Friday, February 7, 2014

Milkweed Mercantile Eco Inn Seeks Work Exchangers for Construction, Canning & More!

Milkweed Mercantile GENERAL Work Exchange
April 8 – October 31,  2014
(3 month minimum commitment requested)
Here's your opportunity to spend the summer at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage while learning about sustainablility and honing your cooking/building/innkeeping/life skills at the same time!
In 2014 the Milkweed Mercantile is offering two types of work exchange. Click on this link for information on Culinary Assistant and Baker positions. Keep reading for more on our General Work Exchange position, the other work exchange positions which require just as much enthusiasm and professionalism but fewer hard skills, which we are happy to teach! 


Become an integral part of the Milkweed Mercantile, a strawbale, solar & wind-powered Eco Inn and Organic Café located at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. You will have a huge impact upon the lives of our guests, plus have the opportunity to learn more about sustainable living and, of course, yourself. Guests often tell us that we have changed their lives.



THE POSITION
  • There is so much to be done! We need folks to be willing to help in two or more areas: 
    • the cafe/kitchen (including food preservation & canning)
    • the store
    • the bar
    • the inn
    • construction & maintenance
    • social media & communications 
    • DOGtoberfest, a fundraising event we are hosting on September 20, 2014 (the website is still being completed) 
  • Our goal is to match the tasks needing to be done with the passions and skills of the wexers. We want you to be happy, and we want to Mercantile to run smoothly. Sometimes, though, the work just has to be done. For example, we have yet to meet the person who would rather wash dishes than anything else on earth. As a result, we ALL take turns with the dishes. However, should you find that you abhor construction or despise pie making, we will do everything in our power to fill your time with more good stuff than "bad."
  • The job entails working 35 hours a week; your schedule will involve early mornings and/or late evenings. As our business opens early and doesn't close until late, weird hours are not optional. Additionally, we often get up early in the summer to do outdoor tasks (building, gardening) when it is cooler.
  • Your hours will primarily focus on the weekends, and may involve split shifts. Your days off will most likely be Tuesday and Wednesday.
  • We all wear a number of hats here at the Mercantile - you will most likely not work full-time in one area, but instead split your time between two or three (for example kitchen and construction, gardening and canning). We all work together and help each other; if a Mercantile staffer is in a jam, we all contribute to taking care of whatever needs to be done!
  • The ideal candidate will be responsible, flexible, hard-working, easy-going, open to communication, somewhat extroverted, friendly and a good listener. We encourage you to be open to new people and experiences. You will gain experience in interacting positively with people who might not have the same world view as you while at the same time be living among "kindred spirits.
  • While here you will have the opportunity to live as Rabbits do, and participate in (or observe, as appropriate) all aspects of our lives, including dance parties, pot lucks, music, conversations, seminars, yoga, nature walks, swimming in the pond, and much, much more.

Kurt working with reclaimed lumber during construction of the Mercantile.
A FEW DETAILS ABOUT WHAT THE JOB ENTAILS

  • Construction - This season we are building a small "honeymoon" cottage for guests. Kurt, a carpenter, cabinet maker and general contractor will be teaching the crew how to build from the foundation to the roof - this is a true apprenticeship. Plumbing for the hot tub and outdoor shower, and electrical are included in the building. Unlike the strawbale Mercantile, the cottage will be built of more conventional (but green) materials. The skills gleaned from this project will enable you to build just about anything. Work Exchangers who are interested in construction can expect to spend approximately 50% of their work hours doing/learning about construction and assisting Kurt with upkeep and maintenance of the strawbale Mercantile building.

A few of the goodies from the Mrs. Milkweed's Kitchen line, which you'll help create, package and sell (and eat)!

  • Cafe & Kitchen
    • Help with meals for guests (we will teach you what you need to know!), working with fresh local produce, sustainably produced meat, bakery & pastry items, etc.
    • Dish-washing
    • Assist as we try to keep up with demand of jams, pickles and chutneys in the Mrs. Milkweed's Kitchen line (above). You'll become an expert at canning techniques plus learn how to make jam, pickles and more.
    • Help maintain an accurate food inventory
    • Keep kitchen spotless and organized
    • Help organize and run canning workshops
    • Interact with guests to ensure their food needs are being met, and more!

