We are happy to have the talented artist @silviabeneforti join our international marketplace with handmade artwork, products and printable (downloadable) toys. Downloadable, printable toys are genius and darling! A perfect gift for kids or the child in yourself 😉
I can describe her style as whimsical, cute, gentle, fun, friendly, peaceful and warm. Her artwork is bound to bring joy into your life!
I really appreciate Silvia bringing lessons her family taught her about sustainability into her life and her work. Aside from growing much of her own food Silvia strives for minimal waste, including using recycled materials, when possible, in her artwork and products.
I personally believe this is the direction we should all be heading and challenging ourselves and our friends to find creative ways to be more sustainable. Bravo Silvia!
@silviabeneforti now accepts STEEM, SBD and USD for artworks and handmade products
In her own words (borrowed from their Homesteaders Co-op store):
Since I was a child my family has the habit to try to make a positive impact on the environment, because we lived in a small village between many forest where everyone knew how important is to take care of the environment. Now I live in a small city in Tuscany (in the center of Italy), a small green area where everyone can easely lives taking care on the Nature around us. Simple actions that help to make our world better day by day. For example, since I was a child, in my family we have the habit to reduce the trash in different way: we buy just durable things (no throwaway plates and forks, for example), to re-use and recycle the most part of the things. Thanks to my father who has a large garden, we can eat veggies all the years, our own veggies. I use a similar approach also in the most part of my creative works, for example I love to recycle the cardboard boxes to give them a new life in form of sculptures or like a surface to paint. In my shop you’ll find some of my artworks inspiring by animals (paintings on paper or little sculptures), some of my handmade pocket journals featuring my own illustration and a lot of different things, all of them made by my hand in my own lab-house and using different materials I find in my area.
Imagine a world where everyone can follow their passions without fear of being shamed. A world where people don’t have to shy away from doing what they truely like to do, because there would be no judgment. Imagine a world where no one says that a life of art or music, or any other kind, is near impossible.
I see it as a world where happiness is the norm. Where competition is only existant to further grow our spirit. A world where people are free to think.
We have normalized an extremely boring way of life. Though there has always been the exception of a few marginalpeople here and there, the packaged lifestyle that seems to become main stream on every continent, with the same programing coming out of the soap box, has a newly awekened competitor!!!
This competitor I’m talking about is this wave of folks finally understanding (myself included) that happiness lies in being free to let your passions play out.
Maybe… Don’t quit your day job just yet!
I love to hear stories of people dropping out of their current life to follow their passions. They typically give it everything they’ve got and the stories are almost always full of joy and ease. While these stories may exist, I would be more inclined to believe that most go through hardships, failures and many a plans gone wrong along the way!
It is very challenging to let go completely of one way of life for another. But when passion is the main source of power pushing that change, it can be used as a very good place to start from.
We ourselves our going through this very same challenge. As much as I admire the ones who can drop everything to kick-start their new life of passion, we decided it would be better if I kept working part time. I can assure you, there already has been a few difficult obstacles along the way!!!
Working part-time, I am making less money, but keeping our health coverage, one of the shackles in the Unites States I have hard time breaking! That being said I’m very greatful to have found the kind of job that lets me come and go as I please and keep a full medical insurance plan that costs me close to nothing.
But keep dreaming!
As we are traveling at this very moment through Costa Rica we visited a community that has been building a life from their passion of community, homesteading and sustainability. They are a perfect example of success from having followed their dreams and passions! If you get a chance to check it out, here is their info: Rancho Mastatal
Over the course of 18 years, they have come accross quite a few obstacles but they never stopped reaching for their dream and here they are now a world renowned Sustainability Education Center.
I will soon be posting about our stay at Rancho Mastatal on my personal page @SenorCoconut, it was very inspiring and really confirmed that we’re not completely crazy, to follow our dream of building something similar in New York state!
My point is, don’t be afraid to tell EVERYONE about your passions and your dreams, this is how you can connect with others who share the same mindset and who will encourage you to continue on.
Just like the community around @homesteaderscoop, you too can follow your heart and make your passions and dreams a reality. Everything is possible and don’t forget it.
A lot of positive ideas, activities and acts of generosity have been popping up around Homesteaders Co-op this last week. Among which we have been blessed with the love and generosity shown to us by our big sister community @naturalmedicine, led by @riverflows.
