out (airBNB) or use for WWOOFers (I want to have small organic farm with both plants and animals). Any volunteers/helpers would be welcome to camp on my property for up to 6 months with no charge, of course. I would be happy and grateful for the assistance and community!

    I’d also like to knock around ideas with others. Thanks in advance and Happy Cobbing!


    • mike says:

      Hi im from puerto rico if you are going to make this for real i can buy a ticket and get there to work and learn email me for date … or michael

    • Amanda says:

      Hey! We live just a couple hours from grants pass and would love to help out! We don’t have that much experience and can’t direct your project or anything, but we’d be happy to lend a hand. Have you heard of House Alive in Jacksonville? We attended a one day, by donation, condensed workshop there last year. It was great. They are planning on doing a program in the next couple years where you build a cottage step by step there, say one day every couple weeks, so you can go do each step at home on your own cottage between workshops. Anyway, you can email me at or call me at 530-925-2145. The “we” I spoke of is myself, my partner, and my son. We’re in our mid twenties and the kiddo is 4. 🙂

      • Coko Rose says:

        Thanks for responding to my post Amanda. I’d love to have you help out, all 3 of you (or more), I’ll keep you posted.

      • Hope says:

        Is the Jacksonville you speak of in Florida? If so, please send me more info. I came to visit my daughter in Fl and would love to cgeck it out while here.

    • Kelly says:

      Hey! I just left Cave Junction and am trying to move to Eugene. My Schedule can be a bit wonky, but I’m really intrigued by everything you are doing (my goals as well) I would love to be able to help in building at least. Please keep me posted!!! I’ve only done one workshop a few years ago, but i have able and willing hands and feet!

  • Hello Niecy!
    There is a group in Atlanta that seems to always have some cob projects going on. The woman who started the group, Aviva, is an amazing woman with a lot of skill and experience building with cob. The facebook page is:
    It’s a closed group, so you would have to send a private message first expressing your interest.
    If you are looking for something more long term, we will be hosting three or four apprentices starting in the spring of 2016 at our building school in Central Kentucky, Disputanta Cob. Please see our website or call me should you desire more information.
    Diane Jennnings

  • shawnee says:

    My name is Shawnee and
    I live in Florida and am interested in helping for experiance.