Portland, Oregon Bartering: PDX Food Market, Urban Farm - Rolling Stone
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Portland’s Cash-Free Bartering: From Urban Farm Collectives to Coffee Perks

Discovering how the Oregon city’s citizens have embraced an alternative lifestyle of sharing

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David Amsden on the Harley Davidson Roadster on the famous Hawthorne Bridge in Portland, Oregon.

Christopher Krieb

Portlanders have embraced a movement of cashless commerce – a new school take, in effect, on old-school bartering. It turns out, bartering is both a natural extension of Portland’s off-kilter ethos and, as the city has become more polished and pricier with the influx of tech companies a means of preserving it. It was that instinct that lead Kevin Fiske and Josh Fitz to create the PDX Barter Market, a seasonal get together where locals trade just about anything and everything.

“Artisanal bread for hypnotherapy – that sort of thing,” Fitz says with a laugh as he walks me through the art gallery where the market is held.

“It’s not that money is evil necessarily, but it’s a way to get things done if you’re not necessarily likable,” adds Fiske. “We’re trying to show a way to have fun without money.”

Here, a look at the people and places where the cash-free lifestyle has taken root.

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