I spent most of my Saturday moving old hunting blinds and repairing patches, all the while thinking about the benefits of recycling and the principles of Japanese minimalism. I know what it seems like. But there was a connection.
Since moving to the farm, I’ve noticed a big shift in my thinking. It’s a shift to the “Great Depression Era” mentality when it comes to throwing things away instead of reusing them. Much of this line of reasoning can be attributed to visiting a local landfill while we were moving and remodeling our home.
I feel uneasy about standing at the top of a literal waste pile that reminds me of the reality that as a consumer we have to do better. Our county doesn’t offer a recycling program, so I started looking for other ways I could do my part to reduce our trash.
We ditched the Keurig K-Cup pods for our French press coffee makers, eliminated bottled water, and tried to cut out single-use plastic wherever possible. It’s often caved in or bought, but overall it’s been better.
Our best “recycling” efforts are most evident in reusing old items around the farm. Farmers and ranchers always seem to be one of the best role models when it comes to recycling. The best farms and ranches have little waste.
On this front, our efforts to reduce waste on farms have been far more successful. The old gate I wrote about last year (“Get the Rusty Memory Maker”) once served as an entrance to Tree Farm, now used by Goat’s Pen.
As I sat here this morning looking out over the misty pastures, I saw the gate and it was heartwarming to learn that it was still in use. It’s an exhibition of repurposed items, including a large wooden spool of , all of which add up to create an amusement park for a trio of Nigerian dwarf goats. If so, a rural resort for ruminants.
It’s nice to know that these items would have piled up in landfills if they weren’t used for goat pens. And memories of the past like rusty gates always come to mind.
Saturday I moved an old wooden hunting blind I found while working in the woods near a hunting spot we call the High Road. But you can get out of the element by adding blinds.
From the outside, the old blinds were in disrepair and looked like their usefulness was coming to an end. The interior also needed work as with the windows open many creatures could call the place home over the years.
Luckily, it remained intact during the move. After it was in place and leveled, I was able to patch some holes and replace some windows. All in all, I think it will last a few more seasons.
After cleaning, I put a chair inside and overlooked a long path through the woods. I thought about the people who had sat inside and looked out the window in the past, and who made it. Simple structure, but effective and fit for purpose.
As I sat there, my mind filled with thoughts of hunting. Coupled with the simplicity of the blind, I also thought of Fumio Sasaki’s recently finished book on Japanese minimalism. In his book Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism, Sasaki explains some principles you can adopt to simplify your life.
Of those lessons, it was this one that kept coming back to me while sitting there. In my opinion, I started applying this standard to hunting gear. Undoubtedly a result of my environment, it was no surprise that the item that came to mind most immediately was my favorite hunting rifle.
Of all the gizmos and gadgets I’ve purchased over the years for my various hunting pursuits, there are only a select few that I’ve decided to buy again soon. Just a small part. Perhaps it’s a great way to assess everything in our lives.
Here we focus on what gives us true satisfaction and hope to see you in our great outdoors.