Trading & Bartering


We have a community within Sonoma, called Sonoma Hitch & Barter. It’s organized through Facebook and the premise behind it is that you post a picture of something you own, but don’t want anymore. You ask for some things you’d like to trade it for and people chime in with offers. It’s a pretty excellent little community. For instance a few weeks ago, we had to empty out our garage and we took a picture of a window air conditioner unit that we don’t need anymore. It was 10 years old and though it worked fine, it seemed like something that would never sell on craigslist. So we offered it up. I said we’d trade it for wine or beer. A couple chimed up, who had a very hot apartment in summer. They had a small wine collection, but really weren’t wine drinkers when it came down to it. So they brought us their wine and we gave them our air conditioner. We both parted ways very happy.

In the past I’ve traded various house decorating knick knacks for homemade muffins and cookies, a box of baby toys for 4 bottles of Pliny the Elder, and an old dresser for more wine.

The other weekend this arbor came up on the Facebook site and I jumped on it immediately. He wanted succulent clippings. Oh, I’ve got those in spades! So I gathered a big box full, plus a little mint and lemon balm and headed over to his house. He loaded this into my van and I gave him the plants and we both agreed it was an excellent trade. No money was exchanged. I had what he wanted, he had what I wanted.

For this trade, I had to bring all my kids along with me and there were lots of questions. Do you know this guy? Is he your friend? Why is he giving this to you? Why does he want those plants? It was a learning opportunity for sure about how money isn’t always the way you can obtain something. Later that night, my oldest commented on how he really liked the whole trading scheme. It’s a good system when everything works smoothly. And now I have this beautiful arbor that needs a few more plants around it, doesn’t it?

In other news, do you see that barn in the bottom corner with the heart shaped group of trees? Isn’t it pretty? We’re having a french door added to our house so we can look out on that view. Construction starts this week. I can’t wait!!!

After posting about the weedy asparagus patch, I went out just days later and weeded it. Nothing holds you more accountable than publicly posting about your downfalls! I also just planted our onions at the end of March. It seems late for this area, but we found a few years ago, as a fluke, that when we plant our onions late, they don’t bolt before they’re ready to harvest…a problem we’ve always had in years past. They were our most successful onion crop. With fingers crossed, we’ll have the same results this year.


Filed under Life in Sonoma

7 responses to “Trading & Bartering

  1. Julie

    I LOVE the heart shape group of trees! I’d love to have that view!
    Ok….I confess I also really love your arbor…

  2. Jennifer

    I totally agree about the lessons to teach kids about bartering, money and saving. When I shop Craigslist, sell things on ebay, barter eggs for chicken feed at the feed store, whatever the case may be, my kids always ask lots of questions too. I love that they are learning they don’t have to buy new and pay retail for it. We “Freecycle” and for kids it’s always like Christmas morning when they tear into the bags. I often take my kids with me when I hit Goodwill. Right now they’re young enough not to care that the things are used, they’re just shocked they can buy jeans for 99 cents! BTW, love the trellis.

  3. Laurie

    What a lovely way of sharing!
    But on another note, I was admiring all the beautiful green in your photos. We’ve heard so much about the drought situation in California and it’s wonderful to see that some are getting to enjoy ‘spring green’! Blessings!

  4. Jean

    Congrats on weeding the asparagus patch. Do you think if I started a blog that I’d get some things done around here??? BTW, love the trellis. I need one for a rose bush in my yard that is out of control. And your view is spectacular. Enjoy those French doors.

  5. rebecca

    What a great idea! Love the arbor.

  6. What a great arbor. I have wisteria that would look great on it.

  7. I got my fridge off Hitch & Barter. Traded for an Olive Garden gift certificate. I love a bartering economy!

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