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.

'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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Organics Re-Visited ----

May 17, 2018 · By Mike Robin · No Comments

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 tp 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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'Backwaters ----- '

April 10, 2018 · By Mike Robin · No Comments

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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'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 · 19 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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19 CommentsTags: Eco-holding husbandries · Free Range Living

'Middle - for - Diddle ---- '

January 6, 2018 · By Mike Robin · 3 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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3 CommentsTags: Eco-holding husbandries · Free Range Living

'Small Stuff ---- '

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 · 1 Comment

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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1 CommentTags: Eco-holding husbandries · Free Range Living

'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