Give What You Actually Want
Who am I to say what a person needs? Maybe you do need an older, somewhat used, yellow, deep-pill floor mat. Its just that there are some things that you know you would want, and some things you know you would just re-gift or throw away. Some things you rely on every day and some things you keep in the attic. What do you value? Be pragmatic. Trade pragmatically.
Do you need a better sewing machine? Well, make sure that your extra bread dough mixer gets to someone who can put it to use. Do they owe you? Yes. Figure out a good swap. Maybe they can do some house cleaning or make 30 loaves of bread or something similar. Just make sure you don't let that thing sit unused in your pantry while your friend could be using it. You know you could sure use a new sewing machine! Someone has one sitting in a closet somewhere, unused.
Pay It Forward
Gift economy is a little uncomfortable. I have 10 years of writing, music making, poetry and other creativity that I would like the world to experience. But I might get a baby bed quilt in exchange. Maybe it's worth it? I don't know. I do know however, that someone needs a baby bed quilt, and I will look for that person.
The trick to trade economies is that they are accounted in love and awareness, and the transactions are long in the making. Sometimes the trades are funny and would make book-keepers irate. I think that's the way its supposed to be. Be generous. I'll try to be generous as well.
Maybe You Have Extra?
Maybe you have extra seeds? Especially wildcrafted or hand harvested! Maybe you have some little starts of something?
We butcher our own sheep, ducks, chickens and cows (you should too), so stuff to handle that is always nice.
Herbs, Tea, Coffee
Who doesn't run out of these? Not only this, but as far as trade items in the apocalypse, I am pretty sure these will outperform gold.
Bulk Grains or Beans
We have never yet had a sufficient supply. As we see it, you should be buying these for yourself as well.
Sheep Shearing Clippers
We have some sheep to shear. We think you should too. Or have a neighbor that does.
Olive Oil, Coconut Butter, Sesame Oil
Healthy cooking oils. Oils in glass are very storable
We love books. Good books are difficult to find. Maybe you have some favorites that we don't have yet?
Electric Fence Wire, Posts, Connectors
So. One thing that you should know about if you have land and animals is Holisting Land Management. You will likely need some electric fence.