Your Best Bartering Stories

MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers share their most successful bartering stories.

| January/February 1985

At age 18, I made one of my most successful barters. While working on a farm here in Florida, I traded my labor for a brood sow, which surprised me two weeks later with nine piglets. I kept the piglets, but I traded the sow back to the farmer for a 10-gauge Winchester shotgun!

-C.T. Florida

I've made many successful swaps in my life. One began when I moved into my new home. While cleaning up the toolshed, I found a box full of unusable (I thought) junk, which I decided to discard in the nearest trash bin. But when I went to throw the box away, I met a gentleman who was preparing to cast off his "useless" chain saw.

Needless to say, I left with his junk and he left with mine. And it didn't tak eme long to find the problem with the chain saw, which now runs like a dream.

Not long after that, I noticed a fellow across the road from my house thinning his woods with an axe. I offered to help in return for the wood. His agreement, as he wiped his sweaty forehead, was heartfelt.

Still, my best trade came when I offered to take a lady I loved on a canoe trip if she would marry me. It was a great trip, and neither of us regrets the trade!

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