Vela Creations

Vela Creations is an in-depth resource for off grid living. The site documents our research and experiences, hoping that they might help others interested in pursuing this lifestyle. This blog is designed to document our day to day experiences as we build our new, sustainable homestead. If you are interested in seeing more photos and videos, we have a flickr account at the following url: http://flickr.com/photos/35090117@N05/collections/

Monday, July 21, 2014

Bhumibol Adulyadej

"Nature is something outside our body, but the mind is within us." - Bhumibol Adulyadej

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Judy Garland

"Behind every cloud is another cloud." - Judy Garland

Rabbit Sausage


Rabbit Sausage


I spent the day grinding up rabbit meat to give me a few months of minced meat.




Minced meat is one of those things that I love to have around. From one type of meat, you can produce so many different meals. The fact that we eat rabbit almost all the time (with an occasional pork interlude) means that variety of recipes is important. There are so many delicious rabbit recipes, but the ones with ground meat are often quickest and easiest.


So, when Abe butchered this week, I spent the rest of the day cutting up and mincing the whole lot (9 rabbits). I now have 9 bags of minced meat, each about 1.5 lbs. Should last a while.


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Rabbit Sausage

Saturday, July 19, 2014

John Dryden

"Self-defence is Nature's eldest law." - John Dryden

Tree Nursery


Tree Nursery


We have some trees coming up from seeds.




In preparation for future orchard terraces, we have been starting some trees from seed. There are various techniques to help that process along, like nicking the seed cover or putting them in almost boiling water or acid for a while to break the seed cover. We've also been taking cuttings from some trees and starting them that way. All in all, we have been experiencing a pretty good amount of success and had a mini orchard growing.


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Unfortunately, we had a minor tragedy occur. We had the nursery set up on a greenhouse shelf unit that we won in an Instructables contest. The shelf is great and has served us well for trees, vegetables, etc. A couple of weeks ago, however, we had a strong wind come up from a very unusual direction (the shelf is protected from all our usual winds) and blew the whole thing down. We lost everything and nearly broke Abe's heart.


But, we started over and now have several Honey Locusts and Mimosas (both nitrogen fixers, which are so important to have in an orchard) coming up. We also have lots of cuttings started again in some Willow tea (for the rooting hormone).


On a similar subject, we have set up an irrigation system for around the barn and corral. We want to grow trees that will provide shade and food for the animals. So far, we have a couple of mulberries and mesquite planted, along with a Honeysuckle vine. We have had to put protection around the ones that are small, as the chickens and guineas are already after them!


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Tree Nursery

Friday, July 18, 2014

Walt Disney

"You can't just let nature run wild." - Walt Disney

Tent House


Tent House


The north storage room is finally stuccoed and has already been taken over.




I started stuccoing the outside of the north storage right after finishing the inside (after the room was finished). However, something more important came up and I had to stop doing it to deal with that. Because the wall is always shaded, it never seemed important enough to go to the top of the list. And somehow, I never got back around to it.


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So, this past week, the guys that come up and help out when we need them finished off the job. It's now stuccoed and painted and all looks great. In fact, it looks good enough to be a house for some little creatures...


Leo and Nicky have been suggesting that it's time that they get their own house. I told them to look around and find a good site and we would figure something out. They decided on the spot in between the buttresses of the north storage room. Perfect.


The other day, we strung up a few old tent pieces and move in some "furniture" from the junkyard. They have a bed, TV, fridge, chair, table. They head off to their house in the morning and come back to the "shop" or "restaurant" for food or snacks. It's still very new to them, so I'm sure the novelty will wear off after a while, but for the moment our house is extremely peaceful.


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Tent House