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:

Sunday, February 15, 2009

New Pond

Our building project has had a small setback these past few weeks, through no fault of its own.

About two and a half weeks ago, a Caterpillar Bulldozer for hire came to the area. We seized the opportunity to get a pond dug before the rains come. The south-east corner of our property is a small ravine, where a lot of our hill's rain ends up. We are going to dam it up to make a big pond, which we plan to use for fishing, swimming, and irrigating orchards and crops. All in all, it will hold about a million gallons and be about 60,000 square feet (an acre and a half). It may take two years of rain to fill, depending on the rainfall we have this year, but it will ensure water for every need imaginable.

The first day, the operator worked for 4 hours on it and got a lot accomplished. He also hit a large pocket of caliche, which he'll use to coat the bottom (driving over it several times to compact it). We were so excited and spent the evening sitting in our dry pond, dreaming of tire swings and fish barbecues.

The next day, the guy arrived at 9am, tried to start the machine and... nothing. We have since had workers, mechanics, the boss here every day. They have had to rebuild the engine. And of course, every time they find something else that is wrong with it, they have to drive the two hours to the city to get parts. It was finally fixed yesterday, although today they still seem to be having some problems!

In the meantime, we need to go to the city to get materials before we can start on the roof. Because they are constantly needing tools and we are also feeding them, we have not been able to make that trip. Oh well, pretty soon it will be fixed properly and the pond will be finished, and we can get back to our plans.

For more photos of the pond, click here.

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