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.


  • George abbott says:

    Our family is starting the journey towards more sustainable way of life and we have chosen cob as the medium for the house we want to build. We want to find the “cob community” in the north east of the usa. Would love to learn and help with someone’s build. thank you

  • Eric says:

    I’m a multimedia artist with a science background and experience in DIY. I want to build a community of cob/straw bale houses, but first, I need to learn and build my own little tiny cob home.

    I’d love to learn and work with someone who has a project/various experience with natural materials/off gridding electric/plumbing. Open to building anything that would also be buildable in the Northeast climate.

    Besides the manual labor, I make beautiful things for a living and will sculpt and invent interesting projects with you.

    ejbrief (at) gmail (dot) com

    • Dale says:

      Hi, Eric,

      We have been building with cob, strawbales, earthbags, PAHS, and other natural building methodologies in Alaska for several years. We are also well-connected with a significant community of other natural builders. That’s a long distance from the Northeast US, but you’d be welcome to visit, or help. We’d also be very willing to just chat and answer questions. If you do decide to visit, we can introduce you to some builders. One of these is a huge project for an intentional community of about 70 people, where they have done a lot of research and experimentation.

      Let me know if we can help.
      sbtmp1 (at) shamansweb (dot) com

    • Lynda says:

      Hi Eric,
      I am interested in your plans on the community you mentioned earlier. I am looking to have hands-on experience with cob and straw bale and am eager to use creativity in the process.
      Feel free to reach out if you need assistance with any of your building projects!

  • Anthony says:

    I am interested in connecting and hosting volunteers who are skilled in cob building and eco stays. My project is in Kenya and it involves a permanent school and farm for educational purposes as well as vacation. The project will include a permanent cob kitchen centered around cob buildings for accommodations. Any links to potential volunteers or professionals who could assist is appreciated. For professionals including some volunteers we are open to talk business as well. Our projected start is winter 2019. Thank you.


    Anthony Njigua

  • We are still looking for 1 or 2 more people for a work exchange for our upcoming workshop, Sept. 1-5, 2018. We are located 15 minutes outside the town of Berea, KY. Our building school has a mix of completed projects, work in progress, and a new project starting September 1, 2018. As a work trade you would learn from existing features like a cob oven, solar powered lighting, sculptures that include a 20 foot long dragon and a 15 foot mermaid, geo thermal solar air conditioning, and more. The trade is four days, August 27th through the 30th. Friday is our day off. Then you will attend the workshop, tuition free. Please contact me at: dianejennings (at) disputantacob (dot) com or call (606) 256-8954 for more particulars. More details about the workshop can be found at disputantacob (dot) com.

  • brian murray says:

    Hi do you have any contacts in Thailand that do cob workshops !!!

  • Trevor Racine says:

    I would like to volunteer/contribute and learn from a cob home project. My expertise is in the HVAC industry specializing in hydronic Heating more specifically geothermal hydronic heating and cooling. I have been in the building industry for most of my life and have experience in most of the common building techniques. I see the flaws in the current building industry and would like to learn an alternate building techniques such as cob. I would hope to attend a project between November and March 2018 but may be able to make something else work. I hope to hear from you soon, thanks!


    • Lori says:

      Hi Trevor!
      My family and I have been working on our various cob projects for the past 4 years. We live in Northwest Alabama. Where are you? We are discussing geothermal for our future cob dream house. It would be great to have someone onsite to consult for future planning. You are welcome to come and stay with us for a bit. We can show you how to work with cob , and we have a school bus you can camp out in. – Lori

  • Robert Topping says:

    I’m interested in attending a cob workshop, specifically one that pertains to building in the desert. I’m out in the southern california mojave, near joshua tree. Would love to build a cob house myself in the next 2 years. Will take all the knowledge and experience there is! Thanks!

    • Nicodemus says:

      Hello Robert. I’m in Sacramento and just completed a three day course in building with cob. I’m still building my skill set and visioning my plans but would love to connect and learn more about your goals as well. Thanks for considering!

