Category Archives: Alternative Economies

Alternative Economies

The expression “money makes the world go ‘round” is deeply flawed. As economies around the world occasionally crash, paper money becomes more valuable as fire kindling and wall paper than currency. The stories coming from individuals who have lived through such experiences demonstrate the power of social capital. When we know our neighbors and realize the force behind the broad network of connections our community holds, we can live a truly rich life. Creating this abundance is nothing new—in fact, many alternative economy models are rooted in long held traditions of farmers and rural interdependence.
Let’s look at this idea of “Alterative Economies” from a local lens. ReNac has built up social capital in various pockets of Nacogdoches. Because of these relationships, organizations like Austin Heights Babptist Church have generously donated their space for meetings and events. Together in 2015, we helped build even more community connections when AHBC provided ReNac space to hold the First Annual Nacogdoches Seed Swap, which drew in over 100 people to freely share their bounty of seeds and take home new varieties. The leftover seeds were then donated to the Nacogdoches Public Library (another nurtured relationship!), who were in the midst of planning a Seed Library and subsequently helped host the 2nd Annual Nacogdoches Seed Swap! The community building and collaboration that happens daily at the Nacogdoches Public Library is a tremendous gift to Nacogdoches. Keep your eyes peeled for other “swap” events, such as the bi-annaul clothing swap (link) and various skill share events.
Alternative economies are much more than bartering eggs for butter. Sure, knowing real life skills and the arts of trade and gifting are important. But without social capital, you’d be stuck with that surplus of ripe tomatoes on your counter while your neighbor quits bothering to pick her bounty of cucs. You get the picture.
Explore the various events ReNac helps host to foster this growing network of swappers, work partiers, and barterers alike.