Those of us steemians that have been around for a while know that one of the reasons many of us stay in steem is because of our communities, aka tribes. Steem allows us to freely and naturally form and group together in tribes, satisfying one of our basic human needs.
Onboarding and Communities
One of our goals in Homesteaders Co-op, and also outlined in our Fundition project plan, is onboarding new steem members via Homesteaders Co-op. Now that we have a solid base in our online marketplace technology we are shifting gears to put more emphasis into marketing and onboarding via our community co-op.
In our last fundition update we spoke about our new logo design by @frejafri (vendor in our community marketplace and talented illustrator) who helped us create this design that will part of our first impression to steem and the rest of the world! This branding is crucial in crafting an image for our marketplace of steem humans.
Following the design of our new logo, @riverflows stepped in to create a video to promote our Homesteaders Co-op both within steem but also outside of steem. Being a contributing author of the Homesteaders Co-op blog and closely connected with many of our vendors, she is very aware of our co-op’s mission, qualities and ethics.
Wow this video gave me an emotional high, like seriously! Seeing all of the beautiful, natural homegrown and homemade items almost got me teary eyed. THIS is what we need more of. Knowing I can go to a marketplace to buy wholesome things for my family just makes acquiring Steem and Sbd even more worthwhile! @homesteaderscoop is gonna change the game! I hope everyone gets with it and joins in to support their efforts!
This is the type of reaction that steemians are having when they see our new promotional video, this is the type of reaction folks have when they get to know Homesteaders Co-op’s vision, mission and ethics.
@riverflows is a crucial member of Homesteaders Co-op community and she is the leader of @naturalmedicinecommunity. It is really perfect actually that both Homesteaders Co-op and Natural Medicine came together in the production of this video.
To have this video made as a result of two communities connecting, reciprocating, sharing, inspiring and gifting one another creates a positive intention which we can carry forward.
The intention of love is imbued in this video and will carry forward in our message to the world. And this is the message that we want to send to folks about our favorite communities on steem.
I am very excited to present to our community the new Homesteaders Co-op logo which has been in design for a little while now by the talented @FrejaFri.
After seeing the beautiful illustrations that @FrejaFri had included in her online store FireFly Creations I thought that her natural style of illustration would be perfect for re-designing our logo in her unique style. Freja gladly agreed to help us with the new logo!
We will be sharing more about @FrejaFri and her talented illustrations and artwork that are available in Homesteaders Co-op in the near future. For now I would like to share her talented work with you all!
The tree is a symbol of nature. As homesteaders we recognize that we humans are not only reliant on nature for our well being, we are part of nature! This knowledge helps us realize the need to take responsibility to live with more respect towards nature and living more sustainably.
When we look to nature as family we treat plants, animals, air and water with respect and responsibility, rather than seeking what we can gain from nature. Likewise viewing our human counterparts as family helps us find respect and responsibility in our relationships rather than looking only for personal gain.
Healthy relationships are symbiotic. We strive for symbiosis not only with our fellow humans but also with all the life forms visible and invisible in the natural world.
A tree can provide a habitat for a whole host of communities of mammals, birds, worms, insects, microorganisms and more with food, water, air and shelter. Our human communities rely on all of the natural communities to thrive.
A Love for Nature
We are designing our Co-op based on observations made in nature. We realize that the most helpful mode of competition is through cooperation. If we only focus on competition we lose sight of family and we lose sight of the sacred connections between us all.
Our Homesteaders Co-op is a space where we can honor the connections between ourselves. After all we are all family in our global community. While technically we are all competing with each other, if we have understanding that our peers are our family we want them to succeed alongside us. One individual’s success is the success for us all.
If we only compete our greed will lead to loss of balance. We see this already today in our mainstream consumer culture where we humans are commodified. Homesteaders Co-op is a response to some of the social problems that we face due to greed.
We believe in pursuing a healthy balance of both competition and co-operation between our communities and between our members. Without co-operation we lose touch of the connections between, ultimately, all life.
We can perceive a connection as a channel for obtaining more (money, fame, power, etc) or we can perceive connections as channels for both giving and receiving of support, love, energy. When we recognize and practice symbiosis through our connections we all thrive.
Homesteaders Co-op is a Community Account
Homesteaders Co-op is a venue for our community to share value. Both as a marketplace where goods and services can be exchanged and also as a venue for sharing knowledge, ideals, ethics and inspiration with each other. I see that one of our community’s greatest value is inspiring each other!
