When you live in the mountains, you find that the way of life is different than any other area in the world. As a mom and wife, I enjoy the natural beauty of my mountain home as well as living a laid back lifestyle. Every aspect of mountain living is different, especially the economy. It is common for mountaineers to trade rather than spend money on items they need. In my mountain home, trading is the best way to use what you have to get what you need. Below are a few examples of how trade is used as the standard mountain economy.
Gardening and Canning
One way I like to trade with neighbors is with gardening and canning. My family has a garden that provides us with vegetables that we can eat as well as vegetables we can trade with others. We work hard in our garden, then harvest to trade fresh vegetables with neighbors. We also take the vegetables and create canned goods. These goods can then be used to trade for items we need such as basic staples like flour and sugar or fabric goods. Gardening is one of the best ways to have items to trade with members of the community.
Speaking of fabrics, mountaineers need plenty of clothing as well as blankets to stay warm. I have learned how to create blankets from knitting which I then trade for items we need. I also sew so that I can help mend clothing of others to then trade this service for another. My skills have come in quite handy to earn the items my family needs.
Hunting and Gathering
My husband is a hunter of the mountains while I have become quite adept at gathering. My husband hunts for our family but also to trade. Small creatures are wanted for their pelts while larger animals are used for their meat. My husband hunts all types of game to be able to earn items for our needs as well as provide food for our family.
With gathering, I have learned how to use plants for health and wellness, which can then be used for trade. I bag spices for cooking, create herbal remedies and more, which I then trade to neighbors for items they create. The trading we do as a community is used to benefit everyone and is a custom in mountain living.
Not only can goods be traded in the mountains but also services. This could be helping with plumbing or farming as well as babysitting. Any service you can provide or skill you have can then be used to trade for something else. We use everything in the mountains to have a functioning community that does not rely on common currency.
I love my mountain home and do everything I can to be a quality contributor of the community. We all work together to provide the essential items needed for a functioning home. When visiting the mountains, take note of homemade items in home and businesses, which were most likely traded with members of the community.