 Kurt, Alline and some of 2012's interns and work exchangers.

  • Innkeeping - Work with Josi and Alline as we create an atmosphere that demonstrates the very best of Dancing Rabbit. Tasks may include:
    • dining with guests
    • cleaning
    • giving tours
    • answering lots of questions
    • sharing your story
    • helping guests check in and check out
    • helping guests with store purchases
Friends hanging out at the bar  (at last count - 32 kinds of beer)
  • Bar/Pub - You must be 21 or over to work in the bar. We need help with keeping our inventory, re-stocking the cooler and shelves, creating food/beer pairings, keeping the bar area spotless, interacting with guests, more!
  • Store - You will help keep the store clean and organized, help with inventory and ordering, work with display and merchandising, help folks find what they're looking for, and more.
 

  • DOGtoberfest at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage - think Oktoberfest (beer, brats, music and fun) all to benefit shelter, rescue and low-cost spay/neuter organizations in the area. We need help with social media, contacting sponsors, publicity, planning, and everything else to make this inaugural event a success.
One of the Mercantile's Canning Workshops

 
Every Thursday is Pizza Night! The crust on our pizzas is made from scratch and are topped with homemade mozzarella and fresh herbs. Yum!
EXPERIENCE & SKILLS NEEDED
  • Eagerness to assume responsibility
  • Interest in sustainability, local and organic dining, and what is happening here at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage
  • Self-starting initiative and exquisite attention to detail
  • Comfort interacting with the public, including children
  • Willingness to communicate and work through interpersonal conflict
  • Comfort with “specialty” diets – vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, etc. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, you must be willing to cook and serve meat.
  • You must be at least 21 (for serving alcohol)
  • Three month (minimum) availability
WHAT WE PAY FOR/COVER:
  • Food - All of your meals are covered. You will participate in the Mercantile staff food cooperative, which means you will be part of a rotating team of cooks. Food will be largely local and whole-foods based. Soda and alcohol are not included but may be purchased.
A typical tent platform
  • Accommodations - Tenting platform is provided, you provide the tent (and sleeping bag, sleeping pad, rain tarp, etc.).
  • Your fees for use of the Community Building (primarily for social space and library). Mercantile interns may use the Mercantile showers, wifi and composting toilets.
  • Transportation: If you come to Dancing Rabbit by train or bus, we’ll pick you up at the nearest station (Quincy, IL; La Plata, MO; Ottumwa, IA) at no cost to you. Other travel to Dancing Rabbit and travel during your stay is at your expense.
  • Gratuities – A share of pooled tips.
  • Stipend – After completion of the first month wexers will receive a stipend of $50 per month.

YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR:
  • Work – approximately 35 hours a week, plus cook shifts with our eating cooperative (usually one lunch and dinner each week)
  • Additional responsibilities – Community rotational duties which are shared by all members of the community. Included are Common House clean, humanure, Common House firewood.
  • Communication - if there is an issue, we all do our best to take ownership and communicate!
  • Gear - Tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, etc, appropriate clothing (details to be sent after you are accepted for the position).
  • Transportation: If you come to Dancing Rabbit by train or bus, we’ll pick you up at the nearest station (Quincy, IL; La Plata, MO; Ottumwa, IA) at no cost to you. Other travel to Dancing Rabbit and travel during your stay is at your expense.

The Milkweed Mercantile is a privately owned business created by Dancing Rabbit members Alline and Kurt. Designed as a bridge between the ecovillage and the wider community, the Mercantile provides delicious local and seasonal meals, comfortable rooms at reasonable rates, a family-friendly pub, and a variety of seminars. The Mercantile serves as a living demonstration of the comfort and beauty of sustainability, and is quickly becoming a social hub of the community.

To apply or to ask questions please email alline at milkweedmercantile dot com. PLEASE put "work exchange" in the subject line to keep your email from ending up in the spam file. 

About the Milkweed Mercantile staff:
Kurt Kessner and Alline Anderson arrived at Dancing Rabbit in June 1999. After building a house they launched the next part of their Dancing Rabbit Dream – the Milkweed Mercantile. Inspired to build the Mercantile as a way to support themselves and to help Dancing Rabbit grow, construction began in 2007. The Inn opened in April 2010.
  
