Free-Range Living

What is Free-Range Living?

'Freerange' living might perhaps be described as the individual(s) aiming to lead an 'independent' style of life, thinking and deciding for themselves, determining their own values, along with aiming to live life in a naturally self and socially responsible manner.

'As Nature Intended ---- '

May 13, 2020 ·

'As Nature Intended ---- '



It's almost unbelievable how quickly the local landscapes have gone from a bare winterscape to a fully clad gorgeous countryside kaleidescope of colours and visions, with hedges, trees, blossoms, hedgerows all 'burstin' forth and transforming pretty much everywhere, and living amongst it, it's hard not to notice it --- (and be blown away --- )

 For over three weeks in April here at the eco micro-holding (small smallholding) in the UK midlands, there's been virtually no rain and plenty of sun, with the result that both the countryside hereabouts and the crops here have come on apace, and that's with some quite cold night temperatures. For those with a strong-ish connection with nature it's a near-magical time of year, especially if a body is lucky enough to live right amongst it. The micro-holding's not big in area - only half an acre (.2/Ha) but as there's a good deal of growth and herbage on it, plus a sizable crop growing area and plenty of flowers, and the 'nature eruption' has been dramatic. 












Now for instance at the last week in April, the orchard's full of fruit tree blossom, plenty of flowers are out, the grass areas are 'greened up' and the broad beans in the veg patch have just burst into flower,  along with other crops such as potatoes looking good. The transformation of the countryside has probably been as quick as whenever due to the continuous sun for three weeks or more - does the heart - and the spirt, good ----- No doubt the same as the buzzard, high in the sky ----





'Buzzin' --- '

There's also been a 'bee bonanza' - never seen so many bees about so early - loads of big bumble bees, and with a 'bee frenzy' taking place in front of the bee boxes in the sun at the front of the cottage. By all accounts they're one of the most useful insects, without which lots of production wouldn't happen. Honey bees, and to a lesser extent bumble bees seem to have the highest profile, yet here in the UK there are apparently over ninety species of solitary bees, less 'unsung' maybe but still a force to be reckoned with - ? Watching one of them the other day on the veg patch earth, a fine-looking light beige character with silver/grey edgings, was absorbing until suddenly it disappeared - down a tiny hole in the earth. Going about its business, sorting its life out, independent of man or other creatures - a real 'freeranger' -?

'Spring growth --- '

The clement weather has brought things on in the veg patch in spite of quite cold nights, although some crops such as early strawberries and early potatoes have had nightly protection in the form of plastic sheets - rigid for the strawberries and bubble-wrap plastic for the potatoes. The broad beans, planted out in early April have grown on well and as above are now flowering quite early  in the last week of April - more for the bees to go at. A reasonably early crop helps to ward off the blackfly attacks broad beans can get; the other useful benefit is that a second crop such as a late-ish crop of leeks or a winter greens crop can then go in after the bean crop, which will have also fertilised the ground due to beans being of the legume family, which handily 'plucks' nitrogen from the air and 'fixes' it in the soil (the beans need cutting off at ground level when they are finished, leaving the roots in the ground so that the nodules of nitrogen can then release).





'Not so easy peasy ---- '

  Peas, as usual, are hit and miss - the first sowing look good, promising, then the next row hardly germinated at all and just disappeared in pretty quick time. Now re-sown so hopefully better luck this time. Maybe, just maybe, they were watered a bit too avidly in the dry early spring? The cover now towards the end of April is off the early potatoes - they're about a third of a metre high and seem to be going ok, although today's now been cold and wet, which they won't like too much. Salad stuff's making progress - lettuce, spring onions, radish and landcress (American landcress,like watercress), with lettuce ready to pick in a couple of weeks and onions from regrowth of leftovers from last year's crop ready to use as spring onions (a handy trick - to leave small onions in the ground to overwinter - they then grow two/three stalks which can then be used as 'fat-ish' early spring onions this time of year).

