Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Guest post: Bartering

by Jim Noland

Another neat thing I like about Fall and all it's bounty is that it is a time to maybe do a little bartering with the fellow down the road. Or the lady who owns the peach orchard on the other side of town. Bartering has been around a long time -- longer than Obama's speeches.

Kidding aside, bartering has been with us since before we came to this country. For those of you who don't know how it works, it is really pretty neat. You trade something of yours with something of someone else's. Like, I might have a huge crop of tomatoes and my neighbor might have a overabundance of corn. We get together, and I trade some of my tomatoes for some of his corn.

You can barter just about anything you can think of. My grandfather once, as a kid, worked for this rancher, putting up hay in the rancher's barn. He worked putting up this hay for three days. My grandfather said he worked his butt off for this guy! He had NO money to pay him with, but he had a .22 rifle. He traded those three days worth of work, putting up his hay, in trade for that .22.

At the end of those three days, he walked away with that .22 and over 300 rounds of ammo. Was it a fair trade? You bet it was. Grandfather used that .22 to put meat on the table for his mom and pop and six siblings, even though it was squirrels and rabbits and sage hens. It helped keep his family fed. And it helped his dad supplement what food and whatnot the family needed.

They ate a hell of a lot of beans, he said. Sometimes three times a day. He still loved his beans right up to the day he passed.

So, you could barter for some beans or maybe fix something for somebody, and take some produce, or chickens, or whatever in trade for your time.

With the way the economy is right now, a little bartering could be a good thing. Think about it. Have you extra of something, and maybe your neighbor has something you might like or need? Go have a little chat. Maybe you can work a little magic and you both get what you want or need.

And, we all would be helping each other. When it comes right down to it, isn't that what we should be all about?

Jim blogs at: http://granddadscorner.blogspot.com