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.

'Then, Now ----and Whenever --- '

March 5, 2020 ·

'Then --- Now--- Whenever--'

'Rain, rain --- everywhere'

 Weather has been the predominant factor these past few weeks here at the eco micro-holding in the UK midlands, with one storm after another crashing in bringing severe gales, snow on higher (and some lower) ground and seemingly endless wet weather, it's now been announced officially that it's been the wettest February in the UK since records began. After a very wet autumn here all this water has had nowhere to go, everywhere was already saturated, so there has been widespread flooding. It was announced on the TV in the last day or two that some poor folks have already had five episodes of flooding this season - crikey, how does a body cope with that level of disruption, hassle and emotional 'hit'-? It certainly can't be a bundle of fun, that's for sure. Still quite a bit of water about, taking its time to drain with everywhere sodden.











It's been reported that quite a few houses have been built here in the uk on 'flood plain' land in recent times - land that's vulnerable to flooding - not sure that sounds too clever in that sooner or later flooding could presumably occur - ? The UK is a relatively crowded country being of comparitively small size, but there seems to be a virtually perpetual 'cry' for more housing to be built, which may not exactly help the situation --- Those that have been built here locally seem to have fairly tiny gardens, which may not also help too much the cause of 'freerange self-reliance' - ? In more space, the year's first flowers have shown -- signs of (good) life ----


wood flower


'Chick chicks ---- '

The four-strong mini flock of hens here seem to have coped pretty well -they're quite tough little birds - sort of smalller Rhode Island Red lookalikes. They've been going out in the paddock and orchard now for a couple of months or so in the afternoons and seem to really enjoy it, even finding a route under a fence to visit with the hens next door - they're little varmints really - good job they're well loved - they add a lot of spirit and character to the place. Even though they are modern bred hybrids they've taken to the new regime like ducks to water, and especially the 'new' type of diet. They now basically only consume around half of the bought chicken feed they were consuming, plus some waste food -bread, stale cake and the like, and make up their diet with grass and whatever they find on the land -they spend most of the afternoon happily scraping about and grazing on short grass. Egg production has been maintained whilst feed costs halved - can't be bad - and egg quality is 'the biz'. If it gets too windy and wet they can retreat back to their pen and chicken house, but often they shelter under a thick holly hedge - chickens aren't so daft really ----

'On-going micro-holding work --- '

Micro-holding work has taken a bit of a hit with so much inclement weather about, but basically the growing area has been now cleared of weeds - either 'dug in' as green manure, or shaved off with a heavy spade and put onto the compost heap, so the area is basically ready for sowing and planting, although the land is far too wet and cold as yet (end Feb.) to make a start. The woodash and compost formerly went on February time but as an experiment this year it'll go on just before each crop is sown/planted, which seems to make some sense, in that as it's fairly porous soil, there could be less 'leaching' (nutrient run-off) of nutrients - ? Looking back though through the daily journal, it was surprising quite how much had got done in what in anybody's book has been a difficult month :

 digging trenches to find septic tank run-off drain pipes, cleaning out chickens pen and re-strawing (* 3), sowing seeds inside, scraping weeds off ground, re-roofing shed with roofing felt, topping hedge by compost heaps, strengthening poly tunnel shelter, digging in green manure, sowing broad bean seeds in buckets in top greenhouse, trimming loppings (to make runner bean supports), clearing septic tank blockage, efforts to start 'dead' sportier summer car, taking trimmings to store at fire site, filling back the trenches, plus the routine jobs such as feeding livestock, getting fuel in, some writing and the like.

 There you go - surprising when how much actually does get done is reviewed - no wonder the after-lunch naps have kicked in ---

'Weather effects ---- '

The copious amounts of rain has made the lanes hereabouts pretty messy with quite a few 'mini floods' on them, and 'route planning' has had to be the order of the day (there are five alternative ways 'out to civilisation' from this neck of the woods). It's also mean't that the green 'slime mould' on, for instance,  fences, has had a field-day - not just fences but also on the cottage too, which looks in a bit of a sorry state. As soon as there's some warmer weather, they'll all have to be washed down with a bleach solution to kill the mould, and then it'll be an 'a-paintin'' time --- all grist to the mill and at least painting is one of those 'making good' jobs where there's good results to see, and so 'extra' satisfaction to be gained --- '

'Cultural courses ---- '

