Internships & Worktrade



Internship & Work-Trade*

Experience a Lifestyle of Sustainability

Would you love to …
   Experience more connection with Nature?
       Explore a wide variety of Natural Building & Sustainability Skills?
           Be immersed in a Living, Building Community? 
                 Consider the upcoming INTERNSHIPS  & Worktrade !
                        (subject to change and Covid responsiveness)
  • Attend one or more months at the Strawbale Studio outside Oxford, Michigan, USA.
  • Internship Openings include the WINTERNSHIP & the SPRING thru FALL Monthly Program below.
  • This is a unique opportunity to live with others, co-creating a beautiful living model of a natural, local lifestyle.                                                                                                                       


  • WINTERNSHIP Jan 5 to Feb 5  Internship & 1/2 Pay Worktrade  (no wwoofing)  The 2022 program will be similar to this 2021 proposed Winternship.
  • April through September Monthly Program Internship, 1/2 Pay Worktrade & Woofing

Experience a lifestyle of sustainability.

    • Shade-tree classes  will be taught on components of natural building ~ foundation, framing, strawbale, earth plasters & cob, roofing systems, (Thatched and Living Roofs) and use of local materials ~ accompanied by tours of the structures on site. During the month there will likely be one or more workshops for the public which Intern and Worktraders/Wwoofers will help with and participate in.
    • Hands-on activities will focus on earth Plastering & Sculpting,  basic Round Pole Framing techniques, Thatching earthen floors, oil finishes on benches, detailing of living roofs, site hydrology & creative landscaping and permaculture projects.  There will be some variation between months based on progress.
  • Daily Lifestyle includes foraging, spoon-carving, fermenting, composting, solar oven, outdoor rocket cooker, earth oven, shiitake mushroom production & more.  Buildings on site are the Strawbale Studio, Kids Cottage, Hobbit Sauna, Spiral Chamber and several pretty awesome woodsheds.  Living roofs, Thatched roofs.
  • Community connections: (This is Covid dependent) Typically we have had Monthly Full Moon Potluck & bonfire, Permaculture Meetup (off-site), 1 or 2 workshops or tours per month for the public. There is likely to be less community involvement in 2022 due to covid. We have local farmers, and get our eggs and some of our produce from them.
  • Worktrade activities for 1/2 Pay WorkTraders and Wwoofers at Strawbale Studio include options such as Workshop Prep: supplies, Grounds:  firewood, repair, lawn.  Office: data, editing, publicity.  Garden: planting, mulching, watering & harvesting.  Other: repair canoe.

The Strawbale Studio is a place, and also a program with Internships, Classes & Outreach…seeking to joyfully weave  into the Web of Life !  This is a uniquely rich experience. 

LOCATION On this beautiful rural wooded land  1 hour North of Detroit. Six miles outside a lovely small town, surrounded by farms, forests and meadows.  Within 6 miles of the Strawbale Studio there are some very nice outdoor opportunities:  Bald Mountain Recreation Center, The Seven Ponds Recreation Center and the Rails to Trails bike path system, connecting several small towns.  (There is a bike available to use).  Two swimming lakes and a series of connected lakes to explore by canoe.

INSTRUCTION Main Instructor & Coordinator, Deanne Bednar, is the illustrator of the Hand-Sculpted Housphoto 3e & the Natural Plaster Book, and has 20 years of experience in natural building. Background: Art & Sustainable Futures teacher at the middle school level.  Loves to forage, use materials directly from nature in an artful and practical way !
Other instructors may sometimes drop in. In the past … Micah Lindquist, our round pole and spoon carving teacher,  Jim the Timberframer, a local guy who can show us his barn and tools.  Jared Bogdonov-Hanna a Permaculture Teacher who has designed some of the gardens on site. Rick McAvinchy Forester & Wildlife Biologist. Chris McClellan, “uncle mud”….. Ernie & Erica, rocket-stovers. 

* GREEN EXCHANGE (Money 🙂 3 Program Options:  Intern, 1/2 Pay Worktrade, Wwoofer* (*available during some months). All 3 Programs include room & board, classes & materials, plus sharing of household activities such as cooking & cleaning.  After filling out the Brief Application and being accepted, fees can be paid for Internship & 1/2 Pay worktrade to Paypal (to or check, or postal money order to PO Box 733, Oxford, MI 48370 or Eventbrite

  • Intern = Focus on the Projects.  Cost per month $950 or $850 prepaid 1 month in advance.  After being accepted, payments can be made by PayPal to or Eventbrite
    • Individuals may be able to receive academic credit through their college programs.  (e.g. Vivien Yousif received credit through American University, Anthropology Dept.)
  • 1/2 Pay Worktrade = 10 hours Worktrade per week toward upkeep (office, grounds, gardens, based on participants skills & needs of Strawbale Studio).  The rest of the time, participate in the Internship & all classes.    Cost per month: $475 or $425 prepaid 1 month in advance.
  • Wwoofer = 20 hours Work-trade per week toward prep for workshops and maintenance of gardens, grounds, office.  You can come through the network if you want.   The rest of the time participate in the Internship & all classes. No money exchanged. No wwoofing option during the Winternship or Intensive Classes.

CONTACT: Call, text or email Deanne 248 496 4088 or to indicate interest or ask questions.  You can fill out the brief application (BELOW) before or after talking to Deanne. 

The 2020 WINTERNSHIP is being held January 6 to February 6, 2010.  

Openings are available for Intern and 1/2 Pay Worktraders* ! Limit 8.  This unique opportunity includes classes on design and construction principles, as well as workshops and hands-on experiences —  in Thatching, Reed Collection, Round Pole framing, Rocket Stove & Earth Plaster.  


The Program will be similar to the wonderful experience we had at the 2019 Winternship.         Harvesting Reed in the field