Skip to comments.The Barter Value Of Skills
Posted on 04/28/2012 2:26:45 PM PDT by blam
The Barter Value Of Skills
April 26th, 2012
This article has been generously contributed by Tess Pennington of Ready Nutrition. After joining the Dallas chapter of the American Red Cross in 1999 Tess worked as an Armed Forces Emergency Services Center specialist and is well versed in emergency and disaster management & response. You can follow her regular updates on Preparedness, Homesteading, and a host of other topics at www.readynutrition.com.
Recently, we talked about the necessity of learning skills to aid us in a survival situation. Dont underestimate the value of those skills for barter. If the grid goes down, people may be left with no access to medical care, serious gaps in their knowledge or the inability to repair vital items. If you possess those abilities, your skills will be in high demand.
In the situation of economic collapse, there will be a revival of the barter system. To barter means to exchange your goods or services for someone elses goods or services. To complete a satisfactory barter transaction, each person must desire something from the other party. Despite the potential of desperation, its morally imperative to be fair to the party that is most in need. Remember that one day, that person who is most in need may be you.
Right now, if something breaks, the replacement is only as far away as the closest Wal-Mart. However, in the event of an economic collapse or a disaster that causes the trucks to stop running, it wont be easy to replace broken items. The ability to repair broken items will be in very high demand. It will be a rare skill, because we live in a world of planned obsolescence. Few people actually know how to repair an item in a sturdy and long-lasting way.
Brandon Smith of Alt-Market calls this about bringing back the American Tradesman:
If you wish to survive after the destruction of the mainstream system that has babied us for so long, he says, you must be able to either make a necessary product, repair a necessary product, or teach a necessary skill. A limited few have the capital required to stockpile enough barter goods or gold and silver to live indefinitely. The American Tradesman must return in full force, not only for the sake of self preservation, but also for the sake of our heritage at large.
Check out Brandons excellent article on the barter system here.
There is no limit to the skills that could be used in a barter situation. Some examples would be:
First Aid for traumatic injuries Sutures
Teaching skills to adults like knitting, gardening, machine repair, etc.
Mechanics skills: the ability to fix solar generators, small machines, automobiles, etc.
Other repair skills: the ability to repair tools, woodstoves, plumbing, etc.
Making soap and candles
If the grid goes down or the economy collapses in a long-term way, gone are the days of making your living doing IT work or ringing through purchases at the grocery store. You will need to become not only self-sufficient, but a provider of goods or services.
Consider what abilities and knowledge you possess that can be shared with others. Nobody can do it alone there is always going to be something you need that you cant provide for yourself.
Like the idea of the cot in the barn! Am in Minnesota, but if my kids don’t want me, am willing to relocate.
Very good with babies and young children. Don’t enjoy bored teens so much, but do understand their existential problems. They need hard meaningful work that challenges them, without that, they are lost
Have a sharp and clever mind, but 68 yr. old body doesn’t do stoop labor very well. Good sense of the ridiculous, or else why would I be here on FR.
Probably could learn to shear, if someone could help me hold them down. Did help with birthing them when I was young. Build me a loom, and crawl under to do the tie-ups, and I will do the threading.
If you can weave baskets for cheese, then you can we’ve baskets, but we need to do what satisfies us the most. I am the happiest spinning, knitting, and sewing. Second happiest baking, cooking, and canning.
Engineering is wonderful! Focus on that!
Pinto beans and corn meal! I understand it was a life saver!
Sounds harsh, but with limited resources, I just can't afford it.
That’s a good idea re: the soda bottles. IF you are able to predict how much pressure you will end up with after brewing.
I’ve had such varied results with the pressure, I take nothing for granted!
Actually, alot of my water store is in quart size Gatorade bottles. And I have probably 200 of the Grolsch bottles saved.
Purified sugar could be an issue. And getting or having a good, non-feral yeast is a must.
I need to hit the brew store and pick up a few things to do a batch of stout. Probably grab a half dozen yeast packs then, too.
It wouldn’t be easy. Two weeks after the power went out, sanitizing everything to do a brew would be a major, major task!
What would be the going rate for a six pack? A gallon of gas?
The 2 liter PET bottles will withstand more pressure without rupture than the glass bottles will.
Purified sugar and special yeast is not required. I've made a 9% drink from cactus pears, wild plums, and baking yeast. And it was good.
Didn't taste like the swill beer you buy at the Quicky Mart, but who wants Bud Lite anyway?
