Old-fashioned self-sufficiency and bartering is on the rise

This is the “Chicks Inn”, where chicks can be found swinging on their swing.Pam Dudding
Contributing writer

It’s quite eye-opening at all of the things COVID-19 has brought out of some people.

Many have purchased a chicken coop and started raising their own chickens, while others have bought cows, goats or even pigs. Some have even tilled up their yard to start their first garden.

Many factors are leading people to be more self-sufficient, while at the same time bringing people’s individual talents to their forefront such as sewing, gardening, singing and growing original herbs.

The coronavirus has plunged many to a place of wondering if they should be more self-reliant. Many are talking more and more about their grandparents and great grandparents’ “ways of living.”

One local woman said, “I had no idea I could even grow my own rosemary and peppermint. I’ll never go back to store-bought now, as mine is much better and I know what it in the soil.”

Many hardware stores have repeatedly stated that they have sold out of plants and seeds in record time this year.

As meat prices rise at the markets, and untainted meats remain a question for so many, more residents are fencing in their yards and purchasing their first cow or pig.

“I’m so excited about our new chicken coop because we now have six chicks,” one resident said. “My children as I will be learning this new experience together.”

One positive about COVID-19 is that people are doing more family things together that will help them sustain their individual households.

Another past system people seem to be enjoying is bartering.

Many are doing more trading or as it used to be called, ‘bartering’, as funds are low for most these days.

One gentleman traded a gun for a mower while another traded mowing for loads of mulch. Ladies are trading cakes and handmade items for eggs and sausage.

Despite the recent rain, Josie Jenning’s husband, Matt, built her a chicken house. “It took him two weeks,” Josie shared before adding, “Most all the chicks seemed to feel right at home.”

“I remember my granny fixing up her canned vegetables from the garden and I always asked her if she was going to feed Custer’s Army because she canned hundreds of cans at a time,” one girl reminisced. “Granny told me that one never knows when you may need a little bartering goods in hard times. I never forgot that, I just didn’t realize I’d live during a time when I now believe I need to heed to what she did.”

Could you really survive using the barter system, if you lost your job, you were out of cash, the cash lost its value, or the electronic payment systems were down? There’s only one way to find out.

Tim “Mac” MacWelch at Advanced Survival Training shared some thoughts. “Many historians, anthropologists and economists agree that money didn’t emerge from the barter system. It may be the opposite that barter emerged from money. Looking at many historic examples, barter takes place between people who know how to use money, but for some reason, they don’t have a lot of it. In other words, they were broke,” he said. “That sounds painfully familiar, right? And while this skill set is ancient, the act of bartering is still happening today. It’s even gone digital, through various web-based barter systems and networking organizations.”

There are many benefits to bartering. First, you can meet some new friends, or some weird people who could give you a great conversation.

Bartering is flexible as you can trade anything for anything. All you need is for both parties to agree. Also, bartering can transcend language and cultural boundaries.

The fun part is that barter deals should leave each person walking away happy with the trade. Always keep the mood light and friendly and if you can’t come to an agreement, walk away with a smile anyway.

One warning is to be aware of those few who look for homes to steal from, so don’t be too anxious to show someone you don’t know all your goods. You may be setting yourself up for a steal.

Roughly 95 percent of people who barter go home happy. Some happier than others because if you are in a financial pickle, you may be the one who is letting things go at a cheaper price than you’d prefer.

For some, bartering can help provide for yourself and your loved ones when money is not an option.

Almost everyone has heard the saying, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” So, keep that in mind and enjoy a newer way of living.

 

 

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