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/

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Hikes and Hammocks

Once the nights get warmer, we plan to start camping with the kids over the weekends. They are both now old enough to hike a pretty good distance, as well as carry some of their own equipment. They are also interested in, and capable of, carrying out many of the survival skills involved in camping.

So, for the moment, we are in training! On Sundays, we get a picnic ready, and load it and any other equipment up in backpacks. We then set off in the opposite direction from the village (which is the only inhabited place for miles around us). We hike until we find a place we want to “camp” at (with breaks along the way if necessary), and then we make camp. We all eat, then the kids play and explore while we relax in the hammock! Last weekend, the boys paddled in the creek, and Leo even went swimming. Admittedly, it’s been a very mild winter, but still... that water is COLD, which means our child is just plain crazy!

As we get more into this practice, we will increase the distances hiked and weight carried. We will also start assigning more and more tasks (like gathering firewood, stringing up the hammocks, setting up a fire-pit, using flint to start fire, etc.). Once spring arrives, there will also be a lot more food (weeds) to forage. The boys are most excited about taking their slingshots, in the hope of bagging some little critter for dinner! I’m sure they’ll improve a lot over the coming weeks, but I think I’ll still be packing food for a while yet, just in case!

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Hikes and Hammocks

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Andre Norton

"There's no night without stars." - Andre Norton

Monday, January 16, 2017

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

"What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Pig Plow

We have a couple of issues we need to address at the moment on our homestead. 1) We need to empty, clean, and put away the pool before the spring winds come (we will then refill it in April, when it’s warmer). 2) We need to extend the season when the rabbits have fresh grass and weeds to eat - this is currently only during rain season, from June to October.

We’ve come up with several ways to grow more of the feed requirements for our rabbits, but the one we’re going to implement right now is planting oats. We figure we can use the pool water to irrigate the oats, thereby killing two birds with one stone.

We have several terraces partly made below the existing forest garden. However, they need to be better leveled and plowed a little before planting. We have decided to dedicate one or two of these to an oat crop, and who better to plow the row than our two potbelly pigs.

Abe has set up an electric fence around the whole terrace, with small electric “gates” that split the row into smaller segments, to concentrate the work in one area at a time. About 10 days ago, he put in a hoop house in the first segment and put the pigs into it. They have since been doing a great job of leveling and digging up the ground, and have now been moved into the second segment.

The funny thing about it is that the female, Shiva, is over-wary of the electric fence. So, instead of digging up the dirt and grass on the outside of the hoop house, she stays inside it and moves the house over the ground she wants to examine. That way, she gets to stay safe within her “house”, but still get to the parts outside of it.

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Pig Plow

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Percy Bysshe Shelley

"O, wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?" - Percy Bysshe Shelley

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Henry Morton Stanley

"The sky lovingly smiles on the earth and her children." - Henry Morton Stanley

Friday, January 13, 2017

V. S. Naipaul

"The world is always in movement." - V. S. Naipaul

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