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.

'Fuller Freerange Fulfillment ----- ?'

April 4, 2019 · No Comments


' Fuller freerange fulfillment --- ?'

One of the aims of the Freerange site is to support independent thinking by individuals, along with self-reliant ways, with the general idea that the independent, self-responsible route can be a route potentially leading to good levels of human fulfillment. Some, including eminents such as Buddha himself, suggest that it is the way to a 'fuller fulfillment' :

      'Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on others. ------There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth - not going all the way, and not starting'.     (Buddha)

Today's life though, seems to be making individual autonomy less easy, as two recent newspaper reports indicate. The first indicated that there was a staffing crisis in the UK's National Health Service, due to an exodus of staff, due in turn to 'staff not being listened to', which says in turn that not too much regard or respect for staff is being practiced. This in fact maybe should not be too much of a surprise, as staff management practices in the UK are said to have followed the 'theory X' pattern which focuses on management control and authority, then having the effect of being a staff exclusing style rather than one that's staff inclusive, a more long-term productive approach (less staff turnover for a start). 

The second newspaper report informed that within the EC new cars of the future would have automatic control features which automatically limited the speed of the car, and disabling the car if drink fumes were detected. Not too much opportunity there then for individuals to practice self-responsibility-?

In terms of shorter term fulfillment, the now flower-festooned local country landscapes are just gorgeous in their newly-minted pristine finery, and there surely can be few better ways to get 'uplift' and renewed spirit - ? The damson blossom in a local village -this whole area was very much a damson laden site - and the newly-emerged yellow rape flowers in many of the local fields, give glorious colour vistas that at times, fair takes the breath away ----







'Individual independence, alive and well, well ----- ;

  Life here at the eco organic micro-holding (small smallholding) in the UK midlands does seem still to be reasonably independently lead and fulfilling, in that it involves self-reliant practices such as home food production, and there's plenty of opportunity to be creative and add an 'own stamp' on things, with no hindrances such as, say, obtrusive supervision, and particularly relevant here, good levels of contact and interaction with nature. In recent practice this has taken the form in recent days of planting and sowing, an elemental part of the growing cycle, and with 'hope (for good crops) springing ever eternal'.  A minor catastrophe though has already occurred, in the form of the emerging broad bean plants having been chopped off, probably apparently by mice or voles.

The home grown and saved seed is 'shovelled in' the ground in a heap under glass in the middle of February, the plants to be then planted out in rows the latter part of March, mostly then of the 'penny-less' variety being home-grown and saved seed, just the occasional bought packet brought in to re-invigorate the seed stock. In over three decades of broad bean growing here such a calamity has never happened before, so next year the seed'll have to be sown in buckets two-third filled with soil and with a piece of glass on the top to deter the little furry blighters - man striking back ----

The hens - Aggie, Blackie and Beattie - have started to lay again after a break - they had layed for two years solid. That's good news, as the thought was that perhaps they'd had their laying career. They don't do too badly getting a warm mash feed first thing, then 'scraps' such as waste bread and/or cake midday, then pellets and greens late afternoon. The feed episodes counter the fact that they are confined to their spacious pen for safety -two lots of chickens were predated by foxes when running free in the paddock. A pity really - it used to be good seeing them taking their dust baths in the sun, and when the place was 'chicken-less' for awhile, it did acquire a bit of a 'soul-less' feel. They are good characters, and making quite an array of chicken sounds, so it seems they're quite content in their own way.

Some these days might say they're being exploited, which is one way of looking at it. Another might be to say it's more of a symbiotic relationship, in that although they're 'in captivity', they're still having a reasonable life, paying their 'rent' in the form of eggs. Cramming hens into a small cage would certainly be exploitation, always the possible outcome with keeping animals in situations where maximising profits is the main aim. Interesting to speculate that 'profit maximisation' started out as a parameter within theoretical economic models, but needing 'handling with care' when applied to multi-dimensioned 'real life' conditions - ? And as Einstein said :

          'The intellect is indeed a powerful muscle ---- but its got no personality'

'Taking it steady ---- '

          'Tek yer time, me boyo, tek yer time ---- '  (ol' boy Dorset (UK) farmer)

Planting and sowing has proceeded at a bit of a slower pace this season, due partly to the fact that the decision was taken to plant the onion sets ('baby onions') out later to try to beat the attentions of the alium leaf miner fly, and partly as an effect of the 'mindfullness' practice.  Quite a proportion of the potatoes are in the ground under plastic sheets, again in an attempt to counter potential problems, in this case attacks of the potato blight airborne disease, always a potential problem for organic growers. Growing mainly early or 'second early' varieties and employing plastic covers hopefully produces a reasonable crop before the dreaded blight strikes. These days there are varieties which can then go on to be in effect early maincrop varieties, so in a dry summer with less blight attack, the yields can still be pretty good.

The recent (latter half of March) sunshine has brought on the purple sprouting,  home-grown veg supplies are at the moment quite good, and the plants which were sowed early February - tomatoes, celery, lettuce, calabrese and onions - and now residing in the conservatory, have come on well. More onion seed was sown on the basis that the onion plants have been generally put out later than the onion sets and have escaped the alium fly menace, so hopefully then providing the full year's supply of onions again. The defunct small polytunnel has now been pressed into use by using 'spare' plastic sheets to cover the strengthened frame to then become a needed storage area, and all for 'nowt' (nothing), appealing to the ol' frugal instincts .


new store



'Age of distraction --- '

People leading busy lives - both parents for instance working to be able to afford high house prices/rents - with too maybe more associated pressures these days with modern life styles seemingly incurring a fair amount of personal debt. Then there's 'life on screen', with smart phones being activated on average every twelve minutes,, screen gaming addictions according to today's papers, plus social media verbal violence, presumably due to unwillingness to accept 'people diversity', and consider alternative views, which used to be promoted - 'opposition is friendship' for instance used to be the slogan. Further pressures from the mainstream culture now it's seemingly fairly strongly focused on 'money and power' as the keys to life, and to success in life, mainstream people then having to 'chase the dollar' in an ever 'more, more' quest.

