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:

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Saul Bellow

"A fool can throw a stone in a pond that 100 wise men can not get out." - Saul Bellow

Monday, March 30, 2015

Robert Fortune

"One marked feature of the people, both high and low, is a love for flowers." - Robert Fortune

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Charles Eastman

"There were no temples or shrines among us save those of nature." - Charles Eastman

Potholder how-to


Abe made me this hanging potholder for a surprise present a while back, but we've only just written the how-to.

It's a great little addition to the kitchen. It's cheap and easy, looks great, very convenient, and opened up a lot of space in my cupboards.

It you want to see how to make one, click here.

The post Potholder how-to appeared first on VelaCreations.

Potholder how-to

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Pierre Schaeffer

"Sound is the vocabulary of nature." - Pierre Schaeffer

Friday, March 27, 2015

Elias Hicks

"The fulness of the godhead dwelt in every blade of grass." - Elias Hicks

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Edouard Manet

"There are no lines in nature, only areas of colour, one against another." - Edouard Manet

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Ellsworth Huntington

"We are learning, too, that the love of beauty is one of Nature's greatest healers." - Ellsworth Huntington

Domestic Lambs-quarter


Leo has always liked vegetables of almost every kind, whereas Nicky is far more particular. He loves a few of them, like broccoli, carrots, and corn, but for the most part he'll turn his nose up at most of the greens you put on his plate.

The really strange thing about Nicky is that it doesn't seem to be the vegetable itself that is the problem, more of its location on his plate. For example, every day he'll eat cherry tomatoes off the vines we have inside the house (which produce year-round), but if you add one to his meal, he'll leave it untouched.

Now, with the forest garden that we began last year turning lush and green, the boys have found a new hang-out and Nicky's browsing habits have expanded. Every afternoon, they go rummage through the diverse plants, of which there must be almost 100 different kinds. They know which ones they are allowed to eat, and they camp out in their favorite spots, often down on all fours pretending to be rabbits!

Leo's favorites are mint and chives. Nicky, on the other hand, is obsessed by domestic Lambs-quarters. We planted a few last year and let them go to seed. This spring, a million of the little guys have sprouted. They are beautiful, with a tinge of purple to the large green leaves, and have none of the bitterness that the wild variety can have. Nicky has claimed them as "his purple ones". We hope that he leaves at least some of them to grow, but I guess so long as he's getting the vitamins, we shouldn't really complain.

We have been really amazed at how well the forest garden is doing. We've had a fairy wet winter, so I'm sure that helped keep the water battery charged. It is constantly wet down in the soil, and we haven't had to turn the irrigation on at all. There is a ground cover of alfalfa throughout, all the trees have bloomed and have tiny fruits appearing, there are tons of greens and herbs, and the berries are all leafing out. It is an amazing place and has worked out really well. In another week or so, we'll be fencing the chickens out of the second row and will be planting it.

The post Domestic Lambs-quarter appeared first on VelaCreations.

Domestic Lambs-quarter

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Jean Ingelow

"When sparrows build and the leaves break forth, My old sorrow wakes and cries." - Jean Ingelow

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Letitia Elizabeth Landon

"A brier rose whose buds yield fragrant harvest for the honey bee." - Letitia Elizabeth Landon

Garden 2015



Saturday, March 21, 2015

John Dryden

"Ill habits gather unseen degrees, as brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas." - John Dryden

Thursday, March 19, 2015


"Nature has always had more force than education." - Voltaire

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

W. Clement Stone

"Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star." - W. Clement Stone

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Paul Muni

"Nature's far too subtle to repeat herself." - Paul Muni

Friday, March 13, 2015

Kin Hubbard

"A bee is never as busy as it seems; it's just that it can't buzz any slower." - Kin Hubbard

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Annie Dillard

"There is a muscular energy in sunlight corresponding to the spiritual energy of wind." - Annie Dillard

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

H. P. Lovecraft

"Blue, green, grey, white, or black; smooth, ruffled, or mountainous; that ocean is not silent." - H. P. Lovecraft

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Mealworm Farm


We started off buying about 20 mealworms to test out as a possible addition to our food web. That was a year ago, and we have been very happy with the results. They cost almost nothing to raise, and all of our omnivorous animals (including the dogs) go crazy for them. Our birds are about the tamest you will ever meet and the chicks seem to grow very fast and healthy. We even eat the mealworms occasionally... and they're good!

We have gradually been building up our stock, and we were to the point where we would either have to cut back the amount of beetles we have or make a new setup. Because they have been so successful, we went with the latter option.

We now have a fully operational mealworm farm that produces about 1.5 lbs of worms a week, with very little input. We love it.

If you want to see complete instructions on how to set up your own farm, see our how-to. Or you can check out the Instructables article and vote for us in the competitions.

The post Mealworm Farm appeared first on VelaCreations.

Mealworm Farm

Monday, March 9, 2015

Georges Simenon

"The lake and the mountains have become my landscape, my real world." - Georges Simenon

Mealworm Farm

Mealworm Farm - If you are looking for a way to raise your own protein cheaply, easily, and with almost no space or infrastructure, look no further than mealworms. When food is scarce, you’ll want livestock that are efficient, take up small spaces, and can easily be hidden.For more information, view How To: Mealw...

By: velacreations

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Mealworm farm

Sunday, March 8, 2015

O. Henry

"We may achieve climate, but weather is thrust upon us." - O. Henry

Gordo Down


We have been having very high winds recently, but unfortunately we haven't been getting any electricity out of them.

A couple of weeks ago, we had steady 40-50mph wind, which suddenly gusted to a little under 70mph. A magnet from the rotor came loose and flew into one of the blades, knocking a hole through it. The machine was then off-balance and bent the pole a little.

We turned it off, so it didn't keep spinning crazily and the next day we took it down. We haven't yet had a chance to fix it, so it remains grounded.

Our skyline just doesn't look right without a wind generator.

The post Gordo Down appeared first on VelaCreations.

Gordo Down

Friday, March 6, 2015

Tom Lehrer

"Bad weather always looks worse through a window." - Tom Lehrer

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Mark Twain

"Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get." - Mark Twain

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

John Keats

"Scenery is fine - but human nature is finer." - John Keats

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Douglas Wilson

"Use plants to bring life." - Douglas Wilson

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Black Elk

"And when I breathed, my breath was lightning." - Black Elk

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