Bartering doesn’t always have to be a straightforward exchange. Sometimes it can be as simple as the back and forth of goods or skills between friends.

It begins quite innocently, like the time a lady was offering to give away a free plant on Facebook. I said I would be happy to take it and offered her some carrot seeds since she was willing to deliver. She then offered to pick me up some discount bread at the outlet store and deliver it for cost. Cool!

Again I went to pick up some free starters in exchange for my carrot seeds. (These heirloom seeds are as good as currency!)

Next I saved up all my cardboard egg cartons and exchanged them for a dozen farm fresh eggs which I shared with the awesome person who drove me to the farm.

I have swapped weeds from my yard for the weeds of other peoples. Mulleins are taking over my front yard and a friend had catnip to share. I offered more carrot seeds and egg cartons and they offered me their surplus of squash starters they got from their neighbor!

I have offered my skills to help build a hugelkultur in exchange for milk to drink and fermented goat poop for my own garden.

I have even had the opportunity to help in a garden and was gifted a beautiful highland cattle drinking horn.

You might not think you have skills or goods to exchange or barter but the truth is we could always use a little help in our lives and often there is something we could use! Do you have excess squash this year? Maybe you collect more heirloom vegetable seeds than you can use. Are your chickens laying more eggs than you can bake with? Is your apothecary garden overrun with a specific herb you could do with less of? Did you forage for an excessive amount of blackberries? Are you good at canning and your friend grew more tomatoes than they can process? Maybe you have a big dehydrator could you process your friend’s fruit and get to keep a share of the finished products? Is your neighbor not picking the apples on their tree, maybe you could have them all and make her a pie in exchange. Offer your friend a free night of babysitting in exchange for the same favor later on. Could you cut your neighbor’s lawn in exchange for an item gather dust in his garage?

We all have hidden talents or items we would be willing to part with. Explore the options for bartering. There is something magical about not using money that creates such a sense of community!


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