Friday, February 27, 2009

If I were a rich man....

Ahh, if I were a rich man, but I'm not. Oh, I'm not scraping the bottom of the barrel, but I am by no means rich. So that is why it was so good to see an article in the paper yesterday about barter coming back and becoming more acceptable. It was an AP article from Boise, Id, but I believe it is growing across the country. That's why I found the article in my little local paper.

Bartering is the art of trading goods and services for what you need/want instead of paying for them with cash money. I don't know about any of you, but I've practiced this for years in a very simple way that I never really considered barter until I really sat down and thought about it. How many of you have ever asked some friends to come help you with a project, be it building a house, pulling an engine out of the car, dropping a tree, whatever, and offered to feed them or give them beer, etc? I do it all the time... "Hey, I'll feed you if you come over and help me do X, Y, or Z!" I have a buddy who does it on a larger scale and on a regular basis. He would rebuild cars, paint them, install furnaces, etc. In return, I've known him to get cars, to get building materials, motorcycles, etc. Granted he works like a dog on these projects, but I secretly believe it is because he likes the work!

Now, no matter what may come down the pike, wouldn't it be nice to know that you have skills that are valuable? Imagine if you could trade canned produce from the garden for a side of beef, gardening work for plumbing work, etc. Think about it... you would save money, but you would have to spend some time working things out, etc.

If you don't have skills that would be useful to someone else, maybe you could stock up on valuables that other people would want. Canned produce, fresh eggs, tobacco, alcohol, etc. These old time skills served those that came before us for many a year before we became a nation of buying on credit instead of saving up for what we want/need. With the new economic issues and uncertainty, wouldn't it be nice to make sure that you have something that you could fall back on... Just In Case?

Good Trading, Everyone!


Anonymous said...

I have been doing this for years.. I trade my skills for items,labor,and livestock. I used my backhoe and my labor fixing some field drains and got a classic car I wanted. I have traded welding,machining work,and my labor for guns,hay/feed, chainsaw,smoker wood and car parts.
I have a deal in the works to build a guy a waste oil heater and I get some ewes(sheep) and newborns. I plan to start a small herd and they will help keep the the weeds/grass trimmed back and add some meat(eventually) to my freezer.

FarmerGeek said...

FarmerMechanic, Glad to know that there are more of us out there! Sounds like you have made some good deals.

I'm in a tight spot because we just moved to our current house last year from a different state, and so I need to rebuild my connection network and to find the people willing!

Thanks for the comment and thanks for stopping by!

Goat Creek Grandma said...

I haven't really bartered much but with the way the economy is going I hope my skills will help me. I always tell my DH that I was born in the wrong time... lol


FarmerGeek said...

I hope your skills help, too! It always helps to look around and see if you can do it through bartering. You may have to look for a bit, but there are people out there willing!

Good luck,