Timebanking: Building Trust and Abundance

For the past three years, I have done what I love: Teach my community how to cultivate urban soils for food production and continually educate myself about organic gardening, permaculture, placemaking, guerilla gardening, food preservation and more. Urban agriculture is a beautiful act of rebellion and hope when seeking social justice.

When you are gardening, you learn quickly about its abundance. One tiny seed grows into a plant that can produce hundreds of seeds. A teaspoon of well-cultivated soil could be home to millions of microorganisms. Many diverse systems are at work to maintain its over all health.

On my path, sometimes money failed me. My favorite gardening gigs were the ones I was doing for free or limited pay. The opportunities for paying gigs were slim, part-time and competitive. Early in my career I was introduced to Timebanking, and joined as a means to earn time dollars, a pay it forward currency, for my volunteer gigs, and use them to pay for more education.

Timebanking offers an alternative to money, and diversifies our economic systems. The message from Timebanks is simple: We all have something to offer and something to gain from each other. Like bartering, services and items are provided without money, but unlike bartering, there is no need for direct exchange of services. For each hour of service you provide, you earn a time dollar, which in turn can be used for any service you may need such as a ride to the airport or tips for revamping your website. Timebanks can also provide a meaningful way to test the market for those interested in starting their own business or changing careers.

Timebanks recognize abundance and provide simple methods to share talents and meet needs. They have sprouted up all across the mainland and internationally. This year, I am starting the Oahu Timebank, and I would love your insights, inputs and stories. On Sunday, January 26th at 10 a.m., I invite you our first potluck event. Please come to talk story about Timebanking and tailoring the system to meet our needs. For more details, you can contact me at aloharesiliency@gmail.com.