Past Meetup

The Barter Experiment: June

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The Barter Experiment has now been running for over a year, hosted by The Human Path, as a part of the urban sustainability program.

Now that everyone is familiar with the art of bartering and many people have developed sustainable skills, built relationships with each other outside of the barter events and new barters are starting to pop up in the community, it is time for the barter to move into its next step!


**Here is the link for listing and viewing the items being brought to the June barter! (


This spring we will start encouraging the setup of a 'shop' for those who have a skill that can be demonstrated, so that fellow traders can see what goes on as part of the process in the creation of things offered. We would like to encourage craftsmen and women to 'set up shop', and work on their items during the day and during the barter. This will allow people to see the items as they are made, ask questions about the process and negotiate larger trades over time. This will eventually create more of a 'market' type of atmosphere.

**Not everyone needs to do this. We will likely start small, and work from several small 'shops' over a few months, as individuals indicate interest.

We are also extending the time of the barter so that it runs 2 - 4:30 pm. This will allow those who would like to set up a 'shop' to have time to do that, settle in and work on projects, talk with traders and do barters. Trading will now begin at 2:30 pm to allow time at the end for a casual coffee/tea social for a few minutes before heading home...

If you would like to set up a 'shop', please contact Suchil to set it up.

Below are the usual details of the barter for those who are new to it!


Community is an important part of The Human Path school. Last spring, we were inspired by an article about trade and barter (, and since this is something we teach in our urban courses, decided it was time to set up a regular event. It has been steadily growing both in size and in the great sustainable items that people are bringing and has become very successful! June will be our 15th month doing this event!

Once a month, the school hosts a barter and trade event. Traders set up tables and people can bring items they have an abundance of and want to share. This is a barter and trade exercise, not a potluck.

Here are some ideas: fruits or vegetables you have canned, homemade soaps or breads, meat jerky, fresh herbs to trade, eggs from your backyard hens and ducks, meat you've hunted, seedlings or plants you have too many of, produce from your garden, home-brewed ales or kombuchas, even bags of good compost, or other items of trade. (It does not have to be food) As the growing season progresses, it would be kind of fun to even trade cases of local peaches, figs or other produce and do afternoon canning at the school.

Here are the general guidelines of the barter and swap event:

If it is prepared food: make sure that it is labeled in some way so that everyone knows all the ingredients in case there are food allergies

We have two fold-able tables, but its not a bad idea to bring a table or blanket if you have one. Camp chairs are also a good idea so that you won't have to stand too long.

Make sure whatever you are trading is very fresh and wrapped well to prevent spoilage if the weather is warm.

Bring bags or baskets to take your trade items home in and a cooler if you are trading for meats, cheeses or dairy.

We will set up the trade tables under the cedars by the camping area where we can get a breeze

Dogs are not permitted at this event.

We will list all the items for trade online at this link here so that we don't end up with 50 dozen eggs but no vegetables. Make sure when you RSVP that you put the items you are bringing in the 'comments' for this list and I will add them.

Animals for trade (ie: Chicks, goats or little pigs) are also ok, provided they are listed below and there is interest. This will prevent them from being transported needlessly and being stressed by travel, strange surroundings. They will need to have a carrier to be in during the trade. Please list the animals and its recommended to only bring them if you have a confirmed barter with someone to minimize their stress in the heat.

Since this is a barter and swap event, no cash.

Samples: it is a good idea to have samples of your homemade jerky or bread or preserves, if you're trying to make a trade and someone is uncertain because they've never tried whatever it is you have.

In the trade day, ammunition trade is ok. Please do not bring firearms though, onto the property. Other hand-crafted items are also encouraged. Wood-working, rabbit hutches, sewing linens and other home-made items are excellent.

Just a gentle guide: the items people bring to barter and swap should be sustainable-minded. For example, fresh eggs from your backyard - good. Jams you made - good. Homemade breads or soaps - very good. Stuff you're trying to clean out of your garage thats been sitting there for 3 years -- not so good.

This is a community event, and is open to people who are interested in the barter and trade concept. You don't need to be taking classes at the school to attend!

The school is developing an eco-homestead that dedicated students are working on as part of learning how to care for and build self sustaining structures. If you have any plants that you would be able to donate to the school, please let us know. While we repair the land, it needs all the care and sustenance it can get. :)