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.

'Down to Earth --- '

February 9, 2020 ·

'Down to earth ---- '

Soil preparation is one of the orders of the day at the moment, here on the eco micro-holding (small smallholding) in the UK midlands, with some digging in of green manure (self-set weed material) taking place where it's thickest. The rest of the veg growing ground will then be 'scraped' with a spade to remove any remaining weed growth, so that the whole plot will then be pristine, 'virgin' ground to start this year's growing cycle. At the moment there's not too much produce available - a few celery plants, some swedes, a few leeks in the paddock glasshouse and some winter greens (mainly purple sprouting) just now coming to fruition. Another method of applying the normal yearly applications of woodash and compost is to be tried this year - instead of putting it all on in February, it'll be applied just before planting/sowing of the various crops to see if there's better results due to less loss of nutrients via more timely applications. Got to look after the earth -- time will tell --- .'Earth fruits' are starting quite early this year -  daffodils down the lane have been out since early February, along with a single orange flower by the track down the fields.


orange flower









'Catching worms ---- '

Some early seeds have already been sown towards the end of January, to then sit in the warmth on the top of the Welsh dresser in the living room to facilitate germination, and then to be moved into the conservatory under bubble-wrap pastic to get the needed light. Not a lot of action at all, but significant in that it represents the start of active participation in the natural processes ---- It's important to sow some seeds this early to ensure reasonable crops. Onions, for instance, take some time to come to the stage of needing to be planted out in open ground, so need the early start, which has taken on added importance here due to the attacks of the alium leaf miner fly which seem to have happened in recent years - the fly strikes the set-sown onions but not the later-growing home grown plants. Similarly tomato and celery seeds need to be sown this early to get timely crops, plus a few lettuce seed to provide plants for an early lettuce crop in the top glasshouse.

Beansticks have materialised from some of the loppings and peasticks are starting to accumulate as the compost hedge gets its annual topping.





'Endurance non-race --- '

Mid-winter here at the micro-holding is always the hardest time, a season to be 'endured', with the place looking at its worst in the messy conditions all the rain of winter produces, the cars difficult to keep clean and the like. The cottage too this year is looking a bit 'sad and neglected' and there'll have to be an onslaught of house painting when the weather gets a bit warmer in a few weeks, which isn't a bad activity as it's easy to see the results of all the labour, which in turn gives a body quite a bit of the 'quiet satisfaction' associated with improvement projects. In fact there'll be a few 'improvement areas', so hopefully the 'quiet satisfaction' will get a bit louder --- ? One which maybe a bit trickier is a now virtually permanent flood just down at the corner of the lane, motors then dragging wet up past the cottage and keeping the lane a mess. The council won't clear the blocked drains under the lane as they're saying it's the local farm's fault bringing mud out of the field at, say, maize harvesting time, which is all very well but not exactly helping to solve the problem ---

'Never rains ----- but---'

 Problems too always seem to crop up at this inclement time of year - this year it's been the drainage system playing up-------- besides a car that has to 'go down the road' not being too willing to start up, although being an older car hopefully someone may want it as a renovation project and then not be too worried about its present condition. The drainage problem might be a wee bit trickier as the overflow run off from the septic tank has ceased to operate - presumably there's a blockage somewhere in the land drain run-off pipes. The system has been kept working for nigh on forty years or so, and it's not clear why it's now not functioning. The land-drain run-off pipes run for thirty metres or so, with one or two bends, so wouldn't necessarily be the easiest to unblock. There's still some 'soak away' affect within this length of pipe but it's unlikely to prove to be sufficient.

 Something else, like computers, which is 'the biz' whilst it's working ok, but then is a 'pain in the butt' when it goes awol. This soak away in fact has probably brought in about £7-8000 over the years by avoiding the need to pay mains drainage rates -the mains runs just passed the cottage - so has been a 'worthwhile enterprise --- '. A friend has had similar problems and now has to pump the liquid run-off from out of the tank, which may prove to be the necessary course of action here at the micro-holding - always something to go at and solve, but hey, that's part of the micro-holding deal ---and why should life run tickety-boo smoothly all the while - ? (well,it doesn't here ---- problems could be a bit like 'progress' - it's ok but you can have too much of it - ?) Onwards and downwards ----

'Badlands ---- ?'

Apparently, according to paper reports, the level of fraud in the UK is outstripping police resources to be able to deal with it, which presumably then must be close to producing a semi-lawless society - ? And particularly then when the amount of scams trying to rob people of their hard-earned money is taken into account --- These telephone scams hereabouts at the micro-holding seem to have been pretty active of late, with a couple in particular ringing the home number several times a day. When the 'on the make' current commercial strategy's then taken into account, with firms trying to extract the maximum cash out of people ( as opposed, say, to offering a good product, and good service at sensible price levels -a recipe for sustaining longer-term on-going sales --?), then older people (in particular) would perhaps be forgiven for thinking that they live in a 'jack the lad', 'spiv' society, in which personal and social responsibility has 'withered on the vine' - ?

Presumably it's the government's responsibility to 'police' commercial going-ons - there's a fairly common perception in the UK though, that the government's 'in bed' with business --- which the relentless pursuit of 'privatisation' policy would seem to support, but not always successfully though as there seems to have been more than a few failures, the latest being the 'sacking'/potential sacking of private rail franchises --- Perhaps though considering the above that recent research published in a UK broadsheet paper indicated that 'faith in democracy' had fallen in a majority of countries to a relatively low level - ?

'Therapeutic -- '

Such musings and meaderings are interesting to pursue, and a reasonable handle on the current culture and its potential limitations is useful for those of the freerange' disposition to maintain - cultures can vary widely in their make-up and operation. Here in the UK in practice they are generally fashioned by one of only two 'polarised' political parties so by definition are unlikely to 'fit' with quite a proportion of the populace. And that's where the balm of the micro-holding can come in, just grasping the hoe and getting 'down and dirty' down-to earth, and in gorgeous 'natural' and 'independent, freerange' surroundings - then to relax in the semi-reclusive surroundings of 'the retreat' -- what better therapy could there be ----?


Tags: Eco-holding husbandries · Free Range Living


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