The Gift-Based Distribution Model

     I am frequently asked why we give seedlings away, and some even ask, "What's the catch?"  Well, the catch is that I want everyone to find joy and renewal in growing their own food, and then spread that joy to others.  There it is - plain and simple - there's the catch.

     The gift-based distribution model pre-dates all other distribution models, and was used by all of our ancestors. It is an economic model whereby valuables are given without an agreement for immediate or future rewards. It contrasts the barter model, which constitutes an exchange of goods of equal value; or the market model, which utilizes some form of currency as a medium of exchange.

     When I was growing up, it was not unusual for a neighbor to bring my family some eggs when they had an abundance. I would then be sent out to pick some tomatoes, or whatever else we may have had at the time to give them.  We all shared our abundance - it was simply the way we all took care of each other.

     As our current economic model continues to falter, and will eventually become completely untenable, finding new ways (or resurrecting old ones) to provide for our needs, and the needs of our community is of the utmost importance.  The gift economy, time banks, barter, work trade, and other systems will natually replace that which is now entering a state of decay.  The future will require us all to think outside of the box about everything we do.  I invite you to be open to new possibilities and new ways of doing things...

O kau aku, o ka ia la mai, pelā ka nohona o ka ʻohana - ‘Ōlelo No‘eau
From you and from him - so lived the family - Hawaiian Proverb
(The farmer gave to the fisherman, the fisherman to the farmer.)