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.

'You gotta be kiddin 'me ---- '

October 6, 2018 · By Mike Robin · 1 Comment

Summer more or less finished around the third week of September here at the eco organic micro-holding ( small smallholding ), although to be fair there's been some cracking blue sky 'Indian' summer days since ( why 'Indian'?) There's just a special quality about these late sunny days, as if somehow time's stood still ---- The woodstove's been in operation to cope with the cooler evenings, spreading its heat beyond the living room.

An autumn job has been to sweep the two chimneys, with fun and games with the one due to Jackdaw's nesting activities, entailing in the end a slightly hairy 'man-made' chimney fire. Micro-holding produce is still plentiful, although some of the orchard fruit has been on the small size, due no doubt to the lack of moisture through the hot summer. Egg supply from the 'mini floxk' has been good, the hens -  Blackie, Beattie and Aggie, enjoying their various daily feeds, particularly their greens.

The latest commercial 'fracas' has been with that perennial 'on the make' car insurance renewal, with the usual swingeing increase in premium being sent through, plus extra payments due unjustifably if the insurance costs are paid monthly. Thus firm got kicked into touch on the basis that it's better to deal with firms who show a level uf customer respect.

One of the issues may be the level of power such firms, being large compared with the 'miniscule' single customer, feel they can employ, along with current seemingly common 'might is right', 'big is best' mindsets. How could the 'small' unit, the customer, possibly know for instance, better than the large outfit -?  History, though, suggests that the 'big' don't always win out in the end , as the large financial concerns busy paying out millions in compensation to mistreated customers have discovered to their cost ----


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1 CommentTags: Eco-holding husbandries · Free Range Living

'K.I.S.S.----- '

September 20, 2018 · By Mike Robin · No Comments

Hot conditions here at the micro-holding (small smallholding) ceased around mid-August with some rain arriving. The home-grown produce has been affected by the drought, with the sprinkler system saved the day on the veg, patch, and some crops such as runner beans doing quite well. Other crops such as beetroot have grown well giving plentiful supplies.

Regular sawing sessions through the summer has seen the woodstore fill up in preparation for winter - a good sight. Some 'small' wood has also been sawn, to help the larger, heavier logs burn up well. Some time too was spent acquring a 'new' motor, which proved to be a bit of a game, and interesting to see close up how many different types were available.

The Head of the English church has come out critically against modern culture practices and values/non values - there do seem to be quite a few stresses and strains on people, particularly maybe on the younger generations - ?  An American social commentator pointed out some years ago that 'materialsm appeared to be something of an 'incomplete' answer. The (freerange) individual can, though, decide not to be 'in the swim', although swimming 'against the tide's' not always easy ----  The 'simple' non-heavily materialistic life may be a route for some to counter any stress 'cloying culture' effects - one advantage of micro-holding life is having regular reminders of 'existential life' -----

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No CommentsTags: Eco-holding husbandries · Free Range Living

Freerange Stuff ----

August 12, 2018 · By Mike Robin · 1 Comment

The heatwave here at the organic eco micro-holding in the UK midlands has curtailed activities somewhat, but with essentail jobs such as watering the veg patch having to take place. crops have matured more quickly and had to be harvested and processed. Flowers have done well as uual, needing too some watering. Fortunately the chicken pen is well shaded so the hens have been ok and kept laying well. The undercover woodpile for use next winter is building up nicely with regular sawing sessions adding to it, and with quite a bit yet to do.

The current era of individual gain focus may leave some social priorities underdone, requring then some re-balancing of priorities - ? The high 'self-actualisation' level of individual need  has social considerations 'built in',  requiring high levels of perception and performanc - maybe a 'work -in progress' situation - ?

A 'larg-ist' nature of modern cultures may represent something of a challenge for individuals, particularly maybe of the 'freerange' variety, given by default lower emphasis on individuals' needs and rights , a situation various prominent writers have warned against - ? Maybe 'home production' such as here on the micro-holding can to some extent guard against 'over commercial' outlooks - ?









