"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Saturday, January 30, 2010

First Trade of the Year

Well, it isn't really a trade if I give something but don't get anything back, is it?

I advertised on Craigslist for a vegetable gardener interested in trading for eggs, since the Kale Fairy (alas) is moving out of town and won't be putting in a garden this year. A young lady answered me and said she grows a pretty good vegetable garden every year, and also lots of herbs for her cottage industry, which is goat's milk soaps and lotions.

Perfect! I expect to have a serious surplus of goat's milk by May.

I offered to start giving her eggs right away and simply keep track of how many dozens she has received until she has garden produce to trade. In the past, I have always offered this possibility (since I have surplus eggs starting in January, but no gardener will have surplus produce until at least May) but no gardener has taken me up on it before. The Kale Fairy always preferred to pay cash for eggs until she could begin to trade straight across. But Soap Gal said "that sounds great!" and hopped right over to pick up two dozen eggs.

I admit I am just a little worried now. There are all sorts of things that can happen to a mostly imaginary garden between now and May. Everyone has grandiose garden plans in January. I do myself. Few people actually manage to put in the garden they believe they will put in. What if, in late May, I've given her twenty-seven dozen eggs and she has nothing to give me but some arugula and fifteen bars of soap?


Dr24Hours said...

Actually, 15 bars of soap for 27 dozen eggs doesn't sound like too bad of a trade. I can buy local organic farm eggs here for $1 a dozen $2 for a bar of home made soap doesn't sound so bad.

Sandy said...

OR...you could just assume the relationship will pay off in terms of karma, and stop worrying! If her garden tanks, you'll have paid it forward. It'll work out.

Aimee said...

you get local organic farm eggs for $1/dozen? That's crazy-talk! At the farmer's market here, they go for $4. I value mine for trade purposes at $2.50, and most people think that's cheap.

Penelope said...

I agree with both folks, trading for soap wouldn't be bad, it keeps forever and is something everyone can use. And I feel like the trade network for me has been in part about getting to know my community, sharing my goods and just seeing what comes back to me, it's bound to be good. My trade with kaisha started with just wanting to help a mom who wanted to feed her kids better, she didn't have any clue what to offer in trade, nor did I have an idea what I was looking for, I wouldn't have gone out seeking a trade for placemats, but I also got a friend for both myself and my daughter, plus some cool placemats! Of course there is the need for a practical side, you need produce, but if by garden season it becomes aparent that this trade won't work for that then get a new one and enjoy your soap :-)

Dr24Hours said...

Now that I think about it, they may not be organic. But they are local farm products.