An eggcellent swap

“You’ve got chickens!” exclaimed a workman called John who came to our house recently, in awe and disbelief. “I’ve never been to a house around here with chickens! Can I buy some eggs?”

Never actually having sold any of our eggs before, I hesitated and then hastily had to come up with a price for him on the spot. Not the most professional of starts! But he’s already been back to buy more eggs for his Dad. Apparently the whole family are sold on them – especially due to DJ’s cute habit of writing the names of the chicken who laid them in pencil on the egg (he can tell who laid which one by the size, shape and colour, I do my best but I can’t always!).

This morning John rang up asking for more. And now I’m seriously wondering if we should get some more chickens! It’s a bit tricky as John likes to buy a dozen at a time which, despite having three hens, we don’t always have to hand. Thelma has had an eye infection and a dose of antibiotics and you can’t eat the eggs for a while after they’ve been on them, so effectively we’re one chicken down at the moment. Don’t tell her but we’ve had to throw her eggs away. She’d be very hurt if she knew.

Plus we like to give some to our neighbours – they all take it in turns to look after our pets when we go on holiday and that smoothes the way for us. But John is raving about the eggs and thinks we should go into business selling them! Anyway, I’m praying that by Friday the girls will have rustled up enough eggs for him for the week.

Although, alternatively the whole episode has thrown up a slightly different opportunity – a chance to barter! After a bit of a chat, we discovered that John is a dab hand at shooting rabbits, which he does in his spare time to help out the odd farmer. So we suggested that we could do a straight swap the next time he has a rabbit on his hands. I’ve only had rabbit meat once – at the wild food course we went to last year – and it was really nice. Thankfully DJ is happy to do the honours of skinning it – not sure my delicate stomach is up to it! I watched two rabbits being skinned at the course and had trouble holding my lunch down, but there you go, I’m a self-confessed wimp. Unfortunately John hasn’t had the opportunity to go shooting yet but promises we will get the first poor bunny he bags. I just hope he doesn’t leave it on the doorstep and frighten the life out of our next door neighbour’s little girl who…er…has a pet rabbit…!

I’m also wondering if we can take the bartering idea further. I’ve just signed up to our local Freecycle group in the hope of finding a good home for some of the junk cluttering up the cupboards. But I wonder if it’s possible to get something going among our neighbours and friends. I know there are local bartering schemes in some areas but there doesn’t seem to be one in ours. It would be great if I could find somebody to cut my hair, for example, in exchange for some eggs etc. The ultimate in thrift!

Do you barter goods or services with friends or neighbours? Do you find it works? Leave a comment and let me know.

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1 Response to An eggcellent swap

  1. Clare says:

    Have you looked at the LETS system? (Local Exchange Trading Sytem).  It\’s based on bartering, and if you have an active local group, it\’s well worth looking into.  Lots of likeminded people trading services and goods. 
    Clare xx

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