It’s been a busy few weeks processing all those pears—I canned over 30 jars of them, we’ve got 15 gallons of pear wine brewing and 9 jars of pear-ginger marmalade. I also harvested our first honey, a whopping 4.5 pints!
(I consider leaving out this part where I admit I did not mean to harvest so much, but I made the novice mistake of lifting out a bar full of capped honeycomb, which in a topbar hive should not be done in high heat, because the comb can pull right off the bar and fall into the hive, which is exactly what happened. It then smashed onto the neighboring comb, killed lots of bees, and meant I had to then harvest two combs and pull out dead bees with tweezers. Not my finest hour.)
Also, we’ve had another agoristic experience I’m happy to report: 3 wild hogs from a friend traded for a half-dozen dressed ducks. No cash exchanged, that means no cash to line the banksters’ pockets or to pay for more illegal wars. I love the idea of agorism, it makes so much sense to me. But, like with all things, the theory is always easier to come to than the practice.
In fact, I could have several more occasions for bartering if I felt more comfortable simply asking. We had a dump truck load of mulch delivered, the perfect missed opportunity. There are many skills involved that require me to up my game and learn things I’ve spent my life avoiding, because I’ve never liked doing them–like marketing, networking, various other entrepreneurial-type skills. I’ve never been that comfortable or concerned with money and I automatically zone out whenever numbers come up. New challenges pop up over the simplest things that hadn’t much occurred to me before, like how to assign value to things or services. What is a dressed duck worth compared to an undressed hog? This is a question a suburban girl never expects to ponder in her lifetime.
Also problematic is distance. I see that bartering sites are popping up quite a bit now in urban areas and folks are exchanging even more now using old standbys like Craigslist. But Austin, Dallas, and Houston are all about a 3-hour drive one way, which make regular trips there un-economical and far too time-consuming. While I’m thrilled to see how popular bartering is becoming, it’s not a decent short-term solution for us.
Now that I’m pleasantly and perhaps permanently unemployed I like the idea of trying to find other ways to exchange and earn that wouldn’t set us back so far that Handy Hubby would give up the plan of an early retirement. That’s our five-year plan. We don’t want to start a business, not in the traditional sense anyway. We like the simple, uncomplicated sort of life; we’ve adjusted to it now. I think it was once referred to as “subsistence farming,” maybe even without the negative connotation. That’s another concept I never expected to ponder in my lifetime.
I guess the criticism from a reader that I am a neo-luddite was valid after all. I’ve changed in our nearly seven years here. Our paradigm has shifted. Cities are too crowded, even social media is too crowded. I hate to think the only option for selling our surplus would be to go back into the matrix and try to navigate the (meta)physical marketplace. Not that I don’t appreciate it now and again, but I’d much rather go for inspiration than labor.
Such thinking of short-term solutions led me to surf the dark web, to research the black and gray markets. It was a very educational journey full of potentialities. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you about that here.
I’d love to hear from y’all–your links, ideas, thoughts, ramblings, all welcome, both practice and theory!
Our first honey harvest was an accidental success, I learned so much about what not to do!
Of course it’s Handy Hubby who does the real heavy lifting. I’m one lucky unemployed redneck wannabe!