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1 CommentTags: Eco-holding husbandries · Free Range Living

'Easy Summer Living --- '

July 13, 2018 · By Mike Robin · No Comments

The sun has been shining for several weeks now here at the eco organic micro-holding (small smallholding) in the UK midlands, with watering the veg and the flowers needed to keep them going, particulaly as the loamy ground here doesn't hold water well. Produce has come early with broad beans now in the freezer, and releasing ground to be planted up with winter brassica plants. Flowers are in abundance, both in the cottage garden and in a farmer's fields.

Most of the veg patch crops are looking well, particularly the potatoes and the beetroot, with the runner bean crop coming on apace, although the onion crop's not looking that great. Soft fruit -strawberries and raspberries -has done well, but looks to be finishing well before last year's crop, no doubt due to the drier conditions. Back on the golf course after the health issues, it was special to play in the company of an old friend's clubs ---

Early economists had wider definitions than those of more modern economists, seemingly too supporting the 'freerange' type of view that money may be best seen as a 'means', rather than an 'end' - ? Money focus seems to have caused firms to take their eyes off the 'public services' ball, in favour of maxing profits, although maybe 'good service' outfits night 'win through' in the end - ?

Old train stations can prove to be attractive places to spend time in, as can then the cottage's living rooms. with the air-source heat pump working in reverse to provide cool air conditioning in the hot weather ---- blissful ---


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No CommentsTags: Eco-holding husbandries · Free Range Living

'Husbanding ---- '

June 10, 2018 · By Mike Robin · No Comments

'Husbanding' resources currently here on the micro-holding is taking the form of organising and processing wood, to ensure an adequate and dry supply for next winter, wood being the main fuel  The bought-in supply is busily drying in the logs-istics centre, being now added to on a weekly basis, alongside the creation of a 'smallwood' supply. which helps the bigger, heavier logs to burn up.

Spring ushered in the countryside's summer garb pretty quickly this year, with everywhere hereabouts looking stunning. Similarly, the veg. crops have taken off, with potatoes, broad beans, spring cabbage, lettuce, spring onions, radish and onions all looking good - fingers crossed that the blight won't hit the potatoes for instance, too hard. As usual the broad beans, being a generally easy crop to grow, are doing a good job for the organic process, fixing nitrogen from the air into the soil and then when spent, providing quite a bit of material for the compost heap.

Whilst the term 'husband' may seem somewhat old-fashioned to some, it's still used for instance in the farming context with the care of arable crops referred to as 'crop husbandry', and livestock as 'animal husbandry', both areas involving quite a bit of needed knowledge to make the many decisions involved. 

'On the make' commercial practice is again highlighted, along with the thought that it might pay in the longer run for firms to consider giving customers a good deal so that they then repeat buy and spread the good word - ? Words from the past, from a Native American Indian Chief, highlight the important, but maybe neglected job, of taking care of - 'husbanding' - the spirit, a process helped here at the nicro-holding by the tree and hedge surrounds, by the peace and quiet, by the 'working with nature' feel, and not forgetting the 'r and r' time spent at the 'Retreat' ----

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No CommentsTags: Eco-holding husbandries · Free Range Living

Organics Re-Visited ----

May 17, 2018 · By Mike Robin · 1 Comment

After what had seemed a long-ish, fairly cold winter here at the organic, eco micro-holding in the UK midlands, spring came rushing in thanks to a spell of warmer and sunnier weather, with nature 'bursting out everywhere', and giving that boost to spirits that's so welcome after the winter season. The crops here have responded well and are looking ok/good, all now making good growth, under the watchful eyes of circling buzzards ----

Nature is surely a powerful force and best to be 'worked with', say some, rather than as others might have it, to be subdued and dominated - ? She surely though needs a helping hand to form satisfying 'partnership' creation, and it's been the busy 'a-sowin' and a-plantin' season here at the micro-holding (small smallholding) as well as other work such as trash burning and building maintenance. An industrious female blackbird seems to have been a virtually constant companion.

