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.

Freerange Stuff ----

August 12, 2018 · 1 Comment

 'Freerange stuff ----'

 'Heated micro-holding life ----'

 Life here at the organic micro-holding (small smallholding) in the UK midlands has been pretty much affected by the long (12 weeks) hot spell and the drought, with energies sapped in the hot weather. Crops such as beans and peas have come on faster than normal, as has the soft fruit, so it has had to be picked and processed. Watering the loamy ground has been a necessity, otherwise there would have been zero veg production, with the main applications coming from a hose and sprinkler and from a human-directed hosepipe. Fortunately there's been no hosepipe restriction, although people have been urged to water with restraint via texts sent to mobile phones, which though passed the micro-holding by -----




The flowers have had too to be watered and all things considered have stood up well in the heat. Shaded conditions in their spacious pen have mean't that the chick-chicks (hens) have been doing ok , protected as it is by lots of herbage, some of which is in dire need of trimming back, a job for the winter months. Salad stuff, such as lettuce, spring onions, radish, land cress and cucumbers, has come in tres handy in all this hot weather, but along with the vibrant growth has also come a good weed crop. Not that this is really a problem, in fact it's the reverse, as the weeds end up on the ever-increasing compost heap along with hedge clippings, waste veg and green material, and gathered-up leaves, to then make fertiliser for the future. Doesn't seem too bad a system, one which uses it's waste products to make fertiliser, and in effect, therefore has a zero waste count ----

Wood sawing has continued more or less on a weekly basis, with the drying woodpile in the 'logs-istics' centre growing nicely - a satisfying sight. 'Big D' will arrive in a week or two with his mega chainsaw - a two hour sawing session with one 'feediing' and the other sawing should easily see the woodstack fully topped up - a very satisfying sight before the onset of winter ---  The two younger hens have continued laying right through, but the older hen has more or less stopped and spends a lot of time sitting down - still likes her greens though, currently mainly spinach from the veg patch, as do the other two.

It's been a bit too hot to spend the afternoon 'relax' hour in the converandory as normal, but again due to a high border of holly trees there's been good shade in which to sit, still in the paddock, doing a bit of writing and a bit of 'contemplating the navel' ---- Biking the five miles down to town has been good as the main part of the route is an old rail line with now plenty of trees and suchlike grown up to give some shade from what's been a pretty hot sun for these parts. A recent trip to west Wales for a few days 'r and r' offered a bit of respite from the heat, sitting on an uncrowded beach enjoying the benefits of the sea breeze --- and the soft swishing  sea-swell sounds ------




 'Man is an individual --- and a social animal ---- ?'

 The lifestyle here at the micro-holding is partly at least to help facilitate an independent and self-responsible 'freerange' approach to living life, to then, hopefully be able to experience more fully the potential for self-fulfillment, which seems to be a suitable longer-term goal for life - ?
  'No-one's an island' --- so there's probably no such thing as a full-time 100% freeranger - probably those independent wilderness livers in Alaska get as near as anyone, but even they need tools, machines and suchlike provided by others. Man, too, according to the development psychologists, is a social animal as well as an individual, that is, potentially, in 'fully formed' mode, although in current times with such a strong emphasis on individual gain, often at the expense of others (eg, in UK. top managers of universities reported as awarding themselves very high remuneration, whilst their 'coalface' staff limited to just 1% pay rises - the old leadership gurus turning ih their graves - ?) it can be just a little tricky to discern this - ?

At times it can seem that social priorities aren't particularly wanted and virtually don't exist, even though the reality is that people are organised into, and live in, societies - ? It could be that a re-look at the balance of priorities is needed to get a more effective balance between individual priorities and those of society, in spite of the fact that those wedded to individual gain maybe not too keen on any re-jigging ----  ( in the UK some might say that the two main political parties are too polarised at either ends of the scale, individual and social - ?)

 'Freerange progression ---- '

 The top level of human need and performance is often quoted as that of 'self-actualisation', which basically means that person becoming the fullest version of themselves, the spec. for which can be pretty high, such as 'perceiving people accurately, free from own preconceptions', 'being autonomous, true to self, in spite of conforming pressure', and 'owning personal moral standards and living by them' (and more ).  Maybe most 'freerangers' will likely be 'a work in progress', although one concern is that given a reported 'dumbing down' trend, plus the high degree of commercialisation/moneytisation generally in life, along with  strong focus on personal gain, individuals maybe fighting a quite strong tide to be able to travel the 'self actualisation' route - ? Such a route is probably a 'harder road', but then potentially leading to a greater personal harvest and higher fulfillment level, which may then not easily occur in cultures that are more heavily materialistically based - ?

