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.

'Yes Indeedy ---- '

October 7, 2019 ·

 
'Yes Indeedy --- '

'Soggy ---- '

 Indeed it's been exceedingly wet here at the eco organic micro-holding in the UK midlands over the last couple of weeks, possibly more consistently wet than ever a time before. The simple way to assess this has been the fact that the chickens' run has had to be almost continuosly revamped - the pen's straw gets wringing wet and messy, then needing to be removed, the ground scraped clean and fresh straw put in place, as it's no fun to see the poor birds trying to get by in messy, muddy conditions. Such pen 'renovations' have had to occur, say, two days out of three, a frequency never seen before. Ah well, it's micro-holding life - how monotonous would it be if conditions remained continuously the same - ? A further minor disruption to micro-holding life equanamity has been a couple of cateract operations during the last few weeks, with quite startling effects -the artificial lens that's implanted during the procedure has now given the first eye done, now 'settled', '20/20' vision, according to the operating surgeon - such bodily revitalisation via the wonders of modern medical science - yes indeedy ---

Fortunately the growing side of things wasn't disrupted too much, not that it's been an over busy period in the veg patch or the glasshouses. The tomato crop has been delivering nice and steadily, no doubt helped by limited sunshine in this wet period, and the taste of the organic tomato fruits picked fresh is just sublime, and available here from July through to November. The beetroot bed has come up trumps, with again produce of sublime taste available from June, and which should extend through to around next February as beetroot will winter ok outside, and should conditions get a bit too extreme, the roots can be stored in the dry in buckets of soil (it may help if the soil is fairly light and friable, which if not available could change to compost, usable of course after its storing role). The big 'turn around' crop has been the swedes, which looked disasterous for a long time earlier on, but now have morphed into a fine vigorous crop, with bigger upper foliage than normal.

 

Hopefully some decent roots will follow ---swedes

'Quality beets --- '

The beetroot bed here is not thinned, which sort of happens naturally as the beet are picked then creating space for other close-by plants to come to fruition. It may help that the varieties grown tend to be that bit smaller, grown for 'quality' (taste) rather than quantity, although such a system still produces a good yield of beet per square metre. The quality beet varieties (egs. Pablo, Action) tend to be dark fleshed - their taste if picked not too large, has the 'wow' factor, especially still warm/hot after cooking. It's a crop which, touch wood, doesn't seem to get hit by pests too much, although A, the owner of the site in Wales where the static caravan is, gets trouble with mice nibbling the beets in the ground. Another advantage is that early on in their growing they can be 'thinned' here and there, with the thinnings, even though they might not look too productive, then being used to plant in areas of the bed that may have gaps. They take a week or two- or three, to start to 'look right' but then - away they go. All in all a very palatable and useful crop to grow - yes indeedy ---

'Long-distance runners --- '

The other crop that proves to be pretty useful in terms of having a long-ish use period here is the runner beans crop, which if the seed is sown in two/three bouts through April/May/June, can be available for picking from July through to November. The longest picking season here was one week short of five months, which makes it a potentially pretty useful crop, particularly if they suit the palate ---. Not too much produce is stored in frozen form here as there's generally always fresh produce to pick from the veg patch - just a few broad beans and peas. Again, and again touch wood, the runners are pretty easy to grow and don't attract too many pests or problems, particularly if the water levels are kept up ok for them. It's probably a fairly common limitation, them not getting enough water - they need a lot as with their 'herbage often around seven feet (2+ metres) high it's a lot of plant form to support from a small area of ground.

 Sometimes too, judging by often fairly short growing seasons, some people think they're doing ok with the watering but can get a bit hoodwinked by the fact that after some watering the ground looks ok, nice and wet, but in fact not enough water has gone on. If the crop doesn't get enough water, it will 'shut up shop' quickly with what beans there are becoming quickly 'over the top' and unusable (plants trying to get quickly to the seeding stage as a survival strategy). Runners are one of those crops where the old adage of 'think of an amount then double it' is probably not a bad strategy.'