Since we are a community account we’ve put together our new logo in several formats that can be used by our community here in steem and also outside of steem, in sharing and promoting our co-op!
I am listing several logos, icons and badges below for you to use in any way that you wish!
Thank you @FrejaFri for Designing this Beautiful Logo!
Working with Freja on designing this new logo is a perfect example of the beauty of community connections! If you love our new logo, please pay @FrejaFri‘s online store a visit and see all of the beautiful artwork that she has available for STEEM, SBD, USD. And you can even commission her to design your next logo or other custom artwork!
@sunscape has brought her handmade, natural soaps to Homesteaders Co-op! Her soaps are made in small batches, by hand with lots of love. What I find amazing is the myriad of soap creations limited only by @sunscape‘s imagination and creativity. There is surely a soap for everyone here; men, women, children, allergy sufferers and vegans!
@sunscape‘s products are not limited to soap bars. She also offers scrubs, cleansing sprays, baby soap and bastille soap. Be sure to check out all of her offerings!
@sunscape now accepts STEEM, SBD and USD for Handmade Soaps
In their own words (borrowed from their Homesteaders Co-op store):
I am delighted to bring my soap & soak creations to the Homesteaders Co-op. I focus on using all-natural oils, butters, essential oils, clay, herbs, flowers, sea salt, and of course fragrances too in all the products I offer. It is my passion to be creative, and inspirational to others by enjoying Mother Nature’s beautiful bounty while making the handmade creations to nurture your skin. Be sure to enjoy some of Sunscapes Soaps today.
All of Sunscape’s Soaps & Soaks are full of skin-loving oils, butters, clay and natural glycerin, with skin-safe, high quality fragrance and/or essential oils that make up a variety of soaps, scrubs, bath soaks and often essence sprays. Sunscapes Soap Shop has a large vegan-friendly line of soaps and products for those that enjoy a Vegan lifestyle.
Our soaps are handmade, hand cut, and cured for 6 weeks minimum before being offered for sale. The colors in my soaps can range from natural botanical powders, spices or infused oils to natural mica and pigments that have had Mother Nature’s heavy metals removed. This allows me to create beautiful, enriching, Artisan skin safe soaps for you to enjoy.
Let’s face it, we probably live better today than we have in the last few millennia. Just a few decades ago, the guillotine was still working. While I don’t believe in the death penalty, it may actually be one of the more humaneways to kill someone, though still a very medieval and gruesome practice, that was often publicized.
We can all recognize that the majority of humans live a more comfortable life than our recent past. Medical and civil advancement made our way of life much more bearable than it could have been just a few centuries ago. There could be a lot of debate on this, but between the beginnings of agriculture and colonization, I think we can agree that there has been much unnecessary pain in this world.
While today we are not enslaved in the same sense as when people were kidnapped from Africa or China and so many other cultures, we have constructed ourselves a strong mental cage to live in. Like it or not, we are trapped and most of us chose to ignore our dilemma while others enforce it. It often feels as though only a very few can see clearly that these shackles of mental enslavement must be broken.
What can we do when faced with this reality, what actions can we take?
With the advent of the internet, and a growing consciousness for freedom (of thought and being), we can see that accross the whole planet there are more than a handfull of folks walking the path of self-reliance. Looking into the world of modern homesteading and prepping we can find the people actually making a difference and taking matters into their own hands.
Weather you’re in a small apartment, in a caravan or you have farm land, all you need is that mindset. As @thistle-rock explains so beautifully in this post, you could be a homesteader and not even know it.
The moment you start thinking about growing your own food, or finding some sort of independance from the masses, you are in a position to make the world a better place.
We don’t have to feed into the madness of consumerism!
When we chose self-reliance because we want to have control over the ingredients our families ingest or because it can be a more affordable life, we will always be prepared for change. We will always have the upper hand for adapting to new situations. Having this ability can really open up one’s mind to make due, everytime.
Unblinded by the images of consumerism, we clearly see the difference between preference and principle.
Having had some sort of compassion for Mother Earth most of my life, I have noticed that the majority of folks with a homesteader’s mindset often feel the same way. The respect for our selves must come with a great respect for our planet… How else could we care for one another if it wasn’t for the greater health of this earth, our home? The same goes for our own health, how can we survive as a species, if we continue this course of natural genocide we’re on? With a little practice, I think we can remember our tribal ways and help each other make the most of our natural life to include the many generations to come.
