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.

'Easy Summer Living --- '

July 13, 2018 · No Comments

cott flowers


'Easy Summertime Living ---- '

  Sunny days have been the norm here at the eco organic micro-holding (small smallholding) in the UK  now for a few weeks - apparently it's been hotter this year in the UK than in some of the traditionally hot mediterranean countries. 'Mad dogs' may still go 'out in the midday sun', but it's been a bit too warm to tempt 'Englishmen' out in numbers --- It hasn't been too bad here in the cottage, with a sizable fan on the go, but outside work has had to be curtailed somewhat, with mainly just the essentials such as plant watering done, although it was possible to do a sawing session to swell the winter woodpile this morning, working under the shade of the open garage roof.

Being relatively light ground with limited water retention ability, the sprinkler has had to be on on the veg  patch quite a bit to keep the plants going. Broad beans have been cropping pretty well, then to be quickly shelled and into the feezer to preserve the flavour. An advantage of getting them relatively early , besides getting produce in a 'lean' period, is that the ground can then be used again, this time for winter veg. plants - purple sprouting and curly kale - to be then planted out, the last bit of 'spare' ground having just been used to plant out leeks. Flowers as usual abound, including fields of them growing on a local farm ---


farm flowersfarm flowers2



 'Fat of the land ---- '


cott flowers


 The cottage flowers have excelled themselves this year, liking the sunny comditions, although the dry spell can mean they don't last as well, choosing to get quickly to the seeding stage. They've had to have a fair bit of watering too to keep them going and, as there hasn't been any  domestic watering restrictions so far, but from the sound of it, restrictions aren't too far away. Probably the best-looking crop at present is the potato crop - no blight attack yet due no doubt to the dry season, with the early potatoes yielding quite well, and hopefully they'll then provide six months worth of potatoes, which is the general aim. The story on the onion crop is more mixed, with those from the onion sets ('baby onions') looking bedraggled but the home-grown onion plants, which last year saved the day, looking ok, but with a lot of growing to do. Beetroot have shot up, spring cabbage has been cropping well, and the peas are doing ok, just now at the end of June, coming into pod. Strawberries have been available early, with the sunny conditions, but don't look as though they are going to fruit continously all summer as they did last year - funny how years can be so different. The raspberries are coming on stream with what looks like being a useful crop. One benefit from the hot weather has been the reduction in mowing work, although the grass may now have to get some water if it 's to survive ---

 'Special time    --- '

 Back now playing golf after last year's health trials, it's been good to get out onto the fairways ( why such a name?), out in the sun walking on closely mown grass and surrounded by trees and pleasant countryside is a pleasure in itself, and done solo, can be a sort of meditation --- as long as the golf's not too disasterous ---- This particular time, though, not too long ago, after a few holes, it was sensible to hook up with another singleton mid-aged golfer, 'J', who seemed a steady, approachable type. After some pleasant general chat - J was proving to be good company - he pointed to a very old putter he was using, to try to help with his 'yips' putting affliction (involuntary 'tugging' the club on the putting stroke). He then said he was using the rest of his Dad's clubs, his Dad having passed away a couple of years ago, and that it was a bit special occasion for him to be using the clubs his Dad had used for some years. The penny was starting to drop and on enquiring the name of his Dad, he turned out to be an old golfing colleague of some prowess and knowledge, and generally a real good guy, so the occasion became then doubly special for both golfers  --- Dad would too have approved ---

'Old Adam ----- '

Once upon a time --- in earlier days gone by, there was an 'early' economist - possibly the earliest - by name of Adam Smith, a famous man, who wrote a famous book entitled 'The Wealth of Nations', not that he mean't 'wealth' in the modern 'pots of dosh, fill your pockets' sense, or in the 'money and algorithems' sense of modern economists. Smith saw wider dimensions - to him, the economy was there to promote trust, innovation and happiness, and commerce could foster civilising effects from cooperation and decision choices, pretty much some might say that is something of the opposite effects the modern 'un-free' market engenders, again which Smith anticipated, expressing concern re the practice of banding together to create 'cosy cartels' and distort the market for monetary gain.

