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.

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

February 9, 2018 · By Mike Robin · No 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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'Middle - for - Diddle ---- '

January 6, 2018 · By Mike Robin · No Comments

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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'Small Suff ---- '

December 8, 2017 · By Mike Robin · 2 Comments

The end of the micro-holding season is nigh, with a bit of 'semi-hibernation' rest to come through a few weeks of deep mid-winter, apart from. say, the odd wood sawing session. Still the odd sit-down pleasurable sort of task to undertake, such as ordering next season's seeds from the reliable, steady firm that is the mail-order supplier.  No re-order though for the electric supply firm which could be just that bit more helpful and respectful.

Not too much available from the veg growing area although what there is is generally ok, apart from the leeks sruggling as last year to recover from an attack of the alium fly. Quite a lot of lopping of branches has had to be carried out, leaving for the moment a lot of trash in the paddock, which with its new access gate and fence is still though a useful 'green retreat'.

Warnings from various sources awhile ago about the potential dangers of 'power block world' may not have had too much effect with the E.C now seemingly heading down that route and away from its title's indication. Some suggest that a 'community' of states may have been the alternative to deliver both independence and bio-diversity  along with appropriate collectiveness for instance on defence, the lack of which may have been a factor in the UK's current defection process. A key area of unease found among 'power block' reservationists has been the perceived potential longer-term threat to democracy , which was also a major reservation back along of authors such as Orwell and Huxley.

The 'retreat' in the paddock here at the micro-holding has been useful to assist in the practice of a bit of self-administerd 'mindfulness' practice, which seems to be effective at potentially increasing the satisfaction to be had from the 'day-to-day' micro-holding activities, maybe even to 'excess' levels - ?


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2 CommentsTags: Eco-holding husbandries · Free Range Living

Micro-holding Logs-istics

November 7, 2017 · By Mike Robin · No Comments

Lots of late season micro-holding (small smallholding) activities have taken place through October - from scything nettles, to harvesting produce, to buildng gateways and fences, to digging in green manure - and all the rest. Good to get them done and keep the place shipshape. Can't win 'em all, though, and the usual pest attack happened on the leeks, and whether they  recover could be a moot point --- 

The organisation needed to cope with using the renewable fuel source that is wood is considerable, from providing dry storage right through to having available kindling to start the fire, plus sawing facilities if free wood is to be made use of. The potential benefits to the micro-holder are considerable, including effective cost savings, eco-friendly operations and home-made fertiliser, all amounting to providing the micro-holder with considerable satisfactions.

The need for and scope of independent 'freerange-style' living could go well beyond the harvest of personal satisfactions, to the realms of 'expanded awareness/consciousness', then accessing further life-affirming positives, and reportedly only accessed at the individual level, as is also the strawberry bed, still in sore need of attention ---


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'Money Matters----- '

October 17, 2017 · By Mike Robin · No Comments

Cooler weather indicated it was time to think about winter preparations here on the eco micro-holding in the UK midlands, which were then duly in hand, also involving the satisfying process of yearly maintenance tasks. Some produce is still there for the picking, including the last from the new soft fruit bed which has perfomed well, as have the winter veg. plants which look strong and healthy.

The mini orchard in the paddock has delivered quite a lot of fruit, notwithstanding the attentions of a largish burrowing animal,  currently preventing paddock access for the chickens. The 'made-out-of non-cost spare re-cycled materials' retreat, a singularly unique structure due to its ad hoc construction process serves admirably as a peaceful, well, retreat, to give peaceful times in the 'green oasis'. On the passing away recently of old Pipster collie dog, thoughts then turned to another collie from the past, a gorgeous bitch called Shay, an amazing dog that saved the bacon countless times with cattle in a farming situation.

Modern money-focused times may not yet produce the 'nirvana' scenario hoped for -some have found becoming wealthy to be a less full experience than expected, which could beg the question as to whether money can act as a 'veil', preventing sight of more meaningful lifestyles - ? There is concern here in the UK about mounting consumer debt, particularly for younger people, and moves are afoot at last to tighten up banking practices to try to recover lost trust, presumably once the essence of  the financial sector. Partial self-sufficiency, of which there's a reported large increase in interest, has helped here at the micro-holding to avoid those high interest rates charged on plastic borrowings.



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'Sweating the Small ------ '

September 7, 2017 · By Mike Robin · 2 Comments

Early August here on the organic eco micro-holding (small smallholding) in the UK midlands was on the cold and wet side but the latter half saw more sun and warmth, and with timely waterings the cottage garden flowers have held up well.  Already the seasonal stirrings are in evidence with preparations in hand for the coming harder winter season. The free wood gathered this summer has been put into store and another woodpile 'liberated' and waiting to be sawn up for winter use.

Wind-down activities predominate in the veg patch with both potato and onion crops harvested and in storage mode. Overall the growing year hasn't been too bad, with most crops doing ok and the new soft-fruit bed excelling itself. A further useful crop has been that of weeds, then contributing well to fertility down the line via their contribution to the compost heap.

Might independent individual-style living be increasingly at risk in a seemingly ever more 'largist' world - ?  'Money', and the pursuit of it, has become a major goal, along with a drive to have ever more of it, but maybe then imperiling the scope for 'individual fulfillment' - ? Might also modern 'on the short-term make'  business approaches put longer-tern prosperity at some degree of risk - ? The micro-holding limited-pecuniary lifestyle does not probably stack up too well against the modern money-led way, but it does offer other advantages, such as, say, a degree of independence, a necessary ingredient for the 'freeranger' - ?




