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, January 6, 2011

Property Updates

I haven't written much about the place recently, so I thought I'd do a little update on how things are doing.

We haven't done any building since we finished the bathroom and hot water system. We really have everything we need, so no need to hurry on to the next construction projects, at least until well after the baby is born. We'll probably make the pantry (a big cupboard in the entranceway) and another shelf or two, but that's it for the next couple of months.

SANY7201 Hot Water system
This has really changed our lives and is the greatest luxury on the place. There have been a couple of small issues to work out, but Abe figures them out and fixes them. Unless it's cloudy for several days or unless we use the floor heaters a lot, our tank temperature sits happily at 130 degrees and will almost burn you!

Compost Heater
This did not work out as well as we had hoped. Although it heated Leo's wall a lot at the beginning, it does not do so steadily. We will have to tweak the idea to make it more effective. At least we''ll get a big old pile of compost out of the experiment.

SANY7207 Pigs
The three pigs are growing at an incredible rate. They more than doubled (and one of them almost tripled) their weight in the first month we had them. We made a pasture for them and they love to run around in it, root up the dirt, eat grass and play. When you arrive, they come running up to be petted, scratched and fed scraps. They consider Leo one of them. Photos

SANY7213 Chickens
We replaced most of our chickens a little while ago with some young layers. They have recently started to produce eggs. So far we are getting about two a day, but that will increase with Spring. It's Leo's treasured job to collect them (although he is only allowed to carry one back to the house).

SANY7227 Rabbits
The rabbits are amazing. We have kept a lot of the best females to pad out our breeding stock. We now have twelve females, four of which are still not ready to breed. By March, when they are all of breeding age, we will be getting a litter a week. Right now we have a little over 40 of them, of all different sizes!
They are truly the easiest animals in the world to keep and a joy to watch. Photos

We didn't plant anything for winter outside. There was a lot going on at the time and we decided to let it go for this year. The inside dining room planter is on the other hand doing great, with all kinds of herbs, greens, carrots and garlic going crazy. We will shortly be doing soil blocks for the living room one.

For the grand old price of $15, we got our road graded the other day. Most people don't understand what this means, but to sum it up for you, our road is long (2 miles), dirt and was in terrible condition after the rains we got this year. It now feels like a super highway, and my increasing belly is very grateful.

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