Everyone has a specialty to bargain with: Oz & Janet have their homegrown vegetables, Ron has his honey, Higgins has his lamb, Paul has his venison, Ted has logs, and this time of year, we have partridge and pheasants. Dollars and cents respectively (or pounds and pence if you prefer). Partridge are of higher value trade-wise than pheasants.
Besides consumables people trade time and skills. These things have value but it tends to accrue over time. That is, a favour is done and put on account. Enough favours translate into 'consumables'. Favours and 'lending a neighborly hand' are important because they signify to the rest of the village that you are one of them and open for business.
It doesn't even have to be an intentional trade. Sometimes these things just happen, and those are the best kind. For example, Mrs Ted (the woodsman's wife) has been unwell and stuck at home. Mike and I sent her some flowers to wish her well. It turns out no one had ever done that for her before (I need to have a word with Ted!) and she was very touched. So was Ted, who dropped by this morning with a load of logs for us by way of thanks. And we were grateful, even though Ted starts his day at 4am, and I woke up to the sound of thudding logs and truck hydraulics. Mike got up to make Ted a cup of tea - another important social bonding ritual. Always with the tea.
Not much later (but at least I was conscious by now), Paul dropped by with some oven-ready pheasant and partridge from Monday's shoot. The boys down at the local garage have been kind to Mike. He's not been able to change a tire yet since the accident, so the garage boys have been looking after him through his recent spate of punctures. Mike was going to drop off the birds to say thanks. Paul added his services of 'preparing oven ready game' to his account. A few more favors and I will shoot another deer or pig for him. And so it goes.