Luckily there seems to be a revival of sustainability, autonomy and self-reliance living, to me this is one of the great news for humanity!
Lead by example, my homesteader friends, and love yourselves… You deserve it!
@ppmsilver is one of Homesteaders Co-op newest vendors and also relatively new to steem. Their new business is centered around offering high quality Colloidal Silver products which among many other benefits, is well reputed as a strong anti-microbial.
I know from speaking with @ppmsilver that they, as a family, are dedicated to sustainability in their lives which is apparent in their decision to homestead, raise bees, chickens, gardening, and fishing. They buy and barter as much as possible in their local community.
@ppmsilver now accepts STEEM, SBD and USD for Colloidal Silver products. They are offering a 10% discount for products purchased in STEEM or SBD.
In their own words (borrowed from their Homesteaders Co-op store):
In late 2014, we began creating the process and apparatus to make real colloidal silver we could use around our northeast Oklahoma homestead. Our manufacturing process soon advanced beyond anything else we knew of. I partially retired in mid-2016, limiting my work to part-time consulting, so I could allow more time to further improve our colloidal silver manufacturing method. We continued to refine the process over the next two years, ultimately producing over a hundred test lots. The resulting colloidal silver was as good or better than anything else available, in terms of quality—smaller in particle size and higher in concentration.
During the development, family and friends found additional uses for our colloidal silver, and they began encouraging us to sell it. In mid-2018, we decided to scale up the manufacturing process to support sales for household and cosmetic uses. Smart Colloidal Silver was born.
I sure did learn a lot and came away very inspired to see real examples of what can be done to accomplish food sovereignty for families and communities with a good plan, some hard work and a lot of love.
Incredible! We had 12 entries sharing lots of wisdom and inspiration about food sovereignty.
It was extra hard to choose the winners of this contest because there were so many amazing entries!! But alas I narrowed it down to the following three:
One of my current sites used to be a homestead but was abandoned years ago – now I’m restoring it for wildlife habitat. But there are a lot of old and amazing fruit trees growing wild on the property. The above picture is one of these trees.
This site will be opened to the public in the future as part of what we are calling the Inspiring Kids Preserve. It will be a place for kids, families and the community in general to come and learn and reconnect with nature.
But I also want them to connect with the idea of growing their own food.
So to help with that we have teamed up with a local fruit tree group to run free workshops to teach people how to prune and take care of their own fruit trees by practicing on our wild fruit trees.
You really outdid yourself with two entries to this challenge! Part 1 and Part 2. Number of entries aside, your dedication to your family’s food soveriengty is impressive. Supporting already 60% of your family’s diet, despite a small growing space, and increasing every year is quite a feat. I was especially impressed by your willingness to share your time with your community to build spaces to share food, knowledge, inspiration and community resilience. Great going @ligayagardener! I’ve transferred your 5 STEEM winnings to your wallet. Congratulations!
I got the first ‘Grow Free’ cart established in Gawler and that lead to 4 more being started These carts are part of a rapidly growing movement and are for folks to leave and take produce as needed. If you have surplus, you leave it. If you are in need, you take. It’s a really simple Idea that works.
We are part of the local Saturday morning food share. This is where like minded folk catch up every week or when they can and we swap and give any excess from our gardens. Really, anything garden related is OK at these swaps.
Until last year, when the trees weren’t big enough, we got about 20% of our food needs from the garden, mostly through annual plants . This year, it’s about 60% as the trees and bushes are beginning to yield and we have made the small, experimental aquaponics system into a big one. Even with the big extension to the aquaponics, that only adds a bit less than 10 square metres to the equation but it does allow paved and fence space to by utilized.
I live in a rural area that was once a big wool production area and at the edge of a wheatbelt too. There’s a lot of farming folk around here, but there’s also a lot of people with small acreages or at least big blocks of land where they have the capability of growing food for their own table. It’s been fantastic to share inspiration, seeds, plants and knowledge, and we’ve been having monthly food swaps. So succesful has this been that the town over from us has started their own group and also do swap meets, and many members are in both groups.
Keep scrolling for the rest of the wonderful entries to this challenge. Thank you everyone for contributing your time and thoughts on this subject!
