It has come to my attention lately that not all people realize their value. You may be wondering what this has to do with homesteading, herbs, or anything remotely related. Isn't this more of a "self-help" topic? Well, not in this context. Stick with me!
We like to barter here on the homestead. By definition, barter is a system of trade in which one party exchanges products, goods and services in order to obtain required products, goods and services possessed by another. In a barter system, no money exchanges hands between the two parties. The main difference between barter and trade is that while barter does not involve money, trade occurs with currency used as a medium of exchange. Are you getting there with me, or am I still speaking crazy talk? Stick with me!
A common thing that we like to barter on the homestead is our fresh goat milk. Due to the laws in our state, one is supposed to have a government permission slip of sorts, that simply shows you have paid your fee to "big brother" and they've blessed your sale with a pretty little label (that you must make yourself, and are required to place on all bottles) that tells people what they are and are not to do with said milk (not for human consumption, of course), and everyone goes on their merry little way with a false sense of security that your goat milk with the pretty little label is now somehow superior to other goat milk because of such a blessing from our wardens. Well, that just sounds silly, doesn't it? See why we like to barter? Because bartering is not the same as selling, and we DO NOT SELL our goat milk. We also are not in the business of controlling what you do with the goat milk after you obtain it. You can feed it to your animals, disperse it throughout your garden, or *gasp* drink it, make cheese, kefir, etc. with it. Still with me?
Great! Now let's look at how the value of a person, bartering and goat milk all come together in a nice little package with this scenario:
A person wants goat milk (for their pet monkeys, of course).
I have goat milk, but I DO NOT SELL goat milk.
However, I do not NEED all this goat milk! What a conundrum.
Enter the barter!
Except there's one thing.
The person wanting the goat milk doesn't realize their value.
People!! We, as humans, are worth far more than the green stuff in our wallets! It saddens me to come to the realization that most people have no idea what they're worth, or more importantly, what they're capable of. If you took away all their money and all their things, they would essentially be completely worthless in their own eyes. That, my friends, is beyond sad. I could go into the correlation with this and "big brother" keeping us all right where they want us, but we'll keep politics to a minimum for now.
Let's open our minds, find things we're good at, our hidden talents and untapped abilities. Better yet, LEARN a new skill! You don't have to be a fellow homesteader to barter. Can you bake, sew, knit, crochet, make paper mache, paint, do calligraphy, wood work, iron work, vinyl decals, grow herbs in containers, dry those herbs, forage, cut hair, haul rocks, pick up acorns? Then you can barter! Do you have things you can't use but may be of use to a homesteader - old cardboard boxes for their Back To Eden garden, old Halloween pumpkins for their pigs, an old Christmas tree for their goats... The list is endless! You can barter! My point is, don't sell yourself short. Be creative. Know that you have value beyond what is in your wallet and beyond my short list of suggestions as well.
Obviously a person is more than their money or things, but the skills one has or is able to develop is a great indication of who a person is or even who they can be - their character, if I may go so far.
Now, who wants some goat milk?! ;) You'll have to wait until March for that, but we're always open to a good, out-of-the-box barter here on the homestead.
Always Open For Barter!
Just your average ex-scientist turned herb loving, natural living, homeschooling mom, wife, and homesteader who values common sense, real food, real people, primal instincts, and self-sufficiency.
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