Alline, with a background in customer service and retail (but whose all-time favorite job remains camp counselor) manages the day to day operations of the Mercantile. Inspired by fabulous ingredients, she takes great joy in feeding, hosting and nurturing others. She never met a baked good that she didn’t like, and is enjoying learning more about foraged foods. In her spare time she reads fanatically, hangs out with Kurt, and is thinking about entering a 12-step program for Dr. Pepper.

Kurt is the easy-going designer/carpenter/contractor responsible for the physical manifestation of the Milkweed Mercantile. Trained as a carpenter as well as a marriage and family counselor, he is happiest when he is building something or teaching someone else how to build something. He also enjoys a great beer, great food and great conversation. He is delighted to spend time at the Mercantile, where all three are in plentiful supply.



Nik Garvoille (left) arrived as a Work Exchanger in the summer of 2013. When we found out how talented he is, we offered him a ten-day Artist in Residence position. Nik also does all of our graphic design. In 2014 Nik will transition from being a wexer to actually getting paid. He is our main breakfast cook, co-creator of our Farm to Fork dinners and Pie Man extraordinaire.











 Mae Ferber, (right) one of the "Pizza Bellas," is a big part of what makes our pizza nights so great! When she's not playing with dough and cheese at the Mercantile, you can find her out at the Critter Collective with her partner Ben, daughter Althea, goats, two million ducks, several hundred chickens and a miniature donkey.


Katherine Hanson, the other half of the "Pizza Bellas," arrived to participate in one of Dancing Rabbit's visitor sessions and never left! After wexing for a year, she became the Mercantile's first paid staffer. She constructs a mean pizza, is part of the Critter Collective, and if you need a party thrown, Katherine is the co for the job!
 









 


 Josi Neilsen (right), our innkeeper, came to Dancing Rabbit last summer to attend the five-week EcovillageEducation course (she is shown here applying natural plaster to a wall). Fortunately for us, she fell in love with the place and accepted our invitation to join the staff. Her business acumen, superb organizational skills and love of Dancing Rabbit all make her a perfect fit as our innkeeper!
  




Please explore http://milkweedmercantile.com  before applying. Additional photos may be viewed here: Milkweed Mercantile Flickr.

TO APPLY or to ask questions please email alline at milkweedmercantile dot com. PLEASE put "work exchange" in the subject line to keep your email from ending up in the spam file.

Saturday Lunch service at the Mercantile


The Mercantile provides meals for seminars held at Dancing Rabbit. 
Above: buffet lunch awaits participants (open kitchen in background). 
Below: seminar participants relaxing after lunch.



A birthday party for folks from the wider community.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Milkweed Mercantile Eco Inn Seeks Culinary Assistant & Baker

Milkweed Mercantile Organic Cafe Internship
Culinary Assistant and Baker
April 8 – October 31,  2014
Become an integral part of the Milkweed Mercantile, a strawbale, solar & wind-powered Eco Inn and Organic Café located at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. You will have a huge impact upon the lives of our guests, plus have the opportunity to learn more about sustainable living and, of course, yourself.

The Milkweed Mercantile is a privately owned business created by Dancing Rabbit members Alline and Kurt. Designed as a bridge between the ecovillage and the wider community, the Mercantile provides delicious local and seasonal meals, comfortable rooms at reasonable rates, and sustainability seminars. The Mercantile serves as a living demonstration of the comfort and beauty of sustainability, and is quickly becoming the social hub of the community.

To apply or to ask questions please email alline at milkweedmercantile.dot com. PLEASE put "internship" in the subject line to keep your email from ending up in the spam file.

Mini cupcakes decorated with wild violets.
BASIC INFO
  • The Milkweed Mercantile Eco Inn serves meals to seminar/workshop participants, pizza every Thursday, lunch on Saturday when Dancing Rabbit gives public tours, and brunch on Sunday. We also provide a steady stream of baked goods to keep everyone happy.
  • The design of our kitchen is open, which means that guests will engage you in conversation (see photos). If you are a confirmed introvert this position may not be for you.
  • The menu and recipes have been created by (Mercantile owner) Alline – your creativity is welcome but all changes must be pre-approved.
  • Successful applicants do not have to have specific cook experience already, as we will train you to prepare and serve meals in our style. HOWEVER you must be comfortable in a commercial kitchen and be ready to eventually take on full responsibility of breakfast service.
  • Our goal: the smooth running of the Mercantile while conveying the eco-ethic of Dancing Rabbit and its members AND making sure our guests are comfortable, well-fed, and treated respectfully.
  • No housing is provided – most work exchangers/interns camp. However, you will have access to all Mercantile amenities – wifi, showers, toilets, hang-out space. Your meals will be eaten with the Mercantile staff eating cooperative. You will have the opportunity to participate in all aspects of life at Dancing Rabbit, including social events, potlucks, swimming in the ponds, learning new communication skills, rotational chores, and much, much more. Plus, you’ll eat really, really well.
One of the Mercantile's Canning Workshops