After some reflection and contemplation, I decided to record an attempt at a coherent ramble, so hopefully it worked and people will understand what I’m up to and why. Basically, I believe that there is much wisdom in taking control of things as precious as your own food supply, and much of what is considered to be “food” is becoming increasingly compromised. Here, we want to first of all do it ourselves, and in the process, encourage, inspire, educate, and equip others to do the same. (I cover more in the vlog below.)
Now after years of trial, error and lots of learning we grow most of our food ourselfs. Still there is always more knowlegde and skills out there and that is a great asset as well. Once you’ve grown that tomato plant you will eat so much that you don’t know what to do with it anymore. That is when you start you first skill: canning. Nowadays besides canning we also make bread and cheese quite regularly. However my favorite crop of all remains the potato.
Our food is a primordial connection to all things. It is one of our biggest expenses and can be a huge stress on our health, environment and quality of life. Let’s use these insights to build stronger and greener communities. Here’s how it works. Find a few friends, the more the better.
At the moment we have mains water and access to chicken feed. We are able to supply ourselves with eggs, most of our fruit and vegetables when in season and some meat. All our herbs come from the garden and excess is shared with neighbours. It’s not much, but it is a way of reaching out to the community and making those connections. For such an introvert, I was actually quite surprised to realise that I now know more of the people on our street than some of our chattier neighbours.
Community is essential when things get hard so cultivating that is important for me. Most of my neighbours aren’t particularly interested in growing their own food, but the fact that we are doing it has started a seed of thought within some of them.
We have coal oil lamps and the oil to go in it plus we do have a small solar system set up on our camperized van which we could bring to the house if needed. Sad to say, but we have prepared for the internet no longer being available, which it very well could be, with a good library of books and music plus a tight local community.
We have a good supply of grains and seeds, pulses and rice in a storage room that keeps cool and dry. We know how to cook things from scratch, can and preserve our foods and have a diet that we are happy with and are not reliant on the stores to maintain it.
This past year we took our gardening one step further and began our indoor gardening project.
Our efforts here to establish our own food forest and a tree-guild-based sharing garden are just the start. A big part of the sharing garden is going to be my marketing attempts to spread information about permaculture and home food production to everyone I am blessed enough to serve. When people come to pick berries and food, I’m going to greet them with a hug (I’m a hugger) and a small book or brocure of permaculture information.
Food security is something I’ve been working on for years now. I guess we always think about taking care of our own first. Food sovereignty is a newer concept for me. I’m the kind of person that usually thinks, I can do this all on my own. It was part of why I became interested in gardening in the first place. I used to dream about feeding my large family from our little garden plot. We ended up with a few good meals in the summer. Or sometimes we were able to supplement some peppers and tomato’s for part of a meal. Then a big haul of winter squash and other end of the season bounty. I was content with that for many years but was, and still am concerned with how much we put in the pantry every fall. How to stretch the growing season. Or how to convince my children to eat healthier.
Which all the furor about various means of attaining food for all people’s, and caring for your community in the centuries to come after Lili takes her revenge upon mankind… Nobody seems to be speaking about Salt…
I won’t go into the particulars of it, (in fact, you should ask the folks @steemstem) but salt is an absolute necessity for all Earthly Life.. If even the children of Mama Evie need it, then you can damn well bet that Aunt Lili’s children need it… It’s just physics… If you had access to every possible resource, but no salt… You would die…
HARD… Normally, Salt is harvested from the Sea… It’s quite easy to get it from there, and nobody even makes a fuss about it anymore… But inland.. Folks who don’t have access to salt-water, need take a different approach. How does one manufacture table salt with no Sea-Water?
I am so proud and honored to introduce you to Tawatinaw Spirit, one of our newest vendors in Homesteaders Co-op. Tawatinaw Spirit is run by @carey-page and @wwf, a couple who have dedicated their lives to seeking truth, independence, self reliance, spirit and community. They are living off grid on their homestead in Canada and have decided to open their new online shop to share their handmade, homegrown products and ethical services to our steem communities.
What I really appreciate from getting to know @wwf here on steem is that he and @carey-page are both dedicated to healing and reconnecting with spirit. The most incredible thing to me is that they are committed to not compromising their ethics. The results of their work is apparent in their teachings, their language and their actions.
I am excited that @carey-page and @wwf have decided to open up shop and share the results of their hard work and joy for living naturally and simply.
