"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Recent Trades and a Good Idea

Recent Trades:

3 pounds assorted goat cheese for 1 large, baroque mirror (Rowan wanted it).

2 dozen eggs for a couple pounds potatoes, a few cukes, and a nice head of garlic

1 dozen eggs and a pound of chevre for all the hazelnuts I can pick.

As I think I have mentioned, the trade network never really caught fire this year - mostly because we were out of town or had houseguests for much of the summer. There wasn't time to establish and maintain my contacts. I often had to reschedule several times with people, who then didn't call again (not that I blame them). There were a few great trades here and there: farmsitting for oil changes; fresh organic raspberries for eggs; the bale o' kale that was so big I had to distribute it among three families. But I never really managed to get a regular, weekly trade going with anybody as I have in years past.

It being nearly September, the egg and milk season is drawing slowly to a close. The hens are still laying - I collected seven eggs today - and the goats are still lactating - today's milk-take was a gallon and a half - but by this time next month I will only be collecting enough goodies to feed my own family. I was thinking about how I might still be able to take advantage of my seasonal bounty before it ends.

I was in Tonasket last week (Where I've Been....), which is the home of a large and famous barter festival. That gave me an idea. I have a pretty large circle of friends and acquaintances in the area who, collectively, are possessed of an enormous array of talents, skills, and goods to trade. I know several large-scale organic gardeners; spinners and knitters; awesome bakers; and people with various valuable skills such as auto mechanics, carpenters, and electricians.

I also have a really great place here for camping. I have tons of flat, open space; really cool play equipment for kids; even RV hookups. I'm thinking I'm going to send out a whole bunch of invitations to the First Annual Grandview Camp-Out Swap Meet Jamboree.

Maybe on the next full moon (September 23) or the closest weekend, I could have ten or twelve families here, build a big bonfire, and invite everyone to bring some food, a tent, and whatever they have to trade - be it old clothes and books, a musical performance, or fruit off their fruit trees. The kids could play on the trampoline or in the pool and the adults could meet each other, eat, talk, and strike deals.

Oh I love it. I'm going to do it. I'll ask my daughter Rowan to design me a flyer and just go for it.


Juliette said...

Oh I'd love to come along - we live in the UK - Lake District and I gave up my power/stress job 3 yrs ago and we moved to an old farmhouse - no goats (yet!) but chickens, veg, herbs, and fruit - I love your idea of the get together with tents - something for me to consider with all this fruit soon coming! Great blog, will keep up with you, thanks.

Dea-chan said...

OH that looks like so much fun! Good luck!

sunset pines farm said...

we did something similar last year with our slow food supper club, and it was great. I haven't yet planned it for this year, maybe I should get my butt into gear and get on with it, fall is coming!!