Two weeks after the power went out, sanitizing everything to do a brew would be a major, major task!
If a man can't light a fire, and boil water, he has problems that beer won't help. ;)
Does baking yeast work?
I have a bunch of various yeasts I got at the brew store. The best and most efficient use would be to use small amounts of the yeast in a pack to make a good starter. You could then probable get a half dozen to a dozen runs out of one pack.
Couple years back I also bought a one pound pack of dried Distillers Yeast. Been in the bottom of my fridge ever since. Probably enough yeast in that one pack to brew 500,000 gallons of beer!
Or cider. Or whatever.
I still like the Safale. Overall, seems to give me the best, most consistent results.
I have also saved some of the trub from previous brews to pitch the next brew.
Sure having some Coopers malt extract, some ultra-refined sucrose and a special yeast is nice, but I roughed it for a while in a remote mountainside. You go with what you have and learn to make it better.
Hooch is sugars, water, and yeastie beasties. Period. Adjust for flavor and strength.
Humans have been doing this for thousands of years.
I do like having my store bought hygrometer, but in a pinch, I could make one. And I've always got iodine on hand for a starch test.
And after all, if it's TEOTWAWKI, and the stuff tastes like crap, you can always distill it and mix it with something that tastes good. ;)
I’m working on the ‘gunsmithing/weapons repair category. I’m already familiar with medicines and pharmaceuticals ... I’ll move to ‘trauma aid/emergency trauma treatment’ next.
I’m working on the ‘gunsmithing/weapons repair’ category. I’m already familiar with medicines and pharmaceuticals ... I’ll move to ‘trauma aid/emergency trauma treatment’ next.
How about a john boat and a 25HP evinrude?
My wife can sit down and make practically any article of clothing from a bolt of fabric and recently went one better than that. She traveled to take some classes on pattern making and now, after much practice, is making her own patterns. You know like those McCall's patterns you used to see in five and dime stores.
I watched her making one recently; it takes a lot of detail work and is not a common skill at all. This had nothing to do with prepping but was more of a continuation of her work and interest in clothing and fashion. While I was watching her, it dawned on me that it is a skill that is sure to have some demand at some point. Not to mention her sewing skills, she already barters bespoke (for all you hillbillys that means custom-made to the buyer's specification) clothing for services like hair coloring and styling.
I live in a very small, gated communiity and most in here are older retired people. In an emergency, such as an approaching hurricane, many are taken away by family members to be with them. I won’t have enough provisions to save the ones who would be left. I could give them medical care.
My sister-in-law and her husband came for a visit last week. They are liberal communists of the worst kind. I love them but that’s what they are and they admit it.
So, they told me this time that global warming is absolutely true and we did it to ourselves and where they live, food wouldn’t go after global warming did its thing.
I said a sentence that had the word “prepper” in it. The husband, who is a genuine genius, said, “What does that mean?” I said, “What?” He said, “that word ‘prepper’, what does that mean?”
I couldn’t believe it - the only word they knew was “survivalist” and that was a word, to them, for crazy people who had guns and hid out in the woods.
I said, “prepper” is the word for people like me who prepare for emergencies. They know I have “stuff” put away for hurricanes, but they have no idea what is really here. They have never asked, and I’ve never made a point to tell them.
They are important to me and I have enough food and supplies for them so they can come here if bad things happen.
I just thought it was totally amazing they didn’t know what the word “prepper” meant.
My fear is that it's going to be like that Twilight Zone episode with the fallout shelter.
“go” should have been “grow”
Ok, before I up the ante, I got to see a picture of his wife.
Good to see you again.
Don't you owe me a six pack of Heineken?
Good to see your moniker.
Stop on by.
Even in the 1950s it was common for Oklahoma families to have pinto beans and cornbread for dinner once a week.
Maybe a hold-over...or a reminder.
Yes. One can only do so much. I’m trying to get some small agriculture going, and will hopefully be able to help a few others out too. There aren’t many people near here, though, and likely fewer within the next five years or so (aging neighbors moving closer to cities from here). The weather here is the only imminent threat—somewhat more like Mars than most places.
I make a good hot water cornbread.
Kart - good post.
Creasies are stronger still, pungent actually but many crave them, it's an acquired taste. The edges of fields, even your yard might be full of them, if you don't use herbicides, the look vaguely like a flat, lacy edged, leafy dandelion that never blooms out. They're decent for variety in a fresh salad, too, sort of peppery.