Tawatinaw Spirit now accepts STEEM, SBD as well as USD for handmade items, healing herbs, spiritual mentorship, and ebooks
In their own words (borrowed from their Homesteaders Co-op store):
My husband @wwf and I have been homesteading since 2007 and work hard to be spiritual stewards of the land so that all life may prosper. I am a medicine woman and I practice homeopathy and a whole range of healing modalities, health and wellness. We pick food and medicine from the land and want to offer our knowledge and products so that others may learn to steward the land for themselves.
We harvest sustainably from the land that we steward. We have 72 acres of virgin northern boreal forest on the banks of the Tawatinaw Valley in northern Alberta. We only harvest when the season permits it. What we do harvest is then dried in our solar food dehydrator and stored for the coming year. Any excess food and medicine will be offered to our friends so that you all may experience the type of life style that we have embraced for over a decade.
All of our writings, crafts, etc is made with solar energy and materials gathered off the land or salvaged and then repurposed. There are a few items that we are not currently able or willing to make ourselves, so those items are purchased so that we can complete specific projects.
We currently do not have an inventory of products, but will work hard this coming season to build that up. We will do our best to mark when products will be available.
We are willing to do custom orders. Those orders will require time in order to complete them.
@carey-page is offering this beautiful handmade crocheted bag! I can appreciate that a lot of time and love must have gone into crafting this hand bag.
And then there are the dried medicinal herbs and seeds grown and wildcrafted by @carey-page and @wwf such as Nettle, Hazelnut Tree leaves and Pueblo Tobacco Seeds.
Hazel nut trees are amazing plants. The shaft has been used for thousands of years by the indigenous peoples to help toddlers while they are teething. The squirrels engage in agriculture here as they plant hazel nuts every fall resulting in a lot of hazel nut shrubs on this land. We use the green fresh leaves in salads during the summer and dry them for tea. We urge people to do their research before consuming natural products to ensure they do not interact with current medications or other sensitivities.
I do believe that @carey-page will be adding more handmade items, herbs and other homegrown products as time goes on. I believe I heard that she may even consider offering her healing services in the near future.
I have already read the first few chapters of @wwf‘s Graduating Life with Honors and it has already begun to help me shift my understanding of our world and learn how to be a more independent thinker. For those that can’t afford the eBook @wwf has a free version on steem. But at $2.50 there is nearly no excuse not to support his hard work with a purchase.
Here is an excerpt from chapter one:
I see people waking up all over the world. Since the release of UNGRIP back in October 2011, I have been contacted by thousands of people who resonated with the idea of self-governance, taking back our power and declaring peace. People recognize that there is something terribly wrong with the world right now. Our political, economic, financial and social systems are broken and very sick. That illness has manifested in significant damage to the environment, our health, the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe. People are dying or suffering greatly, so people are hitting the streets in droves in many countries around the world. People know something is wrong and they are standing up and speaking their minds. This is a healthy step in the process and is one that I encourage as long as it remains peaceful. […] My goal and intent for this book is to speak directly to all the spirits out there who are in possession of a physical body and caught up in the fictional realm that we all co-created. I want to reach out to you all and show you that we are all capable of finding a meaningful balanced and centred life through self-governance that is rooted in a deep and profound relationship with the Creator, ourselves and others, all based from the point of view of the I AM, the soul/spiritual being rather than the point of view of the body caught up in the Physical Realm or the person caught up in the Fictional Realm.
Spiritual Mentorship is a journey that works to heal our relationship with self, Creator, others and Mother Earth. It requires a balance approach between the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Just as we all had teachers to help us learn a specific subject, parents to guide us when we were young, we too should have a Spiritual Mentor to help challenge us along our individual journeys. Spiritual Mentors can help provide guidance or share their own wisdom in certain circumstances. Perhaps there are key skills or knowledge required in order to accomplish specific goals or tasks. Maybe you are facing some tough choices or feel stuck and need somebody to bounce ideas or share feelings. A Spiritual Mentor is somebody that can provide that help to guide the individual’s personal growth towards Spiritual Health and helping us fulfill our live purpose. Spiritual Mentors will hold us accountable, engage with us on an individual basis and help us embrace this physical experience from a Spirit centric modality.
Tawatinaw Spirit is based out of Canada and ships only within Canada. eBooks and Spiritual mentorship are available anywhere. (Homesteaders Co-op is an international marketplace)
A barter, or a trade, is an exchange of goods or services between two or more parties without the use of currency. Bartering for a good or service is different than purchasing a product because there is no money involved. Bartering is a form of non-monetary exchange.