  • Labor Day Apprenticeship Opportunity in South-Central Kentucky

    The fall schedule is a three week program, starting on August 27, 2018 and ending on Friday, September 14, 2018. The week prior to the workshop will be preparing for it, and learning some basic presentation and organizational skills to get you ready to lead your own workshop. The last week will be finishing up the Tadelakt plaster in the bath house, and tidying up around the building school.

    September 1st through 5th is our most popular workshop, “From the Ground Up with Cob,” that you would attend tuition free, and likely deliver a lecture. The apprenticeship is organized as a work trade. We offer a myriad of natural building and instructor skills, and free registration for the workshop in exchange for help with the less romantic, brush clearing, and clean up jobs.

    Contact Diane Jennings at 606-256-8954 or for more information.

  • Ankita Gandhi says:

    Hi! My name is Ankita Gandhi and I am Master of Architecture student at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Savannah, GA. I’m looking at doing a summer internship/volunteer for about 2 -3 weeks this july. I also have previous volunteering experience from Dharmalaya – an institute for compassionate living, located in Himachal Pradesh, India. This volunteering experience includes the construction of a dormitory using adobes, organic farming and community service.
    I have also completed two construction workshops ; Arches, Vaults and domes at the Auroville Earth Institute and Bamboo furniture construction at the Auroville Bamboo Centre.
    I would love to contribute to a sustainable project with my skills and expertise. Kindly let me know if you have a work exchange/living opportunities for me. Looking forward to hearing from you.

    • Dale says:

      Hi, Ankita,
      If you are interested in exploring natural and sustainable building in cold weather climates, we have a project in Alaska that you could consider. We are also well connected with several other projects in our area. One is a large 25+ year old sustainable intentional community that works on some large and innovative building projects. Cold climate projects present unique challenges and great learning opportunities.

      If this appeals to you and you are available next summer, let me know.

  • Jason says:

    Hello. I was wondering if there were any opportunities in 2018 for work exchange/living or if this program was still available? I have a round experience in construction, plumbing, gardening, electricity and a desire to learn more about alternative building. Look forward to hearing back. Thank you

    • Good Morning Jason!
      We had a last minute cancellation of one of work exchange folks, and need someone for a work trade this coming week in exchange for the work shop tuition the following week. (The work shop would be free for you.) Please email me at and I will send you a complete description and list of tasks for the work trade. For details about the workshop, see our web site at My cell is 606-256-8954 We are in a pretty remote location, so please leave a voice message if you contact me that way.
      Best ~ Diane Jennings
      Disputanta Cob

  • We are looking for a few people interested in a work trade for our June workshop, “From the Ground Up with Cob.” The work trade would be the week before the workshop. Please email me at if interested. And see our website, for more information about the workshop.
    ~ Diane Jennings

  • Patricia says:

    Hello, I live in Rhode Island and would like to attend a workshop or help out building a cob house so that I can learn how to do it. I can travel a bit if necessary (Northeast region mostly). Thank you.

    • Patricia,

      We are having a workshop June 11-16, 2018 at Disputanta Cob. You could either register for the workshop, or we are looking for a few people to do a work exchange. The work trade would be the week proceeding the workshop in exchange for attending the following week tuition free.

      Please email me at if you are interested in getting more information about this opportunity. You can learn more about the workshop at

      Regards ~ Diane Jennings

  • Rhiannon Leslie Weber says:

    I am looking at buying a property in Clearwater FL and building a cob house. I have never done anything like this however and I’d like to get some hands on experience helping someone else build theirs and I’d also like to make some contacts of people who’d like to come and help me when the time comes around 🙂 Anyone got any projects going on in say June or possibly July that I could come help on?

  • Dillon Lowery says:

    Hey, I would love to get some hands on experience with cob and help construct some kind of home, or larger structure. I live in the Charlotte area of North Carolina!

  • Crystal Wilson says:

    I’m from Troy, Michigan and I’m definitely looking to help someone build their own cob house. I’m also opened to coming to Ohio as well. If further away, just let me know ahead of time so I can try and plan for that. I want to build my own home one day, so all experience is needed and appreciated.
    Thanks all!

