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/
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Monday, February 27, 2017
Sunday, February 26, 2017
Saturday, February 25, 2017
Friday, February 24, 2017
Thursday, February 23, 2017
We have had an extremely mild winter this year. In fact, we had tomatoes still growing outside until mid-January, and it was getting up into the 90s in early February. We figured that we were passing straight from fall to spring.
The day that Abe was due home from his trip, the boys and I woke up and got ready for school. As I was getting a few chores done before leaving, it started to snow. Within minutes, there was a full blown blizzard and everything turned white. School was cancelled (not being prepared for the sudden turn in the weather), and so the kids instantly went outside to make snowballs.
They had a blast, and the only thing that detracted from their joy at the snow was the thought that "Papa won't want to come home if it's cold!". I told them not to worry, that he was already en route. Still, they needn't have worried, a couple of hours later all the snow had melted and the sky had turned blue again. Abe came home thinking that I must have photoshopped the picture I'd sent him!!!
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Monday, February 20, 2017
Last week, Abe went to stay with Vickie in her new house. They spent most of their time setting up utilities and buying furniture, but they still got to enjoy a little of the new scene. The area, near Austin, sounds pretty cool, with a lot of museums, activities, restaurants, etc. Plus, it is all so green!
The house itself is gorgeous, with a small forest to enchant Abe, and a treehouse, pool and basketball hoop to excite the kids, who cannot wait to visit.
As for us at home, it was the first time that the kids have ever been apart from their dad overnight, so it was weird. In fact, it's one of the very few times that he and I have been apart since we got together. Still, Leo and Nicky were good as gold, which made everything easier, and the time flew by.
Saturday, February 18, 2017
Friday, February 17, 2017
Thursday, February 16, 2017
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Monday, February 13, 2017
During rain season, our pond collects a vast amount of water; when full it holds about 300,000 gallons. However, we lose quite a bit of this over the rest of the year to evaporation. Although this loss should reduce as trees and water plants increase and provide shade, that may take a while. In the meantime, we are looking for ways to make use of the water before it evaporates.
We have just bought a pump that runs on solar. It can pump about 600 gallons of water a day (more in summer when the days are longer). Our eventual goal is to build a huge tank on the top of the property, which will then be able to provide pressurized water to the whole hill. For now, we will be watering the orchards and gardens directly, as well as filling up the current irrigation tank as it goes down (it's full at the moment).
We plan to hand-dig a hole just off the side of the pond, which will act as a well. We will be able to pull the pump up the casing if maintenance is needed, and add filtration measures to the well itself. The only problem with this is that we need the pond to dry up in order to dig the well! So, we are currently trying to use up the water. We put the pump inside a PVC pipe and wrapped it in a feed sack as a basic filter, and then just sunk it in the middle of the pond, which is currently about 4 feet deep.
We have four months left until rain season begins, so we should be able to use up the water currently held in the pond (evaporation will help us out too). What it means is that the trees we currently have planted will be receiving a LOT more than we usually give them, and we will be planting out the hundreds of little trees and shrubs that we have had growing in our little greenhouses (we would normally wait until rain season to plant them out).
Solar well pump
Sunday, February 12, 2017
Saturday, February 11, 2017
Friday, February 10, 2017
Thursday, February 9, 2017
Monday, February 6, 2017
Sunday, February 5, 2017
Saturday, February 4, 2017
How to build your very own mushroom farm from scratch, from mushroom spores to grocery stores and everything in between
Friday, February 3, 2017
- Arthur Schopenhauer
- How To Make A Living Fence For Your Garden…Step by...
- Hugelmounds and Waterways - In-Depth discussion
- 7 Essentials TIPS for Raising Chicks
- Russian video on making rope out of plastic bottle...
- Fruit trees and guilds: the rules of spacing
- Philip James Bailey
- Edwin Way Teale
- Archibald Alexander
- D. H. Lawrence
- Andy Warhol
- Henrik Ibsen
- Paul Dirac
- Over 3,000 Bakers Are Now In Business, After Minne...
- Comparing growth and harvests in adjacent strips, ...
- Hog Killing Time (excellent longread)
- This is how we dry & use wild Lambsquarter
- The Compost King of New York
- Herbs: History,Types, Uses, and Cultivation
- Why nature restoration takes time: fungi grow 'rel...
- Trees, forests and water: Cool insights for a hot ...
- Do Trees Have Feelings: The Hidden Life of Trees i...
- Permaculture Keyline Water Systems: Don Tipping @ ...
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
- Lao Tzu
- Pamela Hansford Johnson
- Solar well pump
- John Lubbock
- Solar pump
- Alfred Lord Tennyson
- Robert M. Pirsig
- Albert Camus
- Max Muller
- Francois Rabelais
- Aldo Leopold
- Cattle Panel Greenhouse - Design and Build
- Splitting fence posts by hand - Riving Demonstarti...
- Hickory Nut Brew - How to Make
- Compost Fed Chickens
- How to build your very own mushroom farm from scra...
- GoAts - Pasture
- Tiny front yard - Lots of food - only year 1
- Portland teen discovers cost-effective way to turn...
- John James Audubon
- Permaculture Potato Planting - Using Potatoes to d...
- John Webster
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