Wealth, according to Adam Smith, was best viewed as a by-product of individual initiative and innovation, rather than its goal. Maybe ,then, he would support the idea forwarded in the 'freeranger' pieces that money is best seen as a means, rather than an end, which could then help to explain some of the modern limitations and difficulties - ? The writer of the piece from which the information about Smith is taken, then states : ' he (Smith) would probably be aghast at the speculation, the self-indulgence and the unfairness of modern capitalism'. Presumably too people today with a developed sense of social justice and personal and social responsibility might feel similar to long-ago (18th century) Adam Smith - ?

'Hitting the buffers ---- ?'

 Money prioritising then is seen by some as 'putting the cart before the horse', and a recent broadsheet reported a useful example of the same. A UK regional rail company has been causing a degree of chaos and disruption for customers/passengers, due to either the cancellation or the non-running of a considerable number of their train services  The paper report quoted an almost undelievable reason for this. Forget notions of customer inconvenience or customer 'non-viability' (eg not being able to get to work) - the reason for the 'non-show' of the trains (mean't to be a public service --- ? ) was that some bright spark - an accountant - ? - had worked out that it would cost the company less if they didn't put on the trains, and instead then paid the fines involved for not doing so ----  It could appear that the world has gone bonkers, but in fact this seemingly crazy situation is perhaps a logical outcome of thinking as in the above parargraph - i.e. where the primary objective has become 'to make money' as the current culture appears to support, and the notion of the firm providing a service (or 'good') to the rest of society then takes a back seat. Has ,though, the 'cart been put before the horse' - ? Well Adam Smith could have surely thought so ----

'Short v long term ---- ?'

It's tempting to think that the firm(s) which does stretch itself to see a bit into the longer-term, and treats its users well, giving good service and good value for money, will win out in the end. They may not make quite so much money in the short-term as the 'get-rich-quick' merchants but they'll still be operating in the longer-term. This scenario can be seen in this particular area where one or two builders who've 'gone for the money' are no longer operating, whereas others who've concentrated on doing good jobs and giving value for money, are still in business ---- and thriving.

On the commercial side of life, the recent task has been to change bank accounts, after the current big commercial bank announced it was closing its branch in the local town.  Plainly there's a cultural expectation, seemingly strongly promoted by both commerce and government, that everything and every process is to become computer system-ised, which along with the self-serve systems the already impersonal large shops are introducing, lead to  an increasingly de-personalised society,  considerably limiting human contact, added to too by the desertion of the High Street by the banks and the stores. The accountants will undoubtedly argue that this is the efficient therefore logical way to go. Maybe, though, they should heed Einstein's warning :

   'The intellect is indeed a strong muscle ----- but it has no personality'

 Such a 'de-personalisation' trend may well be a factor, along with perceived large firm mis-demeanours and politician aspects, contributing to trust now reportedly being at its lowest rating level ever amongst the UK general population - ? In the event, fortunately, though, a national building society still had a branch in town offering not only banking facilities but also the promise that it's first committment was to serving its members rather than profit making - an outfit then practising the 'money is a means, not an end' commercial philosophy, a refreshing change.

'Non buffer hitting ----- '


 One train that did run was the one running from Birmingham to Newcastle, taken recently to catch the boat for the Norwegian fjord cruise, and a pleasant journey through old north England it was, in reasonable three and a half hours time too. For the return journey a wait of a couple of hours was involved - time to enjoy Newcastle station, surely one of the pleasantest of stations, with its curved glass roof arc-ing beautifully away following the rail lines. Considering it's dated from 1850, nearly 170 years ago, it's quite a wonder to behold, and being there was an 'out of the ordinary' experience for quiet country livers ---- The train itself was running from Glasgow to Penzance, which must be one of UK's longest train trips, if not the longest. Certainly interesting and pleasant, as it also was to get back to the tranqullity of the micro-holding - and the delights of weeding ----.Everything, including weeds, has grown apace this year, with all the sunshine bombarding the micro-holding, producing too a record amount of home-produced electricity via the roof's solar panels, then to run the air source heat pump, which fortunately then turns into an air-source cool pump to supply 'free' air conditioning, courtesy of the sun via the solar panels, to the cottage's living room spaces, yet another form of micro-holding bliss ----

Tags: Free Range Living · Eco-holding husbandries


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