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:

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Cabin insulation

We have been putting insulation up in the cabin, and it is almost completely done now.

We have to do the plumbing in the bathroom, and then we'll start on sheetrock.

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Cabin insulation

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

TAMUK rabbits

Last week, we went and got three new rabbits. All our other rabbits here are Californian, and we haven't been overly impressed with them. They don't thrive on grass and weeds nearly as well as our previous rabbits (of New Zealand stock), and they don't breed as well during the heat.

So, we decided to try out a breed developed at Texas A&M. The rabbit is a mixture of different breeds, developed especially to be heat tolerant, among other things. They come out all different colors and are supposedly very hardy. The mix has now been recognized as a distinct breed, called TAMUK (Texas A&M University Kingsville). We'll see how they do.


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TAMUK rabbits

Monday, March 12, 2018

Jean Giraudoux

"The flower is the poetry of reproduction. It is an example of the eternal seductiveness of life." - Jean Giraudoux

Thursday, March 8, 2018


Last week, one of the cows we manage gave birth to a beautiful calf. It's the first one born since we've been here, but it looks like there'll be a lot more coming soon.

Things are now really greening up around here, which will help the lactating mamas. We're still giving them hay and minerals, but they eat less and less of both as the grass grows.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2018


For my birthday, Abe surprised me with five beautiful hens, which is fantastic, as a homestead just doesn't seem right without chickens. It's not only the eggs that we were missing (in fact, our neighbor gave us all the eggs we could use), it's the scraps. We give some scraps to the dogs, some to the rabbits, and the rest to the Black Soldier Flies, but there have been so many times when I've hated giving the BSF something that was made for chickens. And, of course, we now have something other than fish that will eat the BSF grubs!

There was already a chicken pen here, from the previous owner, so we didn't have to do much to get ready. The chickens are young (about 10 months old), very healthy, tame, and lay a rainbow of eggs. We get between 3 and 4 eggs a day now, and each of them is a different color. We won't be getting a rooster for the time being, as we don't really need one yet.


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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Natural fertilizer

So, as we harvest some of the winter crops, we have to prep the garden beds for the Spring garden. For now, this entails mowing down any weeds and plants, and sprinkling liberally with rabbit manure, which we have in abundance.

Rabbit droppings are one of the new animal manures that you can apply directly to the garden. It isn't "hot", so it won't harm anything, and it's very effective as a plant food. Plus, it is already in pellet form and is quick and clean to gather. It's one of the many reasons we love our rabbits.

It's raining at the moment, so we'll let the bed get good and wet. Then, we'll put a tarp over it, in order to kill any new weeds coming up. After a few days, we'll be able to loosen the soil and plant the new crop.

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Natural fertilizer

Monday, February 26, 2018


The turnips are starting to be ready, so the other day, we harvested some of them. We filled two crates, and only collected about a third of what's out there.

The wonderful thing about fresh turnips is that they are kind of sweet. As they sit, they turn a little more bitter, but for now they are wonderful. And of course, there's always turnip greens too.

Judging by the size of our harvests, it looks like we'll be eating a lot of turnips in the coming weeks!!

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