Surprising how different cultures can be, especially of the 'one party v. democratic states' varieties, although worldwide support for democracies has apparently waned according to reports, presumably because quite a few seem to be 'limited editions - ? Maybe not too surprising - here in the UK the vote is mainly for two diametrically opposed political parties, and if a person lives in a stronghold of one of the parties, then effectively choice is curtailed, neither main party being  over-keen to bring in the more democratic system of 'proportional representation' (classic case of 'vested interest' - ?). Even in the same country mainsream culture can undergo dramatic change depending on the forces driving the culture. In this country (the UK) a few decades ago there was a strong social priority as witnessed by the trends of the time. It didn't do, for instance, to be 'good' at something, or better than others, people who were blatantly 'out for themselves' were criticised, ostracised even, and young people had drilled into them homilies such as 'you should always think of others before yourself' (presumably a source of some confusion for young people - ?).

'Dynamic cultural effects ---'

 These days the culture mores and priorities appear maybe then unsurprisingly to have swung round to the opposite, now embracing the 'out for self' cause, but with seemingly considerable more criminal activity - ?( recent reports in the UK that police now won't/can't investigate fraud as there's too much of it----). The other change, but not necessarily all for the bad (?), is that in former times there was 'big respect' for 'the authorities', with people accepting their lead, whereas these days people can and do question authorities more, sometimes with more positive outcomes --- 'Freerangers' maybe are amongst those that do tend to question matters, upholding then the democratic right to free-thought and freespeech, as do say, climate change protestors ---- and holding authorities more to account can usefully work against, say, autocratic tendancies, vested interest forces, over 'status quo'influences and the like ----- May have to guard a bit though against any over zealous 'self-rightness' - ?

It was that freeranger himself, Buddha, who stated that the individual had the right to quest for her/his self, which likely quite a few feel is appropriate as part of any 'individual free rights' package. 'Existential enquiry and exploration' may then be a normal human need, especially for some - Jurg Roherer's quote below could be relevant:

 'It is often astounding how little time we take to consider such an important theme as the meaning of our own lives.  How easily it is that we can take over preconceived notions without questioning them, or how seldom we thoroughly examine the consequences of our decisions in advance'.    

(Personal Development as the Meaning of Life (book))

'Whenever ---- '

Times, though, 'are a-changing' and no doubt will change a-pace in the future. As above, the move from social priorities to individual priorities here in the UK could well have been due to the over emphasis of the social case, then prompting a reactive trend towards individual priorities. Some might argue that these have now become over predominant in 'out-for-self' times, and social priorities now need more of a look-in - people do after all live in societies - ? There seems little doubt that climate change priorities will be increasingly prominent - the moves such as the planned level of electric cars are already considerable, and climate change 'naysayers' could be increasingly looking like 'flat-earthers'----

'Gigging times ----- '

 A problematical part of the UK scene has been, and is, the rise of the 'gig' economy, which some -  many? - might argue has  fundamental insufficient respect for people and human rights. 'Big business' too is so powerful these days with so many 'giant' organisations in existence, and with a probably inevitable 'big is best' power-orientated corporate mind-set. Hopefully the common 'theory X' power and authority styles of managing people will give way more to 'theory Y' 'inclusive' styles, more geared to meeting peoples' needs rather than exploiting them --- ? (research by this author found that 'long-term effective' employers in the rural sector used mainly 'inclusive' styles of people management). Maybe the increasing emphasis on the need to find the 'own real self', as supported by notables such as Buddha himself, and perhaps more easily facilitated by movements such as 'mindfulness practice' these days, will translate into a needed higher regard for the individual and their needs - 'salvation' according to Buddha, can only be found at the individual level, the individual going on their own journey ----- hope, as ever, springing eternal ----

'Micro-holding existentials ---- '

Some though find 'existential enquiry' to be of 'the stuff of life', with endless fascination, this author being amongst that number, hence forthcoming works ('e' books) to be shortly posted on the 'books' page of this website, to do with 'finding the real self' and undertaking the 'internal mountain climb', exploring existential areas, even what Abraham Maslow called 'the Farther reaches of Human Nature', which maybe sounds quite grand but can in practice be 'down to earth' --- which is also exactly what's called for next here - some of the cleared micro-holding ground still needs to feel the effect of a hoe to complete the job --- erm, hey, ho ---

Tags: Eco-holding husbandries · Free Range Living


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