WCPO Cincinnati, Jan. 20, 2014
CINCINNATI – Northern Kentucky homesteader Dan Adams wants to revive the barter economy. His effort,Earthineer.com, is part homesteading tutorial, part social network and part local marketplace.
To date, thousands of Earthineer members have embraced Adams’ vision of supporting self-sufficiency and community sharing.
9 Questions for Earthineer founder Dan Adams
1. Why did you start Earthineer?
I’m a programmer, but I also consider myself to be a homesteader. We garden, can and preserve, milk goats, keep bees, raise chickens and turkeys, tap trees for maple syrup and build solar panels.
I started Earthineer because I saw a genuine need to not just be connected and learn from other homesteaders, but also to facilitate trades (food swaps, seed swaps, plant swaps and services). When we first started beekeeping, we traded for our first two nucs (small honey bee colonies). We were milking goats and had access to lots of goats milk which we used to make cheeses and cajeta (Mexican syrup). We barter or trade any chance we get. We see a lot of value in broadening that network.
2. What is your grand vision for Earthineer?
Our overall goal for Earthineer is to promote homesteading (both rural and urban) as a lifestyle choice.
However, the “grand vision” is to bring back the barter system. We want to remake the food landscape and connect members with their neighbor’s backyards and kitchens.
3. What are the most popular aspects of Earthineer?
We released a new site back in August, and part of that release was a “groups” component. The groups have become a popular feature (with groups forming on topics like Alt Energy, Preserving, Poultry, Recipes, Gardening, etc). However, our blogs still get a lot of traction, and still accounts for the majority of our unique visitors every month.
All of that being said, I fully expect the Local Marketplace and Barter (which we should be releasing in February) to the driving force behind Earthineer in 2014. I believe it will eclipse everything else we’ve done to date.
4. How many users do you have?
We’re over 18,000 now. We usually get a few hundred sign-ups every month, with larger bumps around fairs and workshops.