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2 CommentsTags: Eco-holding husbandries

'Missing Motivation ------ ?'

August 17, 2017 · By Mike Robin · No Comments

Mid-summer's the 'time of plenty' here on the organic eco micro-holding (small smallholding) in the UK midlands, both in terms of avaiable produce and in terms of having a variety of small jobs to go at, a time of 'fecundity and abundance', as a result of earlier efforts.

After these efforts a break was in order, taken amongst the picturesque countryside of west Wales, and where a 'quality experience' and a restful time can be had. Nearly everywhere in this particular region has a backdrop of gorgeous green hills, which seem to add a comforting presence to the experience.

Motivation theorists used to point out that in terms of peoples' needs, the meeting of which should mean in theory that 'natural motivation' should be the norm, simplifying to the tune that 'it's all about money' would be too limiting, and that such a trend might have occurred due to a mis-reading of workplace attitudes. A net effect of the resulting control 'theory X' management styles could well have been low trust levels, and a de-focus on areas such as 'leadership' and 'motivation'.

Micro motivation is necessary here on the micro-hold-ing - well, it avoids the need for self-flagellation - and where to be fair, most activities bring satisfaction and some pleasure -----

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'Flower Power ------ '

July 10, 2017 · By Mike Robin · No Comments

June is peak flowering time here in the UK, with flowers abounding both here in the micro-holding's cottage-style garden, and in some local fields.  Recent renovations have been in satisfactory 'making good' mode, ensuring the valued conservatory space is sound for another few years, and good to be able to employ local guys to do the work -community alive and well hereabouts.

The growing season has gone pretty well with good crops of beans, potatoes and spring greens, and useful looking follow-on crops such as peas, swedes and beetroot. Soft-fruit in the form of strawberries and raspberries have also done well, available to eat as 'afters' each night now for several weeks, boosting the ol' vitamin C intake, and adding to the many delicious tastes attributed to this fecund time of year. Amazing to some extent what a small area can produce, along with bolstering the freerange, independent spirit ------

People, especially apparently the younger generations, are kicking against the long UK austerity drive - apparently seven years long and still going - caused initially  reportedly by financial malpractice, which one conspiracy theory suggests may have been deliberate, as a means then of bringing in 'control' measures. It seems that as might be expected living standards for those 'under the cosh' are being squeezed, whilst it's perceived that a rich elite have not participated too much if at all in the pain. Hard to see, maybe, how the present government's declared aim of a 'fairer society' could be achieved without addressing this problem ---- ?

The micro-holding also acts as the 'green oasis' retreat, which may prove useful , in a seemingly volatile world, in the process of retaining sanity and common sense ----- ?



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'Caretaking ----- '

June 12, 2017 · By Mike Robin · 1 Comment

With the season of sowing and planting taking place this spring, care and attention to the seedlings and their environment has been the order of the day, nurturing them to try to ensure they then make productive plants. Hoeing and weeding duties haven't been unduly heavy, with other measures too taking place. Some crops such as beetroot need a bit more 'care and attention' but with then the likelihood of a fuller crop.

Soft fruit production has been ok with useful further prospects, applying too to the fruit trees in the orchard with a bumper harvest, fingers crossed, in the making. A useful supply of free fuel (wood) has been obtained, all now stacked up drying and ready for the chainsaw come September time.  Two new chickens have settled well with the older remaining hen and all are laying well.

Although it's been reported that modern western-style cultures lead to 'isolationism' the positive help response of people in the recent UK terrorists attacks has shown that humanity has not thankfully extinguished in individuals and that in spite of any isolationist 'mass' culture, 'fellow feeling' is alive and well.

Some 'freerangers' seek out wild uninhabited places in which to live and practice self-determination and self-responsibility, often experiencing 'nature in the raw', and quite harsh conditions, gaining often too close relationships with their animals. One farming family worked to understand their animals more fully with surprising, to some, results.


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1 CommentTags: Eco-holding husbandries · Free Range Living

' Heart of the Matter ------ '

May 16, 2017 · By Mike Robin · 2 Comments

In spite of some cooler latter half of April weather, the crops here at the organic eco micro-holding (small smallholding) in the UK midlands have progressed quite well, probably due to quite a bit of sunshine having been about. The 'wild bunch' hens have not fared so well with the fox having penetrated what was thought to be a watertight paddock. Stunning countryside has been the order of the day, particulerly now that more bright yellow oil-seed rape is grown hereabouts.

Individuals still struggle with the 'on the make' modern business model, as an example illustrates. 'Hard-edged' commercial practice can appear to often be the norm, but maybe if tempered with humanity, business results could be boosted in the longer-term - ? Does 'hard-edged business practice then too impinge over time on those who practice it - ?

Ubiquitous 'free market' thinking appears to have had an impact in terms of relieving people from individual responsibilities and consequences of their actions, which might then impact on the degree of civilisation within a particular society - ? As 'true' free market conditions have not been maintained, a 'big beast' jungle appears to have developed with the 'small beasts' such as small firms and individuals becoming the 'prey', prompting politician's here in the UK now trying to ride to the rescue, but late in the day, no doubt some would say. Money having taken centre stage, there may be a question as to whether it's bettes as an 'means' rather than an 'end' - ?' One way of limiting the potential power of money is to operate within a fixed amount, so avoiding then the 'chasing the dollar' syndrome, whilst potentially boosting creativity in the process.


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2 CommentsTags: Eco-holding husbandries · Free Range Living