JOB RESPONSIBILITIES
  • You will assist in planning and preparing delicious meals for guests – on time, with fresh local organic ingredients, in keeping with Mercantile standards and in accordance to dietary needs of guests.
  • Assist in preparing baked goods – biscuits, muffins, cinnamon rolls, cookies, cakes, pies – to be served at the Mercantile.
  • Assist in preparing and preserving jams, jellies and pickled vegetables that will be sold at the Mercantile.
  • Maintain a clean, neat, sanitary and orderly kitchen.
  • Keep an accurate kitchen inventory and ensure that all necessary ingredients are in stock.
  • The job entails working 35 hours a week; your schedule will involve early mornings and/or late evenings.
  • Your hours will primarily focus on the weekends, and may involve split shifts. Your days off will most likely be Tuesday and Wednesday.
 
Every Thursday is Pizza Night! The crust on our pizzas is made from scratch and are topped with homemade mozzarella and fresh herbs. Yum!
EXPERIENCE & SKILLS NEEDED
  • Some restaurant/café cooking or baking experience, and comfort in a commercial kitchen.
  • Comfort with “specialty” diets – vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, etc. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, you must be willing to cook and serve meat.
  • Professional kitchen skills, including knife skills and kitchen sanitation knowledge
  • Eagerness to assume responsibility
  • Interest in sustainability, local and organic dining, and what is happening here at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage
  • Self-starting initiative and exquisite attention to detail
  • Comfort interacting with the public, including children
  • Willingness to communicate and work through interpersonal conflict
  • You must be at least 21 (for serving alcohol)
  • Three month (minimum) availability

ADDITIONAL DUTIES/LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES WILL INCLUDE: 
  • Helping with ANY food-related project, including: seasonal (ingredient-driven) menu planning and food prep; menu planning and food prep for special diets (i.e. celiac/gluten free, lactose intolerant, etc.) and events; vegan cooking and baking techniques; preserving foods by canning and fermenting; working with yeast doughs and baked goods; making butter, sour cream, ice cream; meat grilling and barbeque; much more…
  • Washing dishes, pots and pans
  • Keeping the kitchen spotless
  • Working with local farmers, gardeners, beekeepers and other food producers
  • Foraging for wild seasonal ingredients
  • Waiting/busing tables
  • Menu planning
  
WHAT WE PAY FOR/COVER:
Food - All of your meals are covered. You will participate in the Mercantile staff food cooperative, which means you will be part of a rotating team of cooks. Food will be largely local and whole-foods based. Soda and alcohol are not included but may be purchased.

Accommodations - Tenting platform provided, you provide the tent (and sleeping bag, sleeping pad, etc.).
Your fees for use of the Community Building (primarily for social space and library). Mercantile interns may use the Mercantile showers, wifi and composting toilets.
Transportation: If you come to Dancing Rabbit by train or bus, we’ll pick you up at the nearest station (Quincy, IL; La Plata, MO; Ottumwa, IA) at no cost to you. Other travel to Dancing Rabbit and travel during your stay is at your expense.
Gratuities – A share of pooled tips.
Stipend – After completion of the first month interns will receive a stipend of $50 per month.


YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR:
Work – approximately 35 hours a week, plus cook shifts with our eating cooperative (usually one lunch and dinner each week)
Additional responsibilities – Community rotational duties which are shared by all members of the community. Included are Common House clean, humanure, Common House firewood.
Gear - Tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, etc, appropriate clothing (details to be sent after you are accepted for the position).
Transportation: If you come to Dancing Rabbit by train or bus, we’ll pick you up at the nearest station (Quincy, IL; La Plata, MO; Ottumwa, IA) at no cost to you. Other travel to Dancing Rabbit and travel during your stay is at your expense.
 Kurt, Alline and some of 2012's interns and work exchangers.


