Balloons for Body Work and Other Barter Agreements

This installment of an ongoing feature on barter agreements includes stories from a woman who traded gift balloons for auto body work and a man who traded use of his camping gear for lawn mowing services.


| March/April 1983


Bill Wodraska shared some of his thoughts regarding one of mankind's better ideas — barter — and offered up an interesting suggestion: "I'd like to see a continuing feature on barter agreements and skill-and-labor exchanges," said Bill. "You're on!" MOTHER EARTH NEWS replied.

Balloons for Body Work

Back in 1981, I started my own part-time bootstrap business: "The Balloon Shoppe" delivers inflated bouquets for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and other special occasions.

Recently, though, a traffic accident left my delivery van with a broken windshield and a bent window frame. When I checked at a local body shop I found that repairs would be quite expensive. I decided to propose a swap, and since it was then the second week in February, I asked the shop owner what he planned to give his wife for Valentine's Day. He hadn't thought about it at all, so I suggested a beautiful balloon bouquet — which, together with a small amount of cash, he accepted in trade for repairs on the van. That balloon/body-work barter made a happy holiday for all of us!

G.M.
North Carolina

Trading Flowers

My wife and I are exceedingly fond of perennials — the iris is our special favorite — and we used to spend many hours in the early spring poring over seed catalogs and wishing we could afford to purchase the many beautiful varieties available. Unfortunately, it would have cost a small fortune to buy all of our choices in one season, so we resigned ourselves to dreaming. This year however, we were able to make those fantasies come true — and triple our perennial bed — through bartering.

The farm on which we live, at one time a country squire's estate, has thousands of daffodils arranged in formal and naturalized beds. Years of neglect had led to overcrowding, though, and the plants had to be thinned if they were to bloom. After digging the beds, replanting, and giving away bulbs to a local park and various friends, my wife realized that we still had more than enough for the property. So she took out an ad in the county newspaper proposing a "perennial swap."

Surprisingly, many of the responses were from people who invited us to thin their perennial beds in exchange for all the bulbs we wanted. We were delighted to oblige, and everything worked out beautifully: Overcrowded gardens were restored health, while we reaped a supply of irises, grape hyacinths, and lilies in exchange for only a few hours of digging. In short, barter turned a garden chore into a plant bonanza for us!





mother earth news fair 2018 schedule

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: April 28-29, 2018
Asheville, NC

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!

LEARN MORE



Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).


Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard


Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265