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.

Living 'Eco Simply ---'

August 25, 2021 · No Comments


FR21 Occasional blog no.3

Living 'Eco Simply' (in a complex world) -a Route to Contentment -?'

'Preserving sanity ---'

Life here at the 'simple living' world of the eco organic micro-holding (small smallholding) in the UK midlands, proceeds unabated and probably increasingly semi-reclusivly, as a 'staying sane' measure. 'It's hard to stay sane in an insane world' was the pronouncement of one eastern mystic ------Keeeping 'feet on the ground' growing stuff for instance in the veg patch,though, may well help, and the growing activities - both flowers and vegetables - help to bolster for instance 'seasonal awareness', and to guard against any mainstream culture missives ------ such as any anti rain/pro sun tendancies ('yer can't have a green and pleasant land without rain'). Any grower via their connection with nature knows that a 'balance' is needed and that sun without rain can lead to more extreme circumstances, as  being witnessed currently (Aug. '21) with seemingly worldwide bush/forest fires, brought on, they're saying, by climate degradation caused by man ----

'Feet on the ground ---- '

Here in the UK it's not been too bad a growing season, in spite of the quite cold spring, and a hot, rainles spell in June, when crop irrigation was the order of the day, and without which there'd have been little production. Broad beans and peas have done ok/well, as have onions, salad crops and potatoes. Tomatoes are a bit late but on their way and runner beans have been reasonably plentiful from just after mid-July onwards. The two bug-bears of the organic grower in these parts - blight (on potatoes) and alium leaf miner attack (on onions) have both been mercifully absent this year, leaving the crop of potatoes in particular one of the best ever. And again, for whatever reason, the strawberry crop over the month of June was super plentiful, with many given away - good to have such a surplus to be able to share with the good people that are most of the neighbours.

'Progress ---- is good'

Wood supplies have happily built up to virtually full winter supply levels, always a good visual site to see, warming the cockles as it were before the flesh ---- Problems cropping up in the past immediate period seem to have become resolved. The run-off from the two septic drainage tanks down land-drain pipe into the soak-away ditch had ceased to work (after 40 plus years of operation), and being so long with bends, proved to be 'un-solvable'. There was a solution though, which was to get a submersible pump to use in the tank with the most volume of liquid, mainly bathwater, which then within five minutes pumps the liquid down a good hose into the soak-away ditch -job done, and only needed to be done once every ten days. The second lower liquid volume tank seems to be able to soak away adequately down the run-off pipe. Good feeling, solving existential problems and issues as they occur ---

'Eco living --- '

There's apparently a fair level of interest these days in living off grid, which can make sense in terms of avoiding the large energy firms whose dealings with 'lowly customers' often seem to have been fairly lamentable, or as has been the case here, falling foul of some of the smaller energy suppliers going 'bust'. To have, say, a wood stove (renewable fuel but with a carbon footprint), an air source heat-pump (very green), a battery storage unit then supplied by solar panels and a domestic wind turbine, all backed up via a small generator for sunless, windless days, would no doubt do the business, and 'future proof' domestic energy costs, as well as contributing to that ineffable (no swearing please --- )feeling of independence and self-reliance.

 The UK government is busy pushing ground and air source domestic heating for the future, indicating that gas and oil boilers will be phased out by a time not too distant. People, though will probably need to take care, as costs can vary considerably. To do ground source heating quite an array of piping has to be laid out laterally at least a meter underground, or laid out via a larg-ish vertical deep-ish hole, both types involving considerable cost. Not only that, but also it seems quite a bit of electricity has to be used to pull up the heated water - more on-going cost, and there's some doubt as to how long it works effectively. By contrast the air-source heat pump system involves a lot less initial capital cost, and not having to shift water, takes only an economic amount of energy to run it - here it heats two day living rooms and uses around 500 watts to run it, then blowing over 2000 watts into the rooms - it does a good job and even better as most often the solar panels are producing enough 'free' electricity to run it. A potential problem may arise in terms of providing household hot water, again though not if as here there are solar panels fitted, with a device then channeling any 'spare' home-produced electric to the hot water tank - it's relatively rare for instance that here the back-up electric immersion heater has to be used.

'Existential ----- '

Being active in basic life processe gives a curious sense of 'primal satisfaction' and certainly can add to the 'life meaning' stock. Using basic hand tools such as spades, hoes, forks and rakes also contributes, and somehow provides a direct link to the past. In this country it wasn't too many aeons ago that people had to spend many hours out in fields basically doing handwork to provide the nation's food. Gangs of itinerant workers, for instance, living 'rough'in barns and/or bothies, would come to a farm to hand hoe big fields of roots, say, sugar beet, to space the plants themselves as well as hoeing the weeds down. It must have been a rough, tough life (and where did they go in winter?). Life then, without the 'benefit' of modern gizmo's such as mobiles, computer and the like, would probably have been a lot more straightforward and simple. Interesting to speculate whether even without modern 'accoutrements' plus wellfare, they had more fun and mularkies within their gangs -------

'Complex - simple ---- '

There's quite a movement these days as witnessed by the internet, of 'simple living' lifestyles; maybe not too surprising considering how complex and 'noisy' modern life seems to have become , one commentator opining that because of the sheer amount of information and activity in modern times, there may be little room left for 'common sense' ----(?!)  'Going simple', though, means going against the grain, at least to some extent, given that modern 'western-style' culture appears to be fairly fixated on amassing wealth, gaining power and 'flash' living in general. They've even come up with a term for those not playing the ''wealth and power' game, who are apparently now termed 'normos', not necessarily the most illustrious of phrases -? Some reservationists though question as whether at the end of the day, the 'wealth and power' route is likely to be quite the 'nirvana' it seems to have been made into? It's been noted too that inherent competition seems to be built into the system - luxury yachts for instance, have to be bigger and better than others - and that the wealthy brigade are apparently not exhibiting signs of too much contentment, reportedly stressing over where they are in the 'rich' league table, and seeking therapy to try to allay such stress ---

'Winning not everything ---? '

'The trouble with the rat race is that 'even if you win it you are still a rat' quote sort of encapsulates the concerns over such money-geared trends, together with the fact that individual verification has then become of the 'external'(i.e. to the individual) variety, with then little scope for any 'internal' strength or validation. There is a 'significant minority', as seen on the net, who travel more the 'being development' route and hence internal validation for the individual is  relevant, as too is materialism, but to its sustaining level rather than to any 'more more, amassing' end. Such a trend of 'external validation' (of the individual) may represent a 'youngist' geared culture displaying less 'natural' inner security, (inner strength/knowledge gained via life experience?) with the 'inner validation' variety  tending then to be found more in experienced folk (hence generally older --- ), maybe a bit less prominent ---?

Micro-holding world ----

'External validation' may not be too evident to micro-holder types, in spite of the fact that they are generally doing their (sizable?) bit for environment protection, (their time might yet come - ?), so it's probably just as well that 'inner validation' is on the cards, and modern trends such as flash living, amassing wealth and accumulating power, are generally 'passed by', and thereby 'opening the door' to 'simple living' -  maybe even in the longer term accessing the elysian fields of human well-being and contentment ------ ?


Tags: Eco-holding husbandries · Free Range Living


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