How to Feed Your Family For $100 a Month: Bartering with Mavis

Yesterday, as Monkey Boy and I were building the bean teepee, I noticed there was still a ton of French Breakfast radishes that needed to be harvested.  So when we were finished, I told him to pick the radishes, bag them up and deliver them to a few of the neighbors.  Because, HELLO, we can’t eat them all.

Then, this morning, as I headed out to the backyard to water the garden, I noticed he didn’t pick all the radishes. Crap.  Now what and I going to do?  I can’t possibly eat another one, and all the neighbors who want radishes already have radishes.

So unsure of what I was going to do with them, I picked the radishes, set them aside and went back to watering the plants.

Then it hit me.

Hmmm.  I wonder if the local produce stand would want them?  I wonder if they would trade my French Breakfast radishes for… for… for… avocados?

I quickly washed them off and ran over there.

“Hi I’m Mavis…

I’m growing 2,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables in my backyard this summer… Yada Yada Yada… would you be interested in trading?”

“Sure, what do you want for them?” the owner said.

“I don’t know, how about some avocados?  How about 6 avocados?”

“Make it 8.  Go inside and give Billy the radishes and tell him you are taking 8 avocados.”

“Sweet.  Thanks!’

Just before I left, I also mentioned to the owner of the produce stand that I was also growing 34 {yes, I found more} different varieties of heirloom tomatoes…

His eyes lit up, and he said he was VERY interested.

So I got his business card, and he told me to call him the day before I was going to bring the heirloom tomatoes in, and I could get some groceries in exchange.

Did I mention the produce stand sells MEAT?


Maybe next time I’ll wear the pilgrim dress.

Want to learn more about bartering?  Check out The Feast Nearby: How I lost my job, buried a marriage, and found my way by keeping chickens, foraging, preserving, bartering, and eating locally (all on $40 a week) By Robin Mather.  Amazon currently has it on sale for $15.44.

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    • Mavis says

      Now that I think about it I should have traded for 4 avocados and 1 bags of chips lol. Because now I have to buy chips!!

  1. Desi says

    WINNER winner chicken dinner. hahaha. That’s amazing. So wonderful, you made a good friend to have. Can’t wait to see what he’ll trade for those tomatoes!

  2. Page M says

    You rock! I’m house/cat/garden sitting for my neighbors this week and in exchange I get all the fresh lettuce and spinach I want. Me and Mr. Clean can’t eat it all, so I’m hoping to barter it for some fresh eggs!

  3. jody says

    Your radishes are so beautiful! The garden of mine is growing, I can’t wait to take picures like that!

  4. Kelly Williams says

    You are SOOO amazing!! I have missed your posts so much since you left FF, so I was beyond excited to stumble across your site when I was searching online for gardening advise the other day! Speaking of which, I read in one of your old posts that you use TAGRO? Yes – I pathetically went back and read every single one of your previous gardening posts to see what I had missed!! :). Can you tell me what ratio (to regular dirt/soil, potting soil, etc.) you use in your buckets, pots and raised beds? My husband brought me home a load of their free mix, and I just want to make sure I mix it correctly for the best outcome. Thanks for all you share – your posts are always educational AND entertaining!!

    • Mavis says

      I love Tagro!!!! I use it 50/50. LOL… Although I don’t think you are suppose to use that much Tagro… But man of man does it grow some seriously large veggies. :)

  5. Susan says

    LOL! Yes! Wear the pilgrim dress!!!

    We are just getting started on our garden. It has been so wet.

    DH got it tilled last weekend and we planted 3 tomatoes , 4 hills of squash,a row of radishes and a row of lettuce. There is still alot to do.

    Youngest GD is coming this weekend to plant “her” garden. She is adding a row of flowers this year.

  6. maggiewann says

    I was just reading the other day that sweet potatoes love to grow in big black plastic pots–they like it hot.

  7. Robin in SoCal says

    You are a genius. Why didn’t I think of doing this? I am all over this idea. Thanks again you prove your Rock Star title is well deserved.

  8. Jen says

    Mavis You are such an inspiration! I love reading your gardening and bartering adventures! I just know that you meet your 2000 lb goal plus more!!!

  9. karen says

    About the book, The Feast Nearby… is a wonderful read. I love it and learned so much… and I refer back to it often.

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