Some might say that modern commercialised culture has created the classic human 'rat race' - ? Jimmy Reid, renowned Scottish shop steward, would though not have been a supporter. 'Rat races are for rats, not humans', he said. 'Contemplating the navel' too doesn't seem to be much in vogue, with 'luxury living and leisure', outings, trips and holdays seeming to be 'the mainstream thing', in what's been called 'the age of distraction ----'

'Fake reality ---- ??'

Is there then a need to get a more 'down-to-earth' approach? Is some of the  activity at least partly to do more with 'escape', then to be 'distracted' from real stuff, from reality itself - ? If this is the case, then modern lifestyles, whilst looking pretty 'flash' - imagine the opulence involved for instance in 'billionaire lifestyles' (maybe 'unimaginable'?) may not 'do the biz' - ? Is life really there just to 'lotus eat' and become the 'mega consumer', or is the same liable to limited possibilities, to be ultimately unfulfilling -? 'Yer pays yer money, and takes yer choice'.

 Against, say, the opulent luxury pleasure-geared moneyed lifestyle, could be ranged the Buddha 'self-realisation' route, down which the individual takes her/his individual trip, arriving eventually at the 'fulfilled state' - the individual becoming unified, becoming 'healed and whole', with health, energy, life joy and life reverance. A harder route maybe, involving 'self-encountering' work, but then promising the 'real deal' and a better long-term package of real benefits, in terms of fulfillment levels - ?

       A current advert on TV is a young 'swish' lady at a counter - of a hotel maybe - with the attendant telling her 'this is our most popular option' 'I don't do 'popular', she says, and is then seen walking away with a big cat Jaguar in tow ---

'The way of the path ---- '

The jaguar is porbably optional but the message is 'I go my own way' , 'I'm someone on my own journey'. As above, the self-realisation-type thinking suggests that such an approach can take a person to that 'fully formed, fully vindicated, 'at home, fully secure' state which then translates into longer-term human fulfillment. Ah, so the 'it's all about me' approach is then, ok, right -? Probably though not in terms of delivering longer-term fulfillment if it's just a short-term mindset 'fix', as the 'being and becoming' journey hasn't taken place - ? This journey can probably vary in length according to people who have undertaken it, which then raises the interesting question as to whether, as some feel, people have more than one 'incarnation' ( or many), which could explain why people and their package of life skills and 'knowing' could differ so much. Who knows? Like many areas probably best to keep a reasonably open mind - ?  ( some Zen people actively encourage this, calling it 'a beginner's mind' - one that's receptive and not 'pre-set'- a 'freeranger'-type mind ).

'Affairs of the spirit ---- '

Another aspect of 'travelling the route' and in so doing cultivating 'big mind', then encompassing the full range of Abraham Maslow's 'hierarchy of human needs', including 'natural social' needs, and then too automatically relegating 'small mind', can be a little problematical at times for modern mainstream minds in that at the latter stage of the journey there can be so-called spiritual aspects that are raised, and many 'voyagers' report this phenomenom. Some Zen people though, for instance, don't use the term 'God', figuring that it can come with a fair amount of 'mental baggage'. Nor, it's said by the spiritual mentoring people, does a spiritual aspect necessarily probably have to be directly related to religion as such; connection with nature, for instance, some might say for instance, has a 'spiritual' aspect.

In terms of self-realisation, the spiritual experience is at the personal, individual level, and it may be more common than is maybe thought. Even though modern western-style mainstream culture has sort of 'ditched' religion, recent broadsheet paper reports suggest that over 80% of people rate spirituality as being an important aspect in their lives. Hey, what do mainstream cultures know, anyway - ?!  The well-known author, for instance, Robert Pirsig in his work 'Zen and the Art of Motor Cycle Maintenance' maintained that individuals not organisations, were the guardians of 'life quality'. Come back Robert Pirsig! (Robert passed away two years or so ago).

'Down to earth ---- '

Ah well, interesting to do the 'existential mental exploring', but now time to get literally down to earth, and get a few  bought broad bean plants into the ground -can't have a spring or early summer without a row or two of broad beans, and to that end two/three packets of seed were also bought, now in buckets covered with sheets of glass to form plants which will then get planted out. And the bees would miss them, for sure - they go for the white broad bean flowers big style.

There's quite a pile of more loppings trash to get burnt, from the trimmings of a tree that was swinging into the neighbours fence in the high winds a few weeks ago - quite a surprise that such a sturdy tree should move so much in the wind. Then there'll be all the onion sets and onion plants to plant out later than usual to try to beat the alium leaf miner fly attack. Thankfully virtually all the potatoes are now planted and covered by plastic sheets to aim to get an early-ish crop, again trying to beat pests and diseases. Ah well, c'est la vie du 'micro-homme'---- Always something --- but then, it keeps freerange life 'tres interessant ----- n'est-ce pas?'

( a 'Fuller Fulfilment' longer piece now on the books page of this site )

Tags: Eco-holding husbandries · Free Range Living


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