About the Milkweed Mercantile staff:
Kurt Kessner and Alline Anderson arrived at Dancing Rabbit in June 1999. After building a house they launched the next part of their Dancing Rabbit Dream – the Milkweed Mercantile. Inspired to build the Mercantile as a way to support themselves and to help Dancing Rabbit grow, construction began in 2007. The Inn opened in April 2010.

Alline, with a background in customer service and retail (but whose all-time favorite job remains camp counselor) manages the day to day operations of the Mercantile. Inspired by fabulous ingredients, she takes great joy in feeding, hosting and nurturing others. She never met a baked good that she didn’t like, and is enjoying learning more about foraged foods. In her spare time she reads fanatically, hangs out with Kurt, and is thinking about entering a 12-step program for Dr. Pepper.
Kurt is the easy-going designer/carpenter/contractor responsible for the physical manifestation of the Milkweed Mercantile. Trained, as a carpenter as well as a marriage and family counselor, he is happiest when he is building something or teaching someone else how to build something. He also enjoys a great beer, great food and great conversation. He is delighted to spend time at the Mercantile, where all three are in plentiful supply.

Please explore http://milkweedmercantile.com  before applying. Additional photos may be viewed here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/milkweed/sets/72157603900100835/

TO APPLY or to ask questions please email alline at milkweedmercantile.dot com. PLEASE put "internship" in the subject line to keep your email from ending up in the spam file.
Saturday Lunch service at the Mercantile

Friends hanging out at the bar  (at last count - 32 kinds of beer)

The Mercantile provides meals for seminars held at Dancing Rabbit. 
Above: buffet lunch awaits participants (open kitchen in background). 
Below: seminar participants relaxing after lunch.


t
The Milkweed Mercantile and Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage receive a lot of media attention. 
Here, Mizzou journalism students documenting Alline cooking.
A birthday party for folks from the wider community.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Fearless Canning: A HANDS-ON WORKSHOP - Canning Fruit and Vegetables 2014

$75 per person
Lunch is included
Places are limited; we encourage you to register as soon as possible.





 A Mercantile Canning Workshop - gorgeous heirloom tomatoes and homegrown garlic becoming salsa!

Maybe you got a great deal on a lug of peaches or a flat of juicy ripe strawberries at your farmer's market, or perhaps your first garden is producing TONS of tomatoes and peppers - now what? Join us for a food preservation intensive where you’ll get hands-on experience in an atmosphere where questions are encouraged and confidence gained. With a focus on both safety and flavor, we’ll go step by step from beginning to delicious end.


Alline sent each seminar attendee home with basic canning supplies, a canning book, and freshly canned goodies! The whole experience greatly exceeded my expectations. We had such fun canning and staying at the EcoInn! The canning seminar gave me the knowledge and confidence I needed to can on my own at home.  
~Bobbie, seminar participant


We are offering five different Saturday sessions - which one works best for you?

  • May 17
  • July 19
  • August 16
  • August 30
  • October 18

All seminars run from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m, and include coffee, tea and lunch.




What we start with...






What we finish with!

In our day together we’ll put up something sweet (jam or preserves), savory (salsa and tomato sauce) and tart (pickles) PLUS take time to understand the science behind preserving food safely and flavorfully. Depending upon what is in season, we may make some zucchini relish (surprisingly wonderful!), applesauce or pear sauce, chow chow (fabulous for the name alone) or chutney.

We’ll discuss and demonstrate:

  • Harvesting and procuring the best produce
  • Organic or not – what’s the difference?
  • Alternative sweeteners – are they possible?
  • All about pectin
  • Great recipes for a variety of fruits and vegetables
  • Knife handling
  • Choosing the right jar for the job
  • Sterilizing jars for safety
  • Hot water bath tips (we’ve learned the hard way so that you won’t have to!)
  • The right tools, which make all the difference
We’ll share our favorite recipes and techniques, and everyone will go home with samples, recipes and loads of ideas and inspiration PLUS a few key tools of the trade. You’ll never go back to “store-bought” jam, salsa, tomato sauce and pickles once you’ve made your own!




