Greene: “Fruitful exchanges”

The following is a story written by Green Fyre, a member based in Longmont, CO. Greene is a Renaissance person who has worked in fine and performing arts, entrepreneurship, professional writing and editing, and is now renovating and decorating her home and arts center & garden in Colorado.

I was turned on to Simbi by a neighbor on my local Nextdoor site when I put out a request for a pet sitter. It was love at first sight; I’ve been involved in barter exchanges before, and even once provided editorial review for a book on creating a new economic system based on the value of human skills and sharing. Plus, we’re new to our community and hoped Simbi would be a good way to meet people. The idea seemed too good to be true.

I was ready. I’ve been working for the past two years renovating our home and quarter-acre garden into an arts center and permaculture zone. My husband, Ben Sargent, and I are artists. We write and produce wild operas about sustainable and social justice themes, and we’d gotten to the point where re realized we couldn’t continue to drive all over the Denver region to use borrowed and rented rehearsal spaces. We needed our own creative zone. We found this rambling fixer-upper just north of the city and bought it and moved in on a wing and a prayer.

Two years in, I was exhausted from the scramble to patch it all together with my limited skills and our limited funds. Ben, who has done contracting and gardening work in the past, was also spent. He’s been working full time at his job during all this. We need to be DONE on the plant so we can get back to making art and music.

I decided to take a few hours away from the next big daunting task in front of me, taming our wild back garden into vegetable and herb beds, to see what magic Simbi had to offer. I invited a bunch of friends via Facebook, read a bunch of requests, and responded to a few. Within a couple hours I had several hundred Simbi credits!! One of the folks whose service requests I responded to got back to me right away, and within a couple hours of joining I had done my first deal and received a great review. All to the good! I found a half dozen local Simbi-ites offering gardening and landscaping work, and initiated conversations. Now how to start building Simbi credits to “pay” for this project?

Simbi works because it’s based on principle of sharing our gifts with one another, whether they’re formally recognized career skills, hobbies, or merely based in a desire to be of service.

I run a group on Facebook called Inventing Earth (that’s also the name of the nonprofit we run) that’s dedicated to posting good news about the ways in which humanity is solving our very significant social, environmental, and economic problems. Simbi is right in resonance with what we talk about in there, and members of the group were eager to join up.

In less than a week I had 795 Simbi credits and three people scheduled to come work in the garden starting this coming weekend.

I’ll post updates and photos so you can follow our progress. More about our work can be found here. Our home and arts center, The Margaret on Atwood, has her own Pinterest boards.

Greene F.

Simbiotic Stories are real anecdotes told by you and other Simbi community members. Tell us about your Simbi deals and experiences with other members. If your story is published, we’ll credit your account with 150 simbi. Submit your entries by starting a conversation with us via this link.


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