Dandelion and poke are spring and summer only, poke you have to be careful about, only picking the bright green young shoots, if it has the faintest hint of going purple like grown poke tends to be, it becomes toxic.
And then, if you're way back in the hills with a little altitude surrounding you, there are ramps, which are like a very strong, wild cross between shallots and garlic, they're only for the brave raw, more tolerable cooked but there is a very distinct smell that some dislike. A light touch with them is best, like anything that can overpower.
There are all sorts of forage foods surrounding you, most likely, you've just never been in a position to need them and identify them. Much of the inland southeast was barely out of frontier stage at the advent of Civil War, then Reconstruction, several financial panics and depressions, then the Great Depression. The knowledge was never lost, and people still eat it, because they want to eat it.
Too many today don't know what they can forage locally.
It’s there if you know it and need it. Even kudzu is edible, battered and fried young leaves, sweet purple jelly from the blooms, the root tubers too, rather like a potato.
The kmowledge is easily acquired if you didn’t come by it through family, quite a few books on the topic going back to the seventies and before.
And I grew up here. I know where everything is, every tree, every garden, every rock in every stream. I wouldn't like it, but I could wander freely around the neighborhood blinded, just by smells, sounds and touches.
I had plenty of practice when I was a kid, running the yards and woods in the middle of the night. ;)
If you have a boggy, shaded area nearby, see if there are any fiddlehead ferns growing there. Harvest the curly young tips and flash fry them with a light seasoned batter. Awesome. And basically free other than the effort to get them.
Please put hot water cornbread recipe on here. Thanks, Mr. Wonderful Cook.
In a few weeks, I'll be eating baby squash blossems stuffed with a squirrel forcemeat, and flash fried, served on a bed of polenta, reduced sauce, with local fresh greens on the side.
I'm eating it because I'm poor, and baby squash with blossoms come out of the garden, squirrels come out of the trees, and cornmeal and squirrel stock is cheap. Local greens are free, and they are crazy good this year.
In an upscale restaurant, something like that (the squirrel would have to be renamed) would run $29/plate.
I may be poor, but I find a way to eat well.
Use whatever the French word for squirrel is and you can make that 35 dollars a plate.
2/3 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup wheat flour
1 tablespoon of dried whole egg
2 tablespoons of dried buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon of risings (baking powder)
1/8 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup of bacon drippings or lard.
Mix dry ingredients together, place clean skillet in hot (425F) oven with the lard/fat in it. Add hot water to dry mix to make a thick batter. When fat is melted, pour most of it in the batter and mix it in, put in skillet and bake in oven until a toothpick or knife comes out clean, and the top looks right. For a large recipe, I would reduce the oven temp to 375 or 400.
I need to finish writing my poverty food article.
Polenta is italian for cornmeal mush. The only difference is $.99 per serving for cornmeal mush, and $2.95 for polenta.
Thanks. There’s only one in my house - me - and I have a 6” iron skillet. I also have those dry ingredients. Will copy your recipe. I wish you lived next door to me.
1950's....I still have it but, not as often as in the 40,50 or 60's.
My mother used to make a crispy fried corn bread that was outta-sight with our beans and raw onions and peppers...a tall glass of sweet tea or fresh milk.
Tonight’s dinner is going to be shrimp and grits. Those Costco frozen shrimp run about 3 bucks a dozen. The grits about a quarter. We are going to go crazy and add two slices of cooked bacon to it.
Coat per serving will be under $5.00. There’s a darn fine restaraunt down the way that charges $10.00 for an appetizer size portion of 4 shrimp and about a quarter cup,of grits.
Granted they do drizzle it with a nice honey apple cider vinegar glaze but still. I think we can figure out how to make that.
Bon apetit my friend.
Her kitchen caught fire a couple of weeks ago, and insurance/contractor still haven't got it back together. She only comes home during the day to work in her yard. Insurance company has her staying in a local hotel.
First you have to buy them, then empty them but after that they work great. The emptying part is not all that bad either. Hope this helps ... you really do need to be prepared. ;-)
Trust me. ;-)
I can get the snap top bottles at the brew store for about 13.50 plus tax for 6. But they are the clear glass, not the green glass.
Or I can buy the Grolsch, and actually drink them before I wash and fill them, for about 2.27 each.
It’s a no-brainer no matter how long you think about it!!
Let me know when that cookbook gets published JRF... me wants one!
If you would like, and you aren't on the ping list, Kart can add you to the ping list, because I'll post it as a prep thread.