  • Charity says:

    Interested in work exchange in Missouri for cob building.

  • Elise says:

    Hello! I am from Atlanta Georgia and I would love to join a workshop or help people who are creating their own cob house, because I want to build my own soon and need as much wisdom as I can get! If you’re building around the South East this summer, please let me know and I’d love to talk to you more about coming to help! Or if you know of any workshops around my area, that would be so appreciated.

    Thank you so much!

    • Darren says:

      Hey posting this because I am looking to do the same and am in Jacksonville. So looking for a build to help with in the South East this spring or early summer. If you know of anything or find anything let me know. Thanks!

      • Debbie says:

        Look up desputana cob, she (Diane Jennings) is just outside Berea Kentucky and she does work shops from May till August or September.

        • We are planning an amazing, all hands on build/workshop in June including foundation, cob walls, cob sculptures, cob shower… Yes! I said cob shower. So we will be learning Tadelakt, an ancient Moroccan method for waterproofing cob. It works! We have already completed the cob hot tub with this finishing method. We will also be setting windows and doors, putting a roof on a cob structure, building an adobe(cob) floor, and wiring the building for solar. Call for more information! Diane 606-256-8954

        • Diane Jennnings says:

          And our web site is
          Here’s to mud in yer eye!!

  • jascha says:

    Hey Folks,
    im looking for natural building projects in EUROPE.
    Im a carpenter and civil engeneer with experience in cob building, strawbale, earthbags, ovens, composttoilets, plastering. If u have a project in europe, let me know, i would love to help!

  • Casey Leppert says:

    I am looking to get a group of people together to build an earthen structure on my property. I am in the process of creating a homestead. I will be using this structure as my garden workshop and studio space. I plan to not only grow a garden to supply food for my family but also to give fresh food to those in need in my area . I want to live a more natural and humble lifestyle as God intended and this is part of the process. I have very limited experience but I’m willing to put in the work and a few helpers would go a long way. I have an amazing little piece of property and I want to use this earth that God has blessed me with.

  • James Toye says:

    I’m helping organize volunteer work parties this spring and summer at the Seneca Treehouse in South Carolina, near Clemson University. There is an 18′ diameter earthbag dome that was constructed several years ago, we’ll be finishing the exterior and interior this year. We also have several other natural building projects we’ll be starting this spring as part of a half acre demonstration site.
    Contact me via email if you would like to get more info on upcoming volunteer work parties

  • Linda Frost says:

    I am looking to work with others in building cobb houses so I, in turn, can build my own in New Mexico. I am from Connecticut. I teach Pilates etc.
    My timeline is to set out in April to a location where there is a Cobb building project.
    I plan on driving to this destination based on expenses.
    I look forward to hearing from the community.
    203 724-7875

  • Vanessa says:

    I’m interested in attending a cob workshop, specifically one that pertains to building in the desert. I’m out in the southern california mojave, near joshua tree. Would love to build a cob house myself in the next 2 years. Will take all the knowledge and experience there is! Thanks!

  • Josh Geiger says:


    My name is Josh Geiger. I am networking to find opportunities to offer my services as a skilled carpenter and builder in exchange for learning techniques in natural building. We are sending letters out to 20 or so natural builders around the country and are scheduling our 2018 building tour now. We have much to organize including temporary rentals so a prompt response is much appreciated.

    I would love to send you my cover letter and resume upon your response (need to attach in email).

    Please check out my building portfolio on Flickr.

    Thanks so much for your work and for your time.

    • Dale says:

      Hi, Josh,

      Are you interested in coming to Alaska? In addition to our own project (earthbag, strawbale, earthen roof, earthen floor, natural plaster, home milled lumber, rocket mass heater, composting toilet, and more), we can probably connect you with several other local projects that are using a variety of natural building methods. Some of these are very large and extremely well-equipped. Others are small and doing things simply. This could give you a good exposure to the possibilities of what can be done with financial resources, and with creative resources.

