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Will Trade For Food — Cashless Economies On The Rise

This article is more than 10 years old.
Marketing expert Valerie Gates receives fresh, prepared meals from Jake Ferreira of Beetlebung Farm LLC in her Wellesley, Mass., kitchen. Gates devised a barter system in which she gives marketing advice to New England farms in exchange for food. (Andrea Shea/WBUR)
Marketing expert Valerie Gates receives fresh, prepared meals from Jake Ferreira of Beetlebung Farm LLC in her Wellesley, Mass., kitchen. Gates devised a barter system in which she gives marketing advice to New England farms in exchange for food. (Andrea Shea/WBUR)

Valerie Gates will work for food. She does it all the time. Standing in her Wellesley kitchen, the marketing expert, who doesn’t cook much, reaps the harvest of a barter system she devised five months ago.

The ancient form of exchange is making a comeback during this economic downturn. People and businesses are bartering services and stuff: piano lessons, plumbing, accounting, dining-room sets — even asparagus.

Salad greens and herbs spill onto Gates’ counter top, thanks to Jake Ferreira. Gates fashioned a logo for his fledgling farming company, Beetlebung Farm LLC. Ferreira and his business partner help people and schools build vegetable gardens on Martha’s Vineyard. They also cater using local ingredients.

Ferreira’s here making good on his part of the deal, unloading a cooler packed with fresh, prepared meals: Sole baked in parchment, baby arugula pesto, asparagus with spring garlic and homemade cheese.

This program aired on June 4, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

Andrea Shea Twitter Senior Arts Reporter
Andrea Shea is WBUR's arts reporter.

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