The organic or biological mode of growing can seem to be for many the natural - or the 'working with nature' - system to employ, based on feelings rather than logic, that it's the 'right road' to travel, along with similar indicating that animals involved by man in food production should at least have opportunity to be able to practice natural behaviour patterns. Such nature-based sytems work on longer-term cycles to maintain soil fertility and health, then involving cropping rotations to deliver the same, the restrictions of which limit the level of production from the various crops in any one year. Often such systems are 'mixed' (crops and animals) to fully use the outputs from the rotational patterns and then using the bye-products such as animal droppings as manure to further contribute to on-going soil fertility.

Just as on the bigger land areas such as farms, the rotational patterns need observing on micro-small growing installations such as here at the micro-holding, with one or two adjustments, then to not only produce healthy tasty and economic produce, but also other benefits such as fitness, enjoyment, creatiion satisfaction, and maybe last, nut not least, that ineffable feeling of independence ----






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1 CommentTags: Eco-holding husbandries · Free Range Living

'Backwaters ----- '

April 10, 2018 · By Mike Robin · 1 Comment

A hint of blossom in the paddock here at the organic eco micro-holding in the UK midlands heralds the emergence of a fairly late spring after what seems to have been a longish, cold winter. Even though the soil's still quite cold, some stuff has been planted, but warmer weather is now needed, with spring and summer to look forward to.

The growing ground is ready, with its covering of compost and woodash, and with winter greens still available for use, with spring cabbages coming on behind. Broad beans will shortly be planted out, one of the 'star' crops here fulfilling a multitude of uses. The cold winter has mean't though that the leeks mostly failed to recover from the late alium leaf miner fly's attack - not the best result. A trimming of trees in the paddock has left both burning wood for next year and, when the trimmings get with help burnt, a supply of useful woodash, being both potash fertiliser and a mild alkali lime substitute, both tres handy for organic growing.

Practising self-reliant living to some extent 'out of the mainstream' at whatever level can be good for nurturing the freerange, independent spirit, maybe needed more than ever in today's 'mass normalised' world - ? A series of TV programmes have recently featured some individuals who've consciously sought out conditions to develop their skills in self-reliance by living 'wilderness lives' in Alaska, and often gaining an impressive range of practical skills as well as individual self-worth and satisfactions. Some living in small isolated, cut-off spots have developed too advanced community sensibilities. One man's quote suggests that modern people may live too specialised lives ----

Life here at the micro-holding is also 'backwater' lead, not, though to the degree of the Alaskan past-masters, but satisfying at its own level, and still capable of engendering and supporting the 'freerange spirit' ---




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1 CommentTags: Eco-holding husbandries · Free Range Living

'Small Bucks --- '

March 11, 2018 · By Mike Robin · 1 Comment

The chickens seem to have come through the cold-ish winter well, no doubt helped by a bit of extra protection in the chicken house. They've continued to lay well and contribute to the 'home production tally, here at the eco organic micro-holding (small smallholding) in the UK midlands, and are no doubt looking forward to running in the paddock, where they seem to enjoy themselves, as well as enjoying the mix of feeds they get each day. There's undoubtedly a lot of pleasure and satisfaction to be had in looking after animals well and giving them good lives.

The case-study feature here a couple of year's ago - 'Soddy's farm' - was a good example of such high levels of animal care, to which the various types of animals responded. Soddy himself, a giant 'retired from active service' boar pig and having free run of the farm was the self-appointed 'meet-er' and greet-er' of anyone who came into the farmyard, having though an uncanny knack of knowing if they were up to no good.