  • Kailey says:

    Hello, I’m a 32 year old woman living in the South Okanagan of BC, Canada. I am interested in building a sustainable home in my future. I would like to help someone with their build in exchange for knowledge. I would consider travelling outside the South Okanagan valley, or possibly temporarily relocating if the project requirements were a good fit. Please let me know if you have something going on and could use some help. Thank you, kindly.

  • Cyntia says:

    Currently seeking a work exchange program, in natural building, preferably cob housing or sustainable living. Thank you for your consideration.

  • Terri says:

    I am currently wwoofing in Colorado. I am very interested in a work exchange learning cobb building.

  • Cynthia Stephens says:

    I am looking for a Cobb work shop. I live in Georgia. I am so excited about learning. Does anyone know of an up coming class?

    • Debbie says:

      I don’t now but there will be one in Kentucky I think in May or June. Diane Jennings at desputana cob usually has a few work shops between May and September. You can see her web page at the above.

    • Michelle Fry says:

      Wish I saw this sooner! I’m a novice but I just hosted a cob memorial bench build in Dunwoody I would have loved to invite you to. If you’d like to help plaster it with me you are welcome to join-starting next week!

  • Anita Hollman says:

    Hello. I’m Anita and Seeking natural and conventional contractor for house build in Minneapolis, MN.


  • Lorena says:

    Id like to see cob homes in my area and attend a workshop close to Atlanta. Ill check your site too!

  • We are looking for one or two more folks to help out the week before our Labor Day workshop, “From the Ground Up with Cob.” This work trade is for five days of work in exchange for attending the workshop free. We are located in Central KY, close to the town of Berea. Please call Diane for more information at 606-256-8954. And see our website for more details about the workshop.

  • Kimberly Fizdale says:

    I am planning on building a cob house in Ithaca NY. Do you know of ant cob workshops in the area?

  • Our most popular workshop, “From the Ground Up with Cob,” is May 15-19, 2017. We still have a few spots available and are offering $100 off as a Last Minute Special. As much as is reasonably possible, we try to prepare you to be able to build your own cob home after attending a week long workshop with us. Please see our website for more information.

  • bearfoot says:

    Hello all!
    In addition to our 3 month apprenticeship program we also offer work exchange/volunteer opportunities at our new location in Costa Rica. For more detailed information please see our website at!

  • We are looking for some folks very serious about learning to build and teach cob building. This work trade / apprenticeship opportunity is at the Disputanta Cob building school in Central, KY. 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 week before, and clean up the week after.

    You will also learn how to get ready for a workshop, gather materials, presentation skills, how to organize you natural building business, and other interpersonal skills such as, “How to Handle Difficult Situations with Tact and Diplomacy.” Not only will you learn to build your own home with cob and a natural rock foundation, you will gain the knowledge and skill to host and teach a workshop yourself.

    “From the Ground Up with Cob,” workshop is May 15-19, 2017, 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

  • Wanda says:

    I am also moving that way…close to bama. Very interested in cob building course…simple home grown living….minimalist. I prefer way north bama…Chattanooga TN or Rome GA
    I’m Wanda.

  • Jameson Knight says:

    Hi everyone, I’m looking for any cob or natural building opportunities in Florida or SE USA up til June, maybe later. Does anyone know of any internships, workshops, work exchange or apprenticeships. I also may be going back to New England in June, anyone know whats going on up there?
    Thank you

  • Jeremy says:

    We are located in NW Alabama and will be hosting a cob building collective over Memorial Day weekend. We will provide primitive camping sites, outdoor showers, composting toilets, food and live music. We are not cob experts, but we do have experience and a large project underway. We will be doing cob, strawbale, and cord wood projects over the weekend and are seeking others who would like to take part. Please email me ( if interested. His is an operating family homestead, so only respectful like minded folks need apply. Hope to see you there!

    • Alice says:

      I live in east central AL and I’m hoping to build a cob cottage in the next year. I would love some hands on experience. Let me know if you are doing another build anytime soon.

