Vela Creations

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, May 3, 2018

Nursery expansion

Now that it's getting warmer, we have been working on an enclosed space to move the trees to.

It's close to both the greenhouse and the chicken coop. It has a seven foot deer fence around it, and we will be putting a fence around the base of its perimeter, so that the chickens can patrol the outside for bugs.

We cleared out any dead limbs from the trees overhead, opening up a little more light and avoiding possible high wind bombs. It also has weed barrier over the ground.

Once we move all the big trees and shrubs into the outside nursery, we'll be planting a bunch more inside the greenhouse.

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Nursery expansion

Tuesday, May 1, 2018


We now have 6 new beehives.

We've opened them up a couple of times, and they all seem to be doing well. There's plenty of brood, eggs, and bees in all of them, although we did have to give one weaker hive a couple of extra brood frames from the strongest hive. None of them have started to fill out the supers yet.

We'll continue to monitor them while they're getting established, but it all looks good.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2018



We've been keeping on top of the garden work - weeding, replanting things that didn't come up, etc. - and it's really paying off. Many of the plants are growing like crazy. We're currently only eating greens and radish, but we're about to start on the carrots and beets too. Plus, all the peppers, cucumbers, squash, potatoes, corn, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, beans, etc. are taking off.

We added a trellis to the tomatoes, as they were all falling down, and we'll probably have to do one for the cucumbers and beans soon.

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Monday, April 23, 2018

Shade cloth

Now that the night-time temperatures are such that we no longer need to close up the greenhouse, we have added a shade cloth. The plastic sides are now kept open, and the shade cloth goes down to the ground. It's keeping things nice and cool in there.

This week, we'll be moving most of the trees outside, so we can start a whole new batch.

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Shade cloth

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Bee Supers

We're getting six new bee hives this weekend. Seeing as there are so many wild flowers around at the moment, we figured we should get prepared for them, by building each hive a super.

While my dad was here, he assembled the six supers (honey boxes). We then painted them, to make them more durable in the weather. They are now filled with their plastic frames.

We have a pallet all set up in the place where we'll put the six hives. So, just waiting on the bees...


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Bee Supers

Friday, April 20, 2018


My dad came for two weeks, and my sister came for four days during that time. It was lovely seeing them both.

Before they came, they asked what kind of clothes they'd need. I'd informed them that we were pretty much into just shorts weather. Of course, that meant it was time for a random little cold front to blow in, dropping the temperatures from the 80s to 40!!! Oh well, as people in these parts keep telling us, "If you don't like the weather in East Texas, wait 10 minutes and it'll change".

I think the highlight for my sister was definitely the animals; she has a particular soft spot for all little critters. One of Vickie's cows had a HUGE calf. He was born so big that he came out like a one month old, and ended up having to be bottle-fed. I think Sharon wondered if she'd be able to fit him in her carry-on!

If I had to guess what my dad liked most, it would probably be the night trips we took on the 4x4. He'd shine the spotlight to catch the glow of eyes in the darkness. We'd then race over to see what it was. We saw possum, deer, armadillo, skunk (our puppy, Candy, got sprayed for the first time!), and owls. There were several species we didn't get to see, but maybe next time.

The boys loved having them both here. It was the best birthday present for Leo, who turned 10 on April 11th. Now, however, all our guests are gone and we have to get back to work! We miss them.

For family who want to see more pics, you can go to flickr.

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Family 2018

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