Actually not too bad a time to have to be in lockdown, what with all the 'plantin' and sowin'', and then for the sake of a bit of a change some cottage renovation and painting, plus some septic tank drainage issues to attend to - not too much chance of boredom setting in ---- and all good stuff to deliver useful levels of Kevin Mcloud's (UK tv) 'practical satisfactions' ---


'Wakey, wakey ---- '

Maybe a lasting effect of this latest worldwide issue, the corona virus, could be that there's then a sharpened awareness that mankind might need to be a bit careful how it operates in the world, taking wider considerations than just its own wishes into consideration - ? A report in yesterday's paper stated that a majority of people felt they'd be kinder and more considerate of others as a result of this pandemic. Nature is a big force and for some at least, to be living according to natural rythyms and forces, taking them into account, is deemed to be important. It does look as if  'collective man' then might use the current corona pandemic as a bit of a 'wake up' call, reminding that there are potential forces 'bigger than man' and whilst it can be seductive to see things from an 'own perspective' and 'follow an own path' (especially tempting maybe in conditions in which man is 'top dog' animal' - ?) it may be still yet wise to gain and have respect for 'natural universal forces' (sometimes known as 'Tao').

'Rational steps too far --- ?'

 Man is certainly clever - the danger though may lie in that such cleverness might then 'blindside' awareness of such forces; the other current major outstanding issue concerning 'elemental forces' being 'environment degradation'. Another recent report indicated that a majority of individuals value the non-concrete 'elemental force' of 'spirituality', with 20% of them citing non-religion-linked  personal-level spirituality. Maybe one relatively modern limitation or 'barrier' has been the preponderance of rational, scientific-type thinking in recent decades, culminating in 'over definitive' type enquiry, as John Anthony West saw it :

 ' --- the problem with the scientifically-minded --- what they call 'reason' and 'right thinking' isn't rational at all, it's simply the rationalisation of the 'spiritually flat earth' of their own inner world. Since they experience nothing transcendent or 'divine', they deduce there is nothing, which is actually negative credulity, not science.'

(John Anthony West, American writer)





'Invisible forces --- '
Some would add that without the availability of 'the spiritual dimension' (be it religion-based or nature-based), man has 'lost an important way', and is 'adrift', as Gary Zukav sees it in his book 'The Seat of the Soul':

 ' -- to live with reverence means being willing to say 'this is life - we must not harm it'. (without reverance) --the world becomes cold and barren, alienation and violence are created. It is not natural for people to live without reverance, which then means acting as a spiritual person, in a world that often does not recognise spirituality ----'

So, modern life doesn't support 'natural life' ---- ? There's just a bit of a thought, something that maybe needs pondering a little ----- ? It may be that there needs to be greater recognition of spirituality being an experience at the individual level - ?

'Naturality --- '

People who lived close to nature and by nature can often be pretty 'down to earth', and erudite, as this small speech from a Native American chief indicates :

' The man who sat on the ground in his tipi meditating on life and its meaning, accepting the kinship of all creatures and acknowledging unity with the universe was infusing into his being the true essence of civilisation. And when man left off this form of development, his humanisation was retarded in growth.'  

  (Chief Luther Standing Bear)

 The coming of the 'white' man  may have been  a bit of a disappointment to Chief Luther ----  At least these days there seems to be more and increasing recognition of a non-material side of life amongst individuals, in spite of western mainstream cultures appearing to travel in the opposite, secular and materialistical, direction.

'Small can be yet beautiful --- ?'

It might of course be that the modern degree of urbanised living and 'large-scale' living (eg. size of commercial firms) hasn't helped - even living in a small 'nature orientated' plot like hereabouts at the micro-holding can prompt a relatively strong 'natural forces' awareness and certainly people - such as say farmers - living in and having nature-orientated lifestyles often seem to develop connections to 'elemental forces',  which can then also brings a degree of difficulty in that such forces can't be seen, nor easily accounted for, not necessarily conducive then in a modern 'age of accountancy' ---- ?

Counting though benefits and blessings is no doubt a pretty personal, individual process, which of course may be a little difficult for some under present circumstances, but maybe a usefully important one, and one that  after current difficulties, might ultimately revive somewhat -?  So better get out onto the micro-holding and tot them up , especially in this gorgeous sunny and warm spring weather, warming the cockles, uplifting the spirit - you can virtually count on it -----



Tags: Eco-holding husbandries · Free Range Living


1 response

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