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The Barter Value Of Skills
SHTF Plan ^ | 4-28-2012 | Tess Pennington

Posted on 04/28/2012 2:26:45 PM PDT by blam

The Barter Value Of Skills

Tess Pennington
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


Recently, we talked about the necessity of learning skills to aid us in a survival situation. Don’t 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 else’s goods or services. To complete a satisfactory barter transaction, each person must desire something from the other party. Despite the potential of desperation, it’s 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 won’t 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 Brandon’s 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

Midwifery/delivering babies

Dental care

Herbal remedies

Animal Husbandry

Veterinary Skills

Teaching children

Teaching skills to adults like knitting, gardening, machine repair, etc.

Mechanic’s skills: the ability to fix solar generators, small machines, automobiles, etc.

Other repair skills: the ability to repair tools, woodstoves, plumbing, etc.



Gunsmithing/Weapon repair

Security services

Food Preservation


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 can’t provide for yourself.

TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: barter; economy; prepperping; preppers; selfreliance; shtfplan; survival; survivalping
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To: Kartographer

Kart - good post.


81 posted on 04/29/2012 2:54:59 PM PDT by Iron Munro (If Repub's paid as much attention to Rush Limbaugh as the Dem's do, we wouldn't be in this mess)
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To: hope
Pinto beans, corn bread and wild greens. Mustard, dandelion, creasies, even poke salad. Mustard and creasies grow all over the place, nine or ten months out of the year in most of the southeast. Mustard greens are stronger than turnip or collard greens, but roughly comparable.

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.

82 posted on 04/29/2012 2:58:22 PM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: RegulatorCountry
That's just damn good food.

Too many today don't know what they can forage locally.


83 posted on 04/29/2012 3:04:23 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JRandomFreeper

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.

84 posted on 04/29/2012 3:34:56 PM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: RegulatorCountry
Yep. I lived on forage and storage for about 2 years after the 2008 market crash.

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. ;)


85 posted on 04/29/2012 3:39:21 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JRandomFreeper

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.

86 posted on 04/29/2012 3:47:00 PM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: JRandomFreeper

Please put hot water cornbread recipe on here. Thanks, Mr. Wonderful Cook.

87 posted on 04/29/2012 3:56:38 PM PDT by Marcella (Romney: for Abortion, homosexuality, same sex marriage - No to Romney)
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To: RegulatorCountry
I've cooked fiddlehead ferns in a fine dining restaurant. They are good. Unfortunately, they don't grow around here. The restaurant paid big bucks for them.

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.


88 posted on 04/29/2012 3:57:53 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JRandomFreeper

Use whatever the French word for squirrel is and you can make that 35 dollars a plate.

89 posted on 04/29/2012 4:03:52 PM PDT by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
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To: Marcella
This is single person food, so I make it in a 6" skillet.

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.


90 posted on 04/29/2012 4:07:34 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Lurker
LOL! You are so right.

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.


91 posted on 04/29/2012 4:10:34 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JRandomFreeper

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.

92 posted on 04/29/2012 4:11:48 PM PDT by Marcella (Romney: for Abortion, homosexuality, same sex marriage - No to Romney)
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To: dsc
"Even in the 1950s it was common for Oklahoma families to have pinto beans and cornbread for dinner once a week."

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.

93 posted on 04/29/2012 4:13:22 PM PDT by blam
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To: JRandomFreeper

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.

94 posted on 04/29/2012 4:17:57 PM PDT by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
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To: Marcella
I took my neighbor across the street dinner tonight. Grilled, BBQ sauced chicken thigh (bone out, skin off, reserved for stock and a ballotine), hash browns, and canned green beans (yuck). I don't mind cooking for useful folks that need it.

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.


95 posted on 04/29/2012 4:18:35 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Lurker
Live well! It's why God put us here.


96 posted on 04/29/2012 4:19:46 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Lurker
Here you go ... these work great for home brew.

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. ;-)

97 posted on 04/29/2012 6:56:29 PM PDT by Tunehead54 (Nothing funny here ;-)
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To: Tunehead54

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!!

98 posted on 04/29/2012 9:03:35 PM PDT by djf (Life's a play, we're actors not authors, and nobody even cared to give us the script!)
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To: JRandomFreeper
I am so gonna try that cornbread recipe with the mess of walleye I have in the icebox tomorrow!

Let me know when that cookbook gets published JRF... me wants one!

99 posted on 04/29/2012 11:19:14 PM PDT by JDoutrider (Impeach! Incarcerate! Deport!)
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To: JDoutrider; Kartographer
It will be Creative Commons License, and posted here on FR. It's an article, not a cookbook. I'd rather teach how to cook and how to think about cooking than write recipes.

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.


100 posted on 04/29/2012 11:25:25 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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