Summer in a jar!

The workshop will be held in the certified commercial kitchen at the Milkweed Mercantile, a solar-and-wind-powered business at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, and taught by Alline Anderson, Proprietor and Ambassador of Jam at the Milkweed Mercantile.



ALL materials and supplies are provided.


Each seminar participant will receive:

  • Five full hours of instruction (with an hour for lunch)
  • A delicious lunch
  • Supplies to take home: Canning Handbook and your own jar lifters  ($24 value, included in class fee)
  • Recipes and ideas
  • Samples of canned food made during the class to take home and share

TO REGISTER: Please send an email to alline@milkweedmercantile.com and let us know which class you'd like to attend. You may then give us a call (660-883-5522) with a credit card number, or mail a check to:
 

Milkweed Mercantile
3 Dancing Rabbit Lane
Rutledge,  MO 63563 


If you mail a check, please be sure to indicate which class you'll be attending.

A place in a class is not guaranteed until we receive payment.


The Fine Print:
Payment for the seminar and your accommodations is due upon registration. We accept VISA, MasterCard, cash and personal checks. Read our Deposit/Cancellation/Refund Policy here. For questions, please call 660-883-5522. If we don't answer, please leave a message. We'll call you right back!

Please leave your pets at home 
Pets (except for seeing-eye dogs and other service dogs) are not allowed at any Milkweed Mercantile Seminars. While we do have a pet-friendly guest room, pets are not allowed to be unattended in any of our rooms, and while attending a seminar you will be unable to care for your pet. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

Travel to the Milkweed Mercantile 
Our seminar prices do not include travel to and from the Milkweed Mercantile.  For directions, train, airport and rental car information, click here.


Seminars Canceled or Changed by the Milkweed Mercantile 
On very rare occasions, we must cancel or change seminars. If this occurs, our responsibility is limited to a refund of any trip fees you've already paid. The Milkweed Mercantile is not responsible for airline tickets, other tickets or payments, or any similar fee penalties that you may incur as a result of any trip cancellations or changes.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

2014 Artist in Residence Program - The Milkweed Mercantile at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage

DEADLINE EXTENDED TO MONDAY, MARCH 31st! Get your application in NOW!



The Milkweed Mercantile is delighted to announce our second annual Artist In Residence Program at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. This residency offers visual artists the opportunity to pursue their artistic discipline while being surrounded by the inspiring landscape, people and mission of Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. Visual artists will create art, participate in the life of the village, and share his/her skills with members of the community. Selected artists stay in the Milkweed Mercantile Eco Inn for a ten-day period from May through October. No stipend is provided.

For more information on the Milkweed Mercantile and Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage please see below.

The Residency is sponsored by the Milkweed Mercantile, a private business located at Dancing Rabbit (“DR”), which is owned and operated by long-time members of Dancing Rabbit.

Photo by 2013 Artist in Residence Karen Hanrahan

The Purpose of the Artist-In-Residence Program
In 2013 the Milkweed Mercantile Artist in Residence program hosted four artists. The artists and the members of our community all had a great time. One of them had this to say:

"The residency was such a valuable expedience to me.  The time to make art in a different environment, and the inspiration from DR, was so invigorating, but most importantly, I came away with an appreciation for everyone there.  Such great, kind people y'all have living there! "    

Another said:

"I knew from the moment I arrived for my residency that I would not be short of material to take imagery of.  I wasn't quite sure how my project would evolve..  As days progressed I discovered that Dancing Rabbit is an inside job.  The more I learned from the members who live and breathe intentional community the more I could then give it my own perspective as a photographer. I would not be the first to say that it's the people of DR that make it what it is today! I loved having the opportunity to get intimate access and to practice hands-on how passionately I feel about  my art and photography. " 

Now in its second year, we look forward to learning and sharing with more artists.

The purpose of  the Artist In Residence Program is to provide artistic opportunities to promote deeper understanding of and dialogue about Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. The finished artwork will characterize Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage for present and future generations, and offer visitors and the general public an opportunity to see our village through the eyes of the contributing artists.



