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Friday Favorite: Barter is Better

May 16th, 2014

I love bartering, it’s so nice to be able to trade things you produce or no longer want for things you need or want. A few months ago I stumbled on Erin Flett’s Etsy store and fell in love with her hen print. Into my favorites it went and I went to Facebook to like her page.
erin flett 3
She’s a Maine artist that focuses on sourcing all of her raw materials from companies in the United States, now that’s the kind of art/products I like. Fast forward a month or two and she posted about a new light she got for her studio which just happened to be like a few lights that were in this house when we arrived.
erin flett
I messaged her to see if she was interested in a few more, which she was. A deal was made, I took four lovely vintage white globe lights of varying sizes down to her studio near Portland and she gave me a host of lovelies, including the hen print that I loved so much, which is being printed soon.
erin flett 2
I now have four lovely oversized kitchen towels with hens and roosters, perfect for my love of all things fowl.
erin flett 1
She also insisted that I take a small zippered pouch, which will come in handy for trips to the farmers market. I think it will become my new purse.
erin flett 2 (1)
I also have two small pillows that will be perfect in our guest room on the bed with that quilt that I just finished.
erin flett 1 (1)
Bartering is so great, I have a few other bartering relationships. One is for eggs, I give a local couple eggs in exchange for a credit for cedar lumber when I need it (they have a cedar mill).

Do you ever barter? What product or item do you produce that would be a good barter item for you?

12 Comments to “Friday Favorite: Barter is Better”
  1. Adelina on May 16, 2014 at 6:40 am

    I use to trade handmade items with other artists and crafters all the time. My favorite was a hand made ceramic bowl that someone gave me for a cheese tray I made. We both walked away very happy. I have also traded jams for yarn.

    Love those chicken prints! I will have to check out her shop.

    Reply to Adelina's comment

  2. Joan on May 16, 2014 at 7:08 am

    Last year I bartered a canner that I didn’t use (wouldn’t work on my flat top stove) and some canning jars for a cheesecake. Unfortunately the cheesecake was really terrible (and before this I didn’t even know there was a way to make a bad cheesecake, but this one had big lumps of cream cheese in it – yuck)!

    I’d love to barter more, but usually just give away things that I might barter. Then, people give me things they don’t need – no direct trade involved but still we’re all taking care of each other, locally.

    Reply to Joan's comment

    • Susy on May 17, 2014 at 7:59 am

      I do that all the time too, sometimes it’s better to just give and receive than set up a specific barter arraignment.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  3. Laura @ Raise Your Garden on May 16, 2014 at 7:33 am

    I’m afraid to barter. I just pay the sticker price and move on.

    My husband is the opposite, he says Americans are overall afraid to barter and that we should be more willing to barter.

    Since I get a huge output of crops, neighbors and friends have encouraged me to set up a little stand selling them. But I can’t do this because I would much rather give them away =)

    And my neighbors gives me all her daughters shoes and boots when she’s done and I provide her with veggies. Win Win I say!!

    Reply to Laura @ Raise Your Garden's comment

  4. angie on May 16, 2014 at 8:12 am

    i’ve traded my handmade items with others who make, which is always fun : ) i just visited erin’s etsy shop… such cute and unique items! your barter was definitely a win/win for both of you! have a great day!

    Reply to angie's comment

  5. Luci McKeown on May 16, 2014 at 8:36 am

    I’ve always been too timid to barter unless it’s trading my tomatoes for my neighbor’s sweet corn, etc. My son, on the other hand, is a barter king and recently traded one of my handmade quilts for a gorgeous 1841 Mississippi .58 caliber rifle.

    Reply to Luci McKeown's comment

  6. Nebraska Dave on May 16, 2014 at 8:39 am

    Susy, wow, you are fitting into the Maine homesteading great. Most urban dwellers here don’t barter much they just go to the Walmart store and buy what they need. However, I do help folks with minor household things that need repair or just hauling things away or to their houses. In return I get Apple Pie. It’s my slogan, “I haul for Apple Pie”. Most will say, “Oh, I don’t bake.” to which I return, “I didn’t say you have to bake it.” My refrigerator and freezer always has apple pie from Walmart in it. Every so often, I run into a baker and get the real deal for apple pie but it doesn’t matter. There’s no such thing as a bad apple pie. Some are just better than others. :-)

    Have a great bartering day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  7. Becky Jones on May 16, 2014 at 11:10 am

    I used to run a small home-based business making and selling jam. I would often trade with other vendors at local markets. I’ve ended up with dried pasta, himalayan salt, wine, and even a scarf. I also have participated in homemade food swaps in or local community. In those, lots of people get together, and we bring things we offer in trade, writing our names next to the things we want and what we offer in trade. We then walk around and accept trades. In those groups, there are eggs, sauces, jam, pickles, homegrown fruits, veggies and herbs, soups, kefir, home brewed beer, and more. I love the sharing community in the SF Bay Area!

    Reply to Becky Jones's comment

  8. MN Reid on May 16, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    I love to barter with neighbors. My neighbor is very handy…I am not…so, he fixed my sink in return for me landscaping under his pine tree. All the plants I put in for him were either divisions of mine, or from my in-law’s house 3 hours north.

    I also give them a lot of extra produce. The wife is on a very strict diet, and loves vegetables.

    I also watch their cat’s when they’re gone, and they bring me back fresh Canadian Walleye (the best tasting fresh water fish for those of you unfamiliar. It is a beautiful golden brown color with glassy eyes.)

    That’s the way the world should work! I love my neighbors.

    Reply to MN Reid's comment

  9. Texan on May 16, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    I have bartered over the years many times! I enjoy bartering. Sometimes the person has something I want to barter for and sometimes not. But you never know till you ask :O). My most recent barters both involved me sewing items for them. For one barter I picked out some beautiful handmade earrings by a jewelry artisan in Montana. The other item I bartered for was healthy homemade soaps, DH and I just love this gals soap! I always figure it never hurts to ask if someone is interested in bartering.

    Reply to Texan's comment

  10. dkswife on May 17, 2014 at 5:49 am

    I do barter my eggs for other items at times. Last year, I bartered eggs for some artwork done by a resident artist that works where I do.

    Reply to dkswife's comment

  11. Chris on May 19, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    Love those towels! Yes, we barter all the time with different folks for different things. We bake our own bread every week and trade a loaf of it for a dozen of our neighbors fresh eggs. I also barter (trade) seeds from other seed saving gardeners. We crab, clam, oyster and fish, so alot of that gets bartered for other goodies and services. It’s fun and a win win for everyone and no one has to go to the store! :)

    Reply to Chris's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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