Over the past few weeks, it has become clearer and clearer that I might be onto something...
I have "milk money".
Nope. This ain't the usually money that comes from selling milk. You don't see much of that in the dairy business (despite selling goat milk for $10 per gallon).
This is milk that can be used instead of money.
In our area, there is a HUGE demand for raw milk. It's unbelievable. But times are hard, and people would rather use their money for other things besides real food (I would never dare suggest big screen TV's, or sodas, would I?). However, I have been finding that trading is an interesting, untapped alternative.
People like milk. Period. And the idea of getting raw milk in trade for something that they already have is especially appealing. So far, I'm trading raw goat milk for homegrown eggs, and raw cow milk, and am on the lookout for more trades. I'm really hoping to start trading milk for meat soon, but may end up having to wait until I have some cow milk of my own to trade. One trade that I would like to someday try is this: Trade milk for a beef calf and then raise it to slaughtering weight. Trade half of that beef (value of 1/2 beef is $400-$600) for 4-6 tons of good cow hay. Trade 2-3 tons of that hay for a 450 lb. beef calf, and the process starts all over again! I figure that if I ever get that ball rolling, then I can keep free beef in our freezer, and free hay in our barn. I already have friends who will trade me hay for beef, and I know of some people who will trade hay for a calf. All I need is that first lil' feller.
Other trades I'm on the lookout for are fresh veggies, fruits, fish, plants, livestock, etc. So if any of you blog readers are in the area and want some raw milk.... ;)
Money is something that I am definitely short on, most times of the year; so I fall to trading and haggling. You might say it's starting to become a hobby of mine. Or an art. ;) You should try it sometime!