Selection is based on:
  • artistic caliber
  • specific focus for the project
  • relevance to Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage’s mission of outreach and education
  • the artwork's ability to communicate the values and atmosphere of Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage
  • potential for (artist’s) personal growth


Residencies are open to all visual artists. The Milkweed Mercantile at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage does not discriminate on the basis of sex, age, race, religion, or national origin, although preference will be given to artists who are from or have spent time in the Midwest. We are seeking applications from individual artists only; we are not yet able to accommodate collaborative teams.

Accepted artists must be able to speak and understand English.

Those chosen to be a Milkweed Mercantile Artist in Residence will be notified by April 15, 2014 (except for the first residency; this artist will obviously be notified sooner!).

Dates of the Residencies:
  1. April 14 - April 24, 2013  filled
  2. May 26 - June 5, 2014 
  3. June 30 - July 10, 2014 
  4. August 25 - September 4, 2014 
  5. September 15 - 25, 2014
  6. October 6-16, 2014


 2013 Milkweed Mercantile Artist in Residence Claire Stigliani in a watercolor class she held for 5 & 6-year olds.



Provided with the Residency:
  • Food – details below
  • Lodging – details below
  • Linens (towels and sheets)
  • A place to work
  • 280 acres on which to roam and be inspired
  • Quiet atmosphere, with star-filled nights and abundant wildlife.
  • A friendly, supportive, enthusiastic community in which to live and work.
  • Additionally, your art will be featured in the Milkweed Mercantile Eco Inn, which serves as a social center for Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage and hundreds of guests each year; and on the Milkweed Mercantile website.
  • We do not provide alcohol, sodas, or other snacks (such as chips). These are available for purchase.

 
2013 Milkweed Mercantile Artist in Residence Jameson Hubbard teaches a wood block printing class.

You provide
  • Artists must provide their own supplies. If they are too large or cumbersome to transport you may have them delivered via USPS, UPS, or FedEx.
  • You are responsible for your own transportation. We encourage you to use public transportation. There are train stations in LaPlata, MO; Quincy, IL; Ottumwa, IA. We will happily pick you up at any of these stations.

The swimming pond, where many find respite on hot summer days.
Artwork Donations 
Artists selected to participate in the Mercantile’s Artist In Residence Program are asked to donate an original piece of work from, and representative of, their residency at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. The piece will become a component of the Milkweed Mercantile’s Inspired by Dancing Rabbit: The Artist in Residence Collection. The art will serve to promote and celebrate aspects of Dancing Rabbit and sustainable living. Donated artwork must be finished within the 10-day residency.

 Jameson teaching mono printing.

Sharing Your Gift with the Dancing Rabbit Community 
Selected artists are asked to spend time with the Dancing Rabbit community by providing some sort of workshop/class/seminar for a minimum of 8 hours during your stay. This can be drawing or painting classes, participatory art projects for groups or individuals, or some other creative solution. We’re open to all kinds of ideas!

Saturday lunch at the Mercantile

About Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage 
Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, begun in 1997, is a community demonstrating ecological sustainability. It is located on 280 acres in the rolling hills of Northeastern Missouri.
One of the world's foremost experiments in real-world ecological living, Dancing Rabbit’s 70+ residents have reduced their ecological impact by over 90% in areas such as transportation, energy and water use. Creative, cooperative economic models and an entrepreneurial base support the economic sustainability of the village. Education and research are integral to Dancing Rabbit’s goals. It actively shares its ideas and discoveries through visitor programs, publications and other media and has a mission of outreach and education. More info is available at dancingrabbit.org


About The Milkweed Mercantile 
The Milkweed Mercantile is quite possibly the only strawbale solar and wind powered B&B in the United States. In addition to the four B&B rooms, the Mercantile features an organic cafe, a store, and a seminar program. Since opening its doors in 2010, the Mercantile has hosted hundreds of guests, many of whom say that a visit with us has changed their lives. While this all sounds very serious, we also have a lot of fun!

The mission of the Mercantile is to provide meaningful work and the demonstration of a life that is sustainable in all ways.

