Sent in by a particularly observant lurker:
Punters at a village pub have developed an ingenious way of beating the credit crunch without compromising on their daily pint.
Thrifty punters have begun bartering home-grown produce in exchange for beer and even pub meals.
Various items of fresh fruit, fish, meat and vegetables have been exchanged, with the amount of pints, meals or vouchers offered linked to the size, quantity and quality of the items presented.
A sign placed inside the pub says: ‘If you grow, breed, shoot or steal anything that may look at home on our menu, then bring it in and let’s do a deal.’
So far pints have been swapped in place of potatoes, mackerel and a kilo of fresh fruit.
Locally shot rabbits, pheasants and pigeons have also been exchanged for beer.
The Pigs pub, in Edgefield, near Holt, Norfolk, even encourages locals to contribute to its traditional food menu in return for free alcohol.
Manager Cloe Wasey, 24, said the offer has taken off as people have started to feel the pinch financially.
‘We’ve been doing it for almost two years now but the success of it has only just recently started to boom with the credit crunch setting in,’ she added.
‘People need to find different ways to go out and this helps.
‘It’s also great for us because we get produce at a good price, although we have high standards so the food we get in has to meet those.
‘We find the home grown stuff is often much better than what we can get from the suppliers.
‘Someone will say “that rabbit tasted great” and we say ‘here, meet the person who shot it”.’
Driver Derek Feast, 64, a regular in the pub, recently swapped some of the free range chicken eggs he breeds for a pint.
‘I have a job where I earn the national minimum wage so this little bit of extra money helps me get out,’ he said. ‘The odd penny here and there really helps.’
Miss Wasey, who runs the pub with her business partner Tim Abbott, 24, who is head chef, said the scheme has helped cement the pub’s place at the heart of the village community.
‘It gives us a more local feel,’ she said.
People without any exposure to the ideas of economics in the abstract understand and are attracted to barter on a gut level.
With barter, there is no middle man. There is no VAT, no record of transaction, in short, there is no law involved.
Bartercard is unlike any other credit or debit card because you fund our card with your own goods and services…NOT CASH. Bartercard currently helps over 55,000 smart businesses in 12 countries around the world (over 4,000 in the UK) to increase sales, customer base, cash-flow and profit. Bartercard enables member businesses to exchange goods and services with other Member businesses, saving valuable cash, without having to engage in a direct swap of goods.
Bartercard runs to facilitate Business to Business barter. Some interesting feedback on it thanks to the Google. It is run as a franchise world-wide
The next step has already been taken; one example can be found in the form of the Totnes Pound, where the idea of barter is pushed into the background and the (more understandable) idea of alternative currency is in the foreground.
After this the next step is to create a barter system that works on mobile phones, specifically the iPhone and iPod touch. A barter system running on a mobile platform, exposed to millions of people, could pick up enough momentum to become a powerful alternative to debt based, inflation cursed, corrupt currencies and the organized crime gangs that operate them.