  The process of travelling the 'harder route' could very much be a 'freerange' feature, attracting those who value independence, their own freeworld/freespeech rights, and aiming substantially to be able to 'run their own show', particularly in terms of values and how they see life. This probably involves not being 'carried along' by the current cultural values/non-values, but rather thinking things out for themselves and having then the strength to live that life, as the self-actualisation traits above indicate, and as many experienced individuals undoubtedly do. Experience may be needed to operate then at these levels, so it could be reasonable to expect that individuals on 'the harder route' gain the attributes over time and 'fit' more into the 'self-actualisation coat' as they age, and as they develop the capability of taking on , say for instance, self-responsibility.

Some suggest that in the UK an over-strong 'social norming' trend is happening with the result that people then become over 'externally validated', subject to the current culture's norms,(eg. the individual defined by wealth) at the expense then of the ability to 'internally validate' according to the individual's own values (along with valid 'external' values such as those of needed social nature) - a trend which could be said to work against the 'freerange' approach - ?

 'Big is ----- ?'

Interesting to speculate, for instance, as to whether the current trend to 'big' and 'bigger' will work against the individual in the sense that in the process of 'mass grouping' , including social attitudes, things can tend to become 'homogenised', with individuals then needing to increasingly 'toe the line' of that particular culture's values and objectives, either 'directly' or 'indirectly'. Sometimes this can presumably work in a good way in the sense that social approbation can work to curb excessive power, such as, say, corporate bullying. History, though, suggests that there can also be a negative side to any over social norming process, and that it can be a power of ill. A key question for freerangers may well be how much social norming can interefere with freewill and freespeech, and say, limit the scope then for self-determination - ? 

If , as it seems to be increasingly the case, a person's fulfillment (and therefore well-being, happiness and so forth) is linked to them to some extent 'travelling their own journey', they could yet be of some  importance - ? It no doubt takes a degree of experience to be able to 'culturally differentiate' and get a handle on what's occurring at any one time - it's easy no doubt to get somewhat 'lost' in the many machinations of modern cultural life, and as one commentator suggested : 'the sheer plethora of media material runs the risk of displacing common sense'.  People such as Robert Pirsig (Zen and the Art of ---) have been warning for long that 'quality' lies within individuals, not organisations ----

'Big not necessarily best ---- ?'
'Big', then, as in, say, 'mass culture', may not automatically be best, particularly if it results in 'quantity displacing 'quality' - ? Although gainsayers for instance, have come up with their own versions of why the UK voted to come out of the EC, one of the underlying 'natural' feelings could have been related to the 'large' issue -  i.e. that things were getting too large, that things were going away from individual freedoms, that ultimately, power can corrupt, and 'big' power can corrupt a lot - ? An alternative, for instance, which would seem to fit both bills, could be that the EC does 'what it says on the tin' -i.e becomes a real community, in which the member states join together for essential and sensible functions such as defence and trade, but then also retain their own character, individuality and independence.

The idea of community makes 'natural sense' to some, aiming to have 'the best of both worlds', as it were, but to resist the process of joining together to become a giant 'amorphous mass' (some European politicians have for instance called for a 'United States of Europe') no doubt takes a degree of individual strength and fortitude, and a recognition of the fact that 'bio-diversity' could be as important, or even more important, than 'social norming' - ? Eminent writers of the past - Schumacher, Orwell, Huxley, Pirsig and the like, would seem to agree, as would the 'awakened one', Buddha, when he said 'work out your own salvation, don't rely on others', supporting the individual's right to walk their own road, and work things out for themselves. Schumacher, for instance, warned of the potential perils of 'giantism' (as did Orwell and Huxley), particularly no doubt concerned that the concentration of power in ever larger groupings was a key potential danger to the individual's rights, and equally then important, to the individul's chance of 'salvation, and fulfillment'. Might the modern emphasis on short-termism and 'small self power and wealth gathering', have helped to obscure the important longer-term view - ?

'Freerange at the micro level ----- '

Perhaps the non-financial aspects of the micro-holding such as producing home-grown produce may help to keep the creeping and rising tide of 'financial-isation' at bay, along with being involved in and working with nature cycles and processes - ? Currently for instance there's a fair bit of weeding going on, rooting out weeds that have been allowed to grow on, to then add additional material to the compost heap to make cash-free fertiliser for a couple of years down the line, adding the longer-term aspect to things. The more medium term aspect is the as before on-going weekly work of sawing up the wood collected for free last year to add to the growing woodpile to supply the coming winter's burning wood. Then there's the various produce to harvest along the way - salads, more soft fruit, potatoes, spinach, beetroot, onions, tomatoes, runner beans, turnips, peas - so all in all, quite a bit to get at, all adding to that freerange self-reliant, independent satisfying feeling ------




Tags: Eco-holding husbandries · Free Range Living


1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Mike Robin // Aug 27, 2018 at 12:55 PM

    lots of spam comments of late, so will take a comments break. Mike r

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