      • Hi Alice,
        We are looking for one or two more people for a work trade in exchange for attending our most popular workshop, “From the Ground Up with Cob,” for free. The work shop is Sept. 1st through 5th. Please give me a call if you are interested. 606-256-8954
        Our website is
        ~ Diane Jennings

  • Michelle says:

    Hey all I live in Alabama and was wondering if there are any nearby natural building courses. Also am very interested in permaculture design if anyone can help point me in the correct direction to further educate myself. Thank you 🙂

    • Jeremy says:

      See my post above yours. We can help!

    • Hi Michelle,
      We are looking for some work trades for our May 15-19th, “From the Ground Up with Cob,” workshop. It is a mini apprenticeship for three weeks, starting the week before the workshop, continuing through the workshop, and another week after. Please call or contact me through our contact us form on the website if you are interested and would like more information about the opportunity.
      Diane ~ 606-256-8954

  • Tobias Roberts says:

    Hey everyone: We´re going to be building a number of small cob cabins for a community eco-tourism project in the mountains of El Salvador. We´re looking for a couple motivated long-term volunteers. If you´re interested, send us a message at:

    • Curtis Carnet says:

      Good evening Tobias,
      Wow! Sounds like a great opportunity. What are the specifics: out of pocket money / expenses, schedules / itineraries, ect… today is the 18th, have I missed the boat?


  • Linda says:

    Do you allow people to host a workshop on their land in exchange for the attendees building them a house or partial house?
    Do you only do it in Oregon or can u do it in AZ?


  • Linda says:

    I would like to know if there are still people out there that will train people to build you a cob or straw bale house on your lot if you feed everyone and let them camp on your lot.

    • doug mackenzie says:

      i live in the foothills of the sierra nevada in central california and am building a berm/mud house on the edge of a creek in the woods; it is winter now so it’s too cold to camp; i’d be happy to show you how to build with mud and stone come spring and i would welcome the help; call for more info; 559-855-4899

    • Jeremy says:

      If you still are interested, see my post at the top!

    • Anita Hollman says:

      I wanted to do that. But Minneapolis does not allow this. If I build like 2 small sheds, and people can sleep in them , while we build the house, zoning won’t find out?

  • Angie Young says:

    I am hoping to find a teacher and or workshop down in Todos Santos, Baja California this winter. I would love to learn the process, and gain the skills. I do have an acre in Todos, and would be more than grateful to host a teacher and the work party. Thank you,
    Angie Young

  • Spencer says:

    Currently seeking a work exchange program, in natural building, preferably cob housing or sustainable living.

    • Spencer,
      Are you still looking for a work exchange? We are looking for one or two more people for a work trade in exchange for attending our most popular workshop, “From the Ground Up with Cob,” for free. The work shop is Sept. 1st through 5th.
      Please give me a call if you are interested. 606-256-8954
      Our website is
      ~ Diane Jennings

  • Mud Builders of Atlanta have cob projects frequently. They are on facebook at

  • desi says:

    hi all! I live in Northern Mississippi but am willing to travel. My son and I are interested in learning to build with cob. Thank you!

  • Lola Ben-Alon says:

    Hi guys, I’m an architecture students, with some experience in earth-bag building and gardening.
    I’m looking for any kind of natural building experience, I’m with my husband and together we make a great team of four working hands!
    Anything around the US will be fine.
    I’m available between Dec 15th – Jan 15th
    and June-September.
    Thank you!!!

  • Maud says:

    Hi Folks,
    I am seeking a work trade for any type of natural building experience. I am fit and eager to learn, seeking opportunities in California (perhaps Oregon). Please let me know!

    Thanks, much love!

  • Julene McGaw says:


    I am very interested in learning more about both permaculture and cob workshops. Please Email me more info!

    Thank you,

  • Jessica says:

    Hi there,
    Our family is doing a small project soon on Whidbey Island, just a few weekends of clay plastering. If it seemed like it would be a good fit for all of us you could stay at our farm on those weekends. You can email me at

  • Todd Hymel says:

    I live in Seattle and am willing to work on a natural building project. I’m portable and have my own van to live in while working.