The strong accent on wealth and materialism in recent times has seemingly arisen from a 'wealth brings happiness' philosophy, as the writer John Lane expounds, but arguing that such a narrow view could be limited and that there's more than a few who might argue the reverse - that simple, maybe frugal even, living might offer life satisfactions. Money could well have it's own particular level of 'thrall', and it can't undoubtedly be too much fun living in a money economy not having enough of the stuff.  Commercial practice can at times put undue strain on finances - an example of over-demanding 'on the make' commercial practice potentially hitting people in the pocket is then examined.

 Leading the semi self-sufficient/reliant sort of lifestyle, as well as offering the scope for personal satisfactions, can also give a bit of insulation to 'economic dependancy'  - ?  Such to some extent is the lifestyle here at the micro-holding, though not to the level of finesse gained by a case-study couple who swopped modern fast-flow mainstream life for a simple rural lifestyle enterprise with a very light eco-footprint -----






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1 CommentTags: Eco-holding husbandries · Free Range Living

Perfection --- a Far-Off Goal ---- ?

February 9, 2018 · By Mike Robin · 25 Comments

A quite cold winter here at the eco organic micro-holding in the UK midlands has mean't quite a bit of the wood in store has been used, but undercover extra supplies are to hand. The earlier day stint of heating the cottage is by courtesy of the air-source heat pump, often pumping a fair bit of free heat into the rooms, especially on brighter days, of which there've been a few recently, showing the unexpectedly green countryside up well. Woodstoves and open fires, though, are under threat in parts of the country ---- One report indicated a growing and likely to be increasing trend of 'off-grid' living.

A degree of self-reliant living, apparently an increasing trend here in the UK, is useful to help cultivate that independent approach to life, although several aspects of 'largist culture' life seemingly combine to weaken independent spirit and strength - for which the 'freerange' approach could act as a good antidote - ? One website offers a useful 'freerange traits' test, which might prove interesting ----

Various approaches to the management of people have been tried over the years but most seem to have 'withered on the vine', presumably due to practice not living up to 'theoretical perfection' - ? There are instances of operations in practice that run not only without specific management styles, but without management itself . 'Management by wandering about'  just about covers the micro-enterprise operation here, interspersed by the odd sit down and cuppa tea - just  perfick -------



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25 CommentsTags: Eco-holding husbandries · Free Range Living

'Middle - for - Diddle ---- '

January 6, 2018 · By Mike Robin ·

Some cold mid-winter December weather here at the UK midlands organic eco micro-holding ( small smallholding ) has encouraged the normal seasonal activity of having a bit of 'semi-hibernation', hole-ing up, resting the mind, body and the spirit ----- This harder mid-winter weather, with its frosts has hit some of the veg, but not disasterously so, quite a bit of it such as the kale being of the hardy variety, now apparently taken up too by high-end restaurants as good fodder, just as farm livestock find it so, generally in fields though ----.

Operating a small - very small - lifestyle enterprise of the self-reliance mode probably generally uses technology of the 'intermediate' variety rather than any 'techno trend' stuff, so tends to be automatically ( and thankfully --- ?), 'behind the times', but which does then give good opportunity for human involvement of the 'getting close to nature' kind. One of the big advantages is that such technology - such as garden tools such as hoes, handtools and 'moving' equipment (eg. wheelbarrows), can all be sourced cheaply or even for free, so not involving too much expense to get started, as is the same for land requirements (eg. a garden and possibly too renting an allotment (piece of ground rented on which to grow stuff).

 Living relatively self-reliantly, where for instance home-produced produce and ,say, the use of cheap/free eco-friendly fuel - wood - can significantly lower living costs, can also give quite a few 'indefinable' returns such as satisfactions from physical labour, from creating, from the feeling of self-reliance and independence, from practically using skills and experience. A case-study from industry illustrates the point, after which the case for 'individual independence' is more examined, leading to a situation where it might in fact pay to not be quite 'technologically' up to scratch ----

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Tags: Eco-holding husbandries · Free Range Living