Our goals are to:
  • Create right livelihood for ourselves and income opportunities for others at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage
  • Provide a comfortable place for visitors and potential new members to stay
  • Demonstrate the viability and aesthetic beauty of natural and alternative building
  • Share what we’ve learned about real solutions for a sustainable life
  • Develop and articulate a business model that prioritizes planet and people over profit, and learn the value of ‘enough.’
  • Educate and train the next generation

Photo credit: Angela Neese

 About Alline and Kurt, Owners of the Milkweed Mercantile 
Alline Anderson and Kurt Kessner met in 1993 on a Sierra Club backpacking trip, and were married in 1997. They moved from Berkeley to Missouri in 1999 and became members of Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. In 2007 they began construction of the strawbale, solar and wind-powered Milkweed Mercantile Eco Inn. The Mercantile was designed to serve as a bridge between Dancing Rabbit and the wider community, and to assist in Dancing Rabbit’s outreach and education efforts. In that same year Alline was awarded an Eileen Fisher Business Grant for Woman Entrepreneurs.

A team in all aspects of their lives, Alline and Kurt collaborated on the design and building of their strawbale home and the Mercantile. They continue to work together and dream up new ways to support the growth of Dancing Rabbit while enjoying life in the growing, thriving village. Kurt enjoys building, bartending and hanging out with friends; Alline is passionate about books, quilting, baking and dogs. And while they both love to travel, what they delight in most is welcoming guests to the Milkweed Mercantile.

The Wallace Stegner room
 Your accommodations at the Milkweed Mercantile
  • Artists stay in the Wallace Stegner Room.  The room is downstairs with easy access to a (shared) shower and toilet. It has a separate entrance onto the screened-porch and is furnished with a queen bed, desk, lamps, and small closet. Linens (bedding and towels) are included. Accommodations are provided only within the dates of the awarded residency.
  • The room is for one person only.
  • Visiting artists eat in the Milkweed Mercantile café with the Milkweed Mercantile food cooperative and occasionally with Mercantile guests. Food is as local and organic as possible. We happily accommodate vegans, vegetarians and/or omnivores. We are also able to handle some food allergies – please inquire if you have what could be perceived as an unusual request.
  • Pets are not allowed.
  • The downstairs of the Mercantile is fully accessible; there is a ramp, an accessible shower and toilet. However, Dancing Rabbit is still in its pioneering stages; the roads are gravel. Additionally the many pathways are muddy when wet, and are rutted and uneven.



HOW TO APPLY

Please submit all components electronically. Do not send paper copies of anything.

Please submit to alline@milkweedmercantile.com with ARTIST IN RESIDENCE in the subject line. Not using this subject may result in your application being deleted as spam.

Entries are accepted for the 2014 Program until midnight on March 31, 2014. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. Notifications will be made to finalists by April 15, 2014.

Applicant Checklist
1.  APPLICATION  Email Alline at alline@milkweedmercantile.com to request an application.
2. APPLICATION FEE A non-refundable application fee of $35 is required before your application will be considered. Payment may be made via PayPal to shop@milkweedmercantile.com

3.  CURRENT RESUME/CV
Please include detailed information on your previous experience with the media you wish to use at Dancing Rabbit. Include information on time spent in the Midwest, if any. Keep formatting simple. Email your resume/cv to: alline@milkweedmercantile.com with ARTIST IN RESIDENCE in the subject line.

4. WORK SAMPLES
  • Upload 10 images of your work created in the last two years.
  • Plus a corresponding image list to explain work samples,
  • Plus image details for each image file (title of work, date executed, media and dimensions).
  • Add any brief narrative necessary to inform the jury about each individual work.


Email your work samples to: alline@milkweedmercantile.com with ARTIST IN RESIDENCE  in the subject line. Be sure to include your name!


NOTE: Artists must submit application materials and art samples exactly as indicated. Insufficient, or excess materials (i.e.: please submit 10, and only 10), are causes for application rejection, as is an artist's proposed use of a work already in progress as a residency project.


4.  APPLICATION FEE
  • Pay the $35.00 (US Dollars) application fee via PayPal to shop@milkweedmercantile.com
  • Please insert “ARTIST IN RESIDENCE in the Paypal subject line.
  • No applications will be processed until the application fee has been received.


Calendar
Entries are accepted for the 2014 Program with through midnight, March 31, 2014.

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

Those chosen to be a Milkweed Mercantile Artist in Residence will be notified by April 15, 2014.

PHOTOS
Photos of life at the Milkweed Mercantile.


NOTE: In order to reach new audiences, the Artist in Residence Program is intended for artists who have not yet spent a significant amount of time at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. Former Work Exchangers, Interns, Residents and Members are not eligible.