Tuesday, December 28, 2010

like coin

What could you do for, have that you could give, trade with or provide for a farmer that would convince him to let go of some of his potatoes and give them to you?

For me, that is the question in its essence. I have engaged in that question with both things I was willing to trade relatively easily (I'll bake bread for you, or make jam, or milk a cow), and things that I am willing to do to provide for me and my family (or as a gift) that I am simply not willing to do in exchange for anything or anyone (making cheese, canning).

Rather than thinking about this from the point of view of one who wants the food, think about it from the point of view of one who grew the food. Did you spend ten years increasing the fertility of that potato patch? Did you cut the seed potatoes, hill them, squash the bugs off them? Dig them. Do you have just enough potatoes that you know, no matter what happens, your family would not starve through the winter?

Does that give you some sense of what "like coin" is?

With $3/gallon gasoline as a New Year's present, I thought it worth bringing up for you to think about.


Mr. H. said...

If times get really rough I would have a hard time parting with my potatoes...such a perfect food. And yes, they are far more meaningful to those that have tended them from seed potato to eating potato...from sod and brush covered land to a decent garden plot. My wife and I were talking the other day and decided that if we could only grow a couple of crops our focus would have to be on kale and potatoes...and we would eat like kings.:)

Kate said...

I do think about this, which is why I have no interest whatsoever in "securing capital" by buying precious metals. I prefer to invest in the things that those holding precious metals will be hoping to trade for, such as food. And no, I won't be interested in trading my potatoes for silver, which I can't eat. I've thought about it, and the only trade goods I imagine having any real purchasing power for the true essentials would be some form of petroleum fuel, firearms/ammunition, and possibly cigarettes, for a while. Alcohol...well, that will likely be most available to those who produce food, so they probably won't exchange food for alcohol. It will likely be something the producers will trade for labor or non-essentials though.

Wendy said...

I've thought a lot about this issue.

News reports today predict that gasoline will top $4/gal this year, and given the way crude has been inching upward over the past year and a half, I don't doubt it.

I can't think of very many things that I would be willing to trade for the food we have stored - especially this time of year, when summer and the first harvest are still so far away.

Anonymous said...

This has nothing to do with this post. I just wanted to say I think that's the loveliest picture I've ever seen of you.

CG said...

considering that the last one was possibly the worst ever actually used as a profile photo! Thanks very much -- I may keep it for awhile.