Moonshine and Moose Meat

We barter this stuff because it it the only legal way to share it and there is back story. Who does this? Well, maybe someone we know.

If an invading hostile militia, a pandemic, or a government search and seizure campaign were to come to Canada, my rural friends would fare better than most. They are 5 km from rural blacktop, and 1 km from gravel up their dirt track drive into a secluded homestead of small pastures and woodlands. They are surrounded by public lands, a lake and a couple of lockable pipe gates they can close.

They like their privacy yet, they are not recluses. In fact, they throw open their land for small music festivals, regularly roll out the welcome mat for weary travelers, store the odd trailer or camper for friends and keep very sociable with their neighbors. When I press them, they staunchly maintain they are not preppers readying for some apocalyptic end-game scenario, rather, they just like the odd black bear in the pasture, lots of stars and coffee on a patio with an earth-based quietude that becomes them.

By comparison, I am currently the “City Mouse” living in an upper floor condo in the second largest city in Canada and getting around regularly by bus and bicycle. Yes, I have views of ocean, mountains, forests and the occasional black bear wandering through town- this IS Canada after all — but I live urban with all the attendant sirens, drunk college students, and megaphone exhaust pipes.

When we visit we sample each other’s lifestyle. City ethnic foods, music joints, night life in the city greets the hillbillies-come-to-town. When I visit the country mice, I relish the silence so deep it gives me tinnitus, fresh garden vegetables, mobs of birds raiding their laden berry bushes, homemade products from their land and the chance to drink coffee and converse uninterrupted by frentic city life. We trade not only experiences and locales, but products in a tax-invisible barter system.

Heeey Cedar Waxwing! Those saskatoons are for MY jelly and wine!

Ironic to my life position, I am a deer and moose hunter and my country friends are not. They, however, do a little moonshining and Cannabis cultivation that I do not.

The magical tincture is home grown Cannabis infused in home-distilled alcohol! High Bush Cranberry jelly is magical; pure grain alcohol extraction of vanilla beans is married to ice cream.

I regularly drive by a legal dispensary for psychedelic peyote, psilocybin, and LSD whereas no such exists within 1000 km of them. Can you see how we might trade materiele?

A borrowed photo of some medicines for sale in BC

Technically, bartering is a tax reportable exchange based on the appraised value of the trade, however, there is a catch. Other laws disallow the valuation and re-sale of these items because they are not marketable goods. We are not allowed to sell (a) legally taken wild game, (b) homemade distilled spirits, (c ) home-grown Cannabis products, (d) commercial distribution or re-sale of “prescription” medicinal psychedelics, (e) homemade uninspected jellies.

Lean organic free-range moose packaged on our dinnertable for freezing, cooking and sharing

Sorry home country, we cannot place a dollar value on these things for taxation reasons. One may as well try to tax the Christmas sweater grandma knitted for you or the sweet song sung by their back yard birds. I think we are on to some bartering possibilities.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Lee Foote

Southerner by birth, Northerner by choice, Casual person by nature.