Now fast forward to sometime in the not too distant future. Yes, fast forward. Remember when you could do that with a VHS tape? Most young people have never had the pleasure. Anyway, the not too distant future. What will buying and selling be like? How will we get the things we need? Like the things in all of our preparations we overlooked or outright forgot to get? What about all of the physical labor that will be necessary to live a collapse, survival life style day in and day out? Can you do that?
Good trade. Bartering. I think this will become, and already is becoming, the new way of commerce. Commerce won't end with an economic or societal collapse. Person A will always need something that Person B can provide. When there is no longer a monetary basis upon which to make that transaction, bartering or trading will be the manner in which commerce will survive.
There was a young man in Frank's Survival Radio class that has begun developing his homestead. Not only is he interested in survival radio communications, he is starting a flock of chickens for his young family. Since we use pseudonyms here, we will call him Emmet, which is a German name meaning strong worker. The reason his name is associated with work is because that is what he did here in exchange for a flock of young chickens. We struck a deal of chickens for labor, and while he was here found out that Emmet works two jobs so his young wife can homeschool their children, making it an even better deal.
We have more than enough young hens to replace our current laying flock. From the two batches of eggs we incubated, we have already butchered the older set of roosters, still leaving about 40 or so young birds. From that 40 we kept about 8 hens. That still left many birds to choose from. When Emmet arrived, we first picked out 10 hens and 2 roosters for his new flock. Then the work really began.
It has been too long since our chicken house has been cleaned out. We planned to clean it out long before now, but my sinus issues have kept me out of the chicken house except during feeding time, and on a few occasions Frank was left to do everything on his own. When Frank came up with the idea of trading chickens for a clean chicken house, I thought it was a great idea. He contacted Emmet and the deal was struck.
It made pretty quick work for the three of us to get the house cleaned up. Frank brought down the tractor to haul the trashcans full of manure to the garden. We have several empty areas in the garden that received this wonderful fertilizer. The parts that suffered the most when the heavy, spring rains really washed away the topsoil now have a good start at renewing the nutrients for next year.
As we left the chicken house I looked at Emmet and said, "Good trade. Have you ever seen that movie? Dances With Wolves?" He had and agreed it was a very good trade. You see there comes a time when you have to ask for help to accomplish some tasks that you used to do with ease. Frank and I are no longer young whipper snappers like Emmet and it was a blessing to have his help. For us this was a very good trade, and it also helped Emmet start a larger flock of chickens for his growing family.
Once the chicken house clean up was complete, it was time for water, coffee and more radio conversation. Frank is a natural teacher and enjoys sharing information about setting up a shack, wiring antennas, or general knowledge about increasing the effectiveness of existing radio communications equipment or techniques. While they talked radio, I got the sourdough rolls ready to bake. I had mixed up the dough earlier in the morning so it would have time to ferment and predigest those carbs for us. After I went to the barn and finished up the chores of milking, feeding and watering the animals, it was time to bake and sample the bread.
There are so many different things we can barter or share, whether it is a tangible, albeit live commodity, or knowledge. The last article we wrote about books is another example of learning information and skills that can be 'traded' or bartered. As the time draws nearer to a total change in the way business is conducted around the globe, but more importantly in your neighborhood close to home, having tangible goods, skills or knowledge that can be traded for something you need or want, will not be a convenience, but a necessity. So how are your bartering skills coming along?
Sharpen up your skills and senses. Keep a keen eye on what is in your midst and fast approaching over the horizon. Time keeps ticking along, sometimes almost imperceptibly, bringing us closer and closer to the inevitable. Don't get caught in a stream of regret where you would 'trade' it all for one more day to prepare.
Until next time - Fern