Demand for alternative currencies is gaining value in Indy: barter. These transactions have surfaced in the Circle City as hummus swapped for sea salt caramel sauce, and a few tube repairs in exchange for a new-to-you bike. Here are three barter communities rising in popularity.
Have or want to learn an unusual skill or talent? Trade School Indy organizes unique classes taught by community members to community members. March classes include home brewing, cuddling, bookbinding and swing dancing.
Instructors post their wants on the registration form. According to current offerings, requests include related class supplies, unusually crafted cheeses, furniture and high fives. Students bring an item as payment. Class locations vary.
Piles of pickled peppers in the pantry? Every other month Indy food swappers gather at the Indianapolis City Market and trade prepared items and produce. Started by Susan Krowiak, the swap mentality promotes a creative food community. Swap slots open two weeks in advance and fill quickly.
Indianapolis’ swap movement refreshes itself as new and pioneer swappers barter homemade hazelnut spread for kale chips. The atmosphere is one of appreciation, curiosity and excitement.
Fantasizing a trek on the Fall Creek Trail? The nonprofit Freewheeling’ Community Bikes barters in bicycles. The Earn-a-Bike program invites kids ages 10 to 15 to swap sweat equity for a bike. Executive Director Nancy Stimson states the organization currently only offers the program for kids.
A minimal $15 program fee opens two-wheel exploration as each child builds and repairs a bicycle of their choosing with staff guidance over eight weeks. Kids learn basic bike care, discover the ABCs of safety and gain a sense of community.