 

celery

 

This year's celery has got to be the star crop of the year, it never having been quite such a size before, and tasting quite delicious - it can be used raw in salads, cooked as a vegetable and/or of course in soups. It did have two/three doses of nettle juice earler on when things seem to have been struggling, and which would seem to have worked its magic, the bunches being about a third larger than average here. Good to have such success after what's been a difficult growing year - yes indeedy --

'Auto-life --- '

One of the 'upmarket' supermarkets in the local town attempted to differentiate and humanise itself- it for instance gave out free cups of coffee, that is, until another took over at the top, and since it's become 'mass-ly' pretty much like the others. The free coffee was knocked on the head, even though the goodwill factor it created could add up as a good long-term factor (and interestingly, profits have dropped since), and quite a big 'self-processing' (paying) area introduced, causing though longer queues for those wanting some human contact. That's really the point - a supermarket shop experience can now be undertaken as a totally solitary experience, good, presumably in terms of the commercial objective of maximising profits, using customers as casual staff, thereby reducing staffing costs, but along with internet banking with associated loss of bank branches in towns, net shopping, fuel self-service, and so on, ever reducing the individual's direct social experience and contact in life.

And that's before factoring in the reported loss of social skills caused by heavy screen use by the younger - and maybe not so younger - generations. Does anyone consider the wider effects of, say, commercial practice in society -? Some of course might say that anyway government, whilst it should be independent with an 'overall society' brief, in actuality is more in bed with business - ?

The 'mass processing' of people via large retail outlets such as supermarkets in itself is a process which treats people 'en masse', as does mass media. How many adverts feature words such as 'we all want ---- ' as if the human individual is some sort of 'standard product'? Not applying though to a woman in the bakery in the local town the other day, carrying a bag on which were the words 'I'm not weird, I'm a limited edition'. Good for her, obviously a freeranger, standing up for 'people bio-diversity', the same as did the erudite speech of a Native American :

 'All birds, even those of the same species, are not alike, and it's the same with animals and human beings. The reason Watantanka (Great Spirit) does not make the birds or the animals or the human beings the exactly alike, is because each is placed here by Watantanka to be an independent individuality, and to rely on itself'

(Native American Sioux Chief) 

'Uniquely us ---- '

And so say freerangers -- When you think about it, diversity is a truism - each individual, besides having their own nature and features, has experience completely original and unique to them - no-one else has the same package, which calls into question as to whether people can in fact, authentically speak for others - ? Each, it has been said, is on her/his own journey in life, but to where? To 'riches and leisure' would maybe be the 'mass' answer in modern times, understandable of course for people having a hard time in life, and maybe particularly for those following the 'having' route, which is the one most heavily promoted.

For those on the 'being and developing' route though, the goal may not be quite so clear cut or measurable, with increasingly these days (aided by techniques such as 'mindfulness practice') it being the gaining of the authentic 'real self', 'non mass' state, gained by travelling the 'own road' 'freerange's way, and said then to bring real well-being and security to the individual ----  'Yer pays yer money ----- '

Likely the most conscious and aware being to have lived, Buddha himself, ( a 'freeranger' --- ) promoted the idea of 'real self' journeying, also suggesting it was the individual's call :

 'No one saves us but ourselves. No one can, and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path'

'Semi-reclusing ---- '

The next journey here though is now down to the 'Retreat' cabin in the paddock for a bit of 'reclusing' and 'navel gazing'. The small paddock is surrounded by trees and high hedges - very tranquill and peaceful, just the job for being able to spend some time drifting nicely away from what's been called 'the tyranny of the (busy) mind'. It's been said that if the individual gains 'mastery of the mind' (as opposed to the mind running the show), then there's a chance to experience 'expanded/higher consciousness' states - and this only occurs at the individual level (so the individual is important) - hope then for us all --- ?  Yes, indeedy ---              

 

 

Tags: Eco-holding husbandries · Free Range Living

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