Food Swapping, Donated Clothing, and Other Barter Agreements

A Missouri family that uses food swapping in multiple transactions and a Nevada couple that trade in donated clothing and housewares are among the barter agreements profiled in this ongoing feature.

| May/June 1979

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.  

Food Swapping

MOTHER EARTH NEWS did it for us! I mean, before we read of what other people were doing, the idea of swapping just never occurred to my husband and me. Now we swap every chance we get!

We've traded labor for a bank of chicken nests, hay baling for storage space in our barn, cake decorating for help at canning time, eggs for babysitting, white potatoes for sweet yams, and made lots of other small swaps as well.

Our latest exchange involved one of the two hogs we raise each year. We moved to our new place too late in the year to raise a calf, but we did manage to buy a couple of 70-pound pigs early enough in the season to bring them up to market size. Then we traded one of the porkers to a local locker plant for a side of beef. So now we have a freezer full of steak and burgers, and pork chops and sausage, all for a total investment of just $70!

Thanks for the idea, MOTHER EARTH NEWS. And, folks ... keep on swappin'!

Gary & Carol Hoffman
Gilman City, MO  

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