Often monetary value is used to find an equivalent or roughly equivalent value of goods or services that are being bartered. Since most of us are used to valuing goods and services in currency, currency can be a convenient measure of value. However, it is not necessary to use currency to measure value. Often, value can be very personal and when monetary value is removed from the picture, expression of value can be more open and less constrained.
Hybrid barter and Monetary Exchange
It is certainly possible and normal to use money (such as STEEM, SBD or USD) to make up for some value when the agreed value of goods/services being bartered are not equal.
Proof of a Desire to Barter
We gave our vendors the option to elect whether they are open to bartering. 8 out of 21 vendors have already specified that they are open and willing to consider bartering with customers and/or vendors. Nearly half of our vendors already see value in being able to barter. This is very positive feedback we are on the right track.
The Fear of Missing out on Profit
Aren’t we worried that we won’t be able to oversee bartering activity or profit from it? What if vendors barter and we can’t control their activities?
This is exactly the fear that we want to avoid. Fear of loss of profit can lead to greed. As mentioned above our vendors have already expressed through their actions that they would like to have the option to operate in non-monetary exchange of goods and services.
By letting go of fears and letting go of control we are able to open our marketplace to new possibilities in personal freedom and economic choice. These freedoms and choices are not new but they may not be obvious or easily realized in our dominant economy, dictated by industrial commerce.
Opting Out of Greed
By not seeking profit, our market’s participants may interchange [ @wwf ] goods and services for like value. By not choosing profit we can opt out of middlemen in our transactions. Middlemen of transactions historically seek profit. A middleman that chooses to grow, and is able to grow, plausibly passes a point of seeking profit that turns into a greed snowball. Greed places dollar signs on the backs of customers, shoppers and advertisers until they are no longer seen as humans, but are seen only as profit or lack thereof. All decisions are made based on maximizing profit or minimizing loss, rendering ethics, morality and humanity obsolete.
Homesteaders Co-op is not a middleman in any transactions, whether they are made with money, by trade or as a gift. By choosing not to be a middleman we have the unique opportunity to opt out of greed. Certainly it is possible for greed to make its way into our marketplace, our minds and our actions. But our initial success and track record has been built on generosity, independence, empowerment and choice. Our actions and reputation are on the steem blockchain for anyone to audit.
What is possible, that wasn’t possible before, when we put our ethics first and fear takes a back seat? This is what we hope to continue to reveal as we continue on with this intention.
First Successful Barter
I appreciate that @papa-pepper (of Pepper Family Homestead: vendor of seeds, accessories, crafts and more in Homesteadesr Co-op) recently made this request to barter with my seed project, Seeds of Abundance. He was interested in a few of the seeds that we are offering and suggested a trade. I had already been interested in some of The Pepper Family Homestead’s products and found a few more that interested me and we set the terms of our barter by email, outside of the Homesteaders Co-op marketplace.
It was a true peer to peer exchange. It was a successful barter [ @sagescrub ] inspired by our marketplace and transacted outside of any system, even outside of Homesteaders Co-op.
In my experience bartering can (but doesn’t always) lead to generosity, especially when I am bartering with people I know, people I respect or people that I can share interest or values with.
Because we are communicating about an exchange we have the opportunity to exchange ideas, language and ideally build more trust. When we are bartering we have a relationship that goes beyond the typical add to cart and checkout – click, click, swipe, swipe. And in the case of this barter, @papa-pepper inevitably offered to share some plants that aren’t available in his store, and that led me to feel more generous and offer more seeds to Papa Pepper that aren’t available in my store. We both got more value than we expected and a feeling of gratitude to share and trade with each other.
There is a certain lack of perfection in this type of transaction. A computer or a businessman might call this transaction messy and having a lack of accountability. But isn’t life often messy? Nature is messy and imperfect. Being of nature, perhaps we humans are also meant to be less than perfect. Perhaps it is ok not to hold ourselves to a standard of perfection, a standard of clear reconciliation and a maximization of profit.
And so I celebrate money because it gives us opportunities to transact with people we may not have been able to transact with otherwise. And I celebrate bartering because it reminds me of my humanity and brings me closer to the people that I transact with (those whom I trust), which leads to more pride and humility in my actions and appreciation and respect for my peers and our community.