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/
Friday, September 30, 2016
Thursday, September 29, 2016
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Monday, September 26, 2016
Sunday, September 25, 2016
Invasive species may reduce the spread of disease - The findings are forcing ecologists and infectious disease scientists to rethink how they account for invasive species.
How to live the Good Life without giving up the rat race: "Extreme downshifting to escape the modern world can end in disillusion. The solution lies with communities that offer a halfway house"
Tracking wild pawpaw, descending into pawpaw-induced madness, and discussing "Pawpaw: America's Forgotten Fruit" with author Andrew Moore
Saturday, September 24, 2016
Friday, September 23, 2016
Thursday, September 22, 2016
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Monday, September 19, 2016
Sunday, September 18, 2016
Saturday, September 17, 2016
What Can You Build With a Dismantled Stadium? In Indianapolis, a nonprofit is turning the Colts’ old stomping ground into shade shelters, wallets, and more.
Friday, September 16, 2016
Thursday, September 15, 2016
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Monday, September 12, 2016
Sunday, September 11, 2016
Saturday, September 10, 2016
Friday, September 9, 2016
Thursday, September 8, 2016
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
Sunday, September 4, 2016
While we were rained in, we decided to make the most of the time by doing some canning.
Before it started raining non-stop, we went prickly pear picking. Unfortunately, we left it a little late in the season, and a lot of the fruit had already fallen and been eaten. Still, we managed to gather a full crate, not to mention several crates of pads, which we are planting along the perimeter fence of the property.
We used our new steam juicer to extract juice from the fruit. It was awesome. We didn't have to cut the fruit or strain out the pulp. We just added the whole fruit to the top of the juicer, put it on to steam, and the juice came out of the hose!
We then used the juice to make jelly, which we canned. It was a process that took over the whole kitchen, but has given us well more than a year's supply of delicious jelly. We ended up with 28 jars. Most were pint size, although 10 were slightly smaller, so it was a little under 3.5 gallons!
If you want to know more about prickly pears, including our jelly recipe, click here.
Apples and Chutney
We also turned a crate of apples into apple sauce, which we put in the freezer for winter pies, and we made several jars of spicy mango and pineapple chutney.
All of this, coupled with the honey we robbed the other day, has left us feeling decidedly happy!
Saturday, September 3, 2016
Friday, September 2, 2016
Following the driest July since we've been here, we had the wettest August. We've been rained in for several days, and last night we had a 2.5" hard rain. The sound of the river (1.5 miles away) and all the arroyos running was deafening.
This morning, when we went to assess the damage, we found the pond full. The last time this happened, it broke the dam, so, as you can imagine, we were a little nervous. But everything was fine. The overflow worked great, even given the volume of water it must have had to handle. In fact the "pig pond" even filled up (it is filled from the overflow of the big one).
Here's a few photos of the ponds, empty and full to see the scale.
We have actually done a little work to the overflow. We used a water level to measure the height of the dam against the overflow, and decided it would be safer to dig it down a couple of feet. It probably would have been OK, but we're still glad we did it!
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