the bARTer of exchange

Have a Preserve Party!

Have a Preserve Party!

There is a freedom in realizing how remarkably easy it can be to facilitate learning and sharing. The barter economy has largely become a thing of the past, yet, there are community-building ways to bring it back!  Barter is a big one for sustainability.

This past fall a thegreenrocker organized a ‘free school.’ Basically what it sounds like, a free school is an opportunity to learn something without paying any money.  Subjects are whatever is of interest:  home brew, preserves, the perfect espresso, or even book-making (like the little books they sell at Fixed).  Somebody with a skill may be more than willing to share it, and in turn learn something new from somebody else.  The free school can be as few as two.

Another couple of greenrockers had a cooking day one Sunday afternoon.  They chose good, freezaable recipes and found a Sobeys location that offered the use of their space and equipment.  The main ingredients were bought in the store.  Groceries went up the elevator, meals came down.  The were labelled, frozen, and enjoyed over the next few months.

You can also try a Soup Swap.  If five friends each make a big pot of a different soup and everyone brings take-home containers, well you get five different kinds of soup to enjoy throughout the week, or even freeze for later!   You can write down the recipe for everybody as well, so your friends can try making the soup again. You could swap any kind of food: dips, sauces, jams, cookies, casseroles etc.!

Swaps and exchanges are big boosts to cupboards, closets and friends.  Way to sustain!

secret of the garden

since we moved in almost 12 years ago our back yard has been home to a great sprawling ‘bush’.  at first the bush was a feature as the garden was scant, but it dropped from a feature to an annoyance as its surroundings improved.  it had a distinctive odour.  I hacked it into submission.

upon returning from the family vacation of a lifetime my visiting cousin said… black currants’.   o my.  I am thrilled! black currant jelly in just six steps.

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i am forgiving myself for missing the secret, and look forward to sharing the harvest.  I also like the odour.