The hand-knitted gloves and scarf would've cost most buyers about $50.

The hand-knitted gloves and scarf would've cost most buyers about $50.

Local florist Eva Provenzale didn't feel like paying cash. Instead she crafted a birthday arrangement for the seamstress, and the two called it a deal.

Flowers for winter wear, even steven.

"I would do every single transaction in trade if I could," said Provenzale, who runs organic flower operation EcoFlora. "It's super fun. Everyone ends up getting a great deal."

The city's already strong entrepreneurial community has exploded lately with more people growing food, crafting clothes, sewing messenger bags, arranging flowers and bringing other ideas to life by hand.

And this set often trades what it makes for what it needs.

Nearly extirpated by credit cards and global commerce, bartering is back big time in Columbus.

"Everyone is kind of owning what they do, and I think that's why things are changing," said Provenzale, who so far has traded flowers for vases, containers, jewelry and other plants. "I think this is the way that the world should be - back to basics."

Daniel McKewen, owner of Seagull Bags, agreed.

"Most people I know that run small businesses end up spending a lot of money," he explained. "Money is flying around all over the place. It's a breath of fresh air to be able to get something or trade something that doesn't involve money."

Over the years, McKewen has traded his custom messenger bags for nearly everything: cycling gear, camping and climbing supplies, food and even mechanical work on his car.

The art of trading requires creating a quality product, making a wise switch pitch and developing relationships with people who have things you need, McKewen said.

"Bartering puts the emphasis on the individual and the relationship rather than the product," he added.

In addition to interacting with entrepreneurs, Columbus barterers often enjoy getting stuff at a lower cost and swapping out their surplus for something else.

"I usually have all the produce I need," said Becky Swingle of Dangling Carrot Farm, which sells at Pearl Market. "I gave someone tomato plants for bread. I've traded salads for cheese. Once I traded for a fancy haircut with a lot of tomatoes."