Trading Skills

My husband and I started a non-profit animal sanctuary, Encanto Sanctuary, almost a year ago. We got our 501(c)(3) status and I went to work full out with website, social media, brochures, fund raising sites, and started taking in more animals that needed a safe place to live their lives. “Farm Animal Sanctuary and Learning Homestead” is our description and I was excited to get back into teaching homesteading classes. It may be too soon to tell, but I believe it may be an epic failure. It turns out that most of the people we come across want to give up animals more than they want to give us money! Well, that’s the way it goes, but I still love teaching homesteading.

A gal I know wanted to learn to bake bread, so I invited her over. Baking bread at high altitude is its own skill set and one I have perfected over the years (after many loaves of cement!), and I was happy to share what I know. Baking here (maybe anywhere) has less to do with ratios of ingredients, and more to do with feel. What does the dough feel like? We ended up having so much fun. We had tea and chatted for hours while baking bread. The twenty dollars I was going to charge seemed just silly to ask for. A new friendship seemed more than enough payment.

The same young woman came over to learn how to plant garlic. She and I and my granddaughter, Maryjane, separated cloves of garlic, weeded, watered, and planted dozens and dozens of cloves of garlic. We then went back inside to chat over a basket of stew beans I harvested that had dried and we shelled them and chatted and had a lovely time. Finances are so tight right now, that twenty dollars really wouldn’t affect that much, and we had such a lovely time. She also helped me plant, which I so appreciated.

She is a wonderful seamstress and I asked her if she might teach me how to sew the long skirts I absolutely adore (and am rather known for wearing) and she said yes! Next Monday I will go to her studio and learn how to sew farmgirl skirts. What a wonderful trade!

I taught a good friend of mine herbalism and she is going to teach me how to crochet a hat!

I am a doula, and I have a friend who I assisted during her first pregnancy and she wanted me to be with her during her second, but she and her husband did not have the money. I agreed all the same and was blessed to be present during the birth of their daughter.

I guess what I am learning during tight financial times, is that trying to get money from everyone I know isn’t really the lesson I am to learn. The lesson goes back to those old days of relying on each other. Sharing skills. Sharing wisdom. Making friends, supporting each other, coming together to help each other and learn. All while having tea and laughing. Community is priceless.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. I wish more people did this. Funnily I too, in France, which to set up a communal space for creativity. It’s lacking here and needs it.

    1. Farmgirl says:

      I wish you luck with that! I think it is a great way to build community.

  2. Going back to our ancestry and the days when a handshake meant something, is a good thing. Money is tight for us too, but having the faith will pull us through, God always does. I am sure your needs are met, as is ours. Some days, that has to be enough.

    1. Farmgirl says:

      Our needs are certainly met and I pray all good things for us all in this new year! Happy New Year!

  3. I love this. I have a similar post on my blog on how I bartered veg plants for various things during lockdown. I would love to do more of this but cash of course, remains king. Which is a shame!

    1. Katie Lynn says:

      Bartering veggie starts is a great idea!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s