Life on a homestead is full of challenges. One of the things that we need to watch and take care of the most is our homestead health. The health and care of not only our out buildings, livestock and plants, but also ourselves.

Unhealthy Times

Of all the times of the year for a homesteader to go down, the worst times are spring and fall.

This spring I ended up with an illness and surgery that followed. A dear friend of mine was there to help me get cardboard between my tomato plants so my garden could flourish without too much weeding.

Thank you Super Sarah!

Photo Credit  Mariana Medvedeva

This fall I have been experiencing illness again.  For the last four weeks I have been dealing with a bronchitis that simply will not let up.  *Update: It turned into pneumonia.*

Sir Swine has been a trooper helping to try to keep the house up when I am not able. Harvest season continues although my health does not allow me to work to my full capacity. We are trying. A lot of time has been spent cleaning and freezing our harvested produce so I can process it later.

When you homestead things need to be done.  It is as simple as that.  Getting them done when you are ill is no easy task.

For the homesteading wife that likes to preserve as much food as possible for her family, the only thing worse than feeling crummy and exhausted is feeling that way and not having full jars and jobs completed.
Pre-made Chicken Pot Pie Healthy food

I apologize to everyone that my freezer fill up section was cut short a few weeks ago.  I will be resuming with several more recipes in the weeks to come.

Due to illness, my once stocked freezer has slowly been drained of all my homemade goodness.  I must say that I am thankful for having made those items ahead of time though. Without a stocked freezer our family would have been living off of fast food, frozen pizzas and processed junk. Eek!

Health on the homestead is an essential part of our lives.  Without good health we are simply unable to accomplish our way of life. This is the case with almost every career in our society though. Our health is key to a great life.

Planning for Illnesses

Prepare yourselves for the cold and flu season that is ahead. Sadly, with the current climate of COVID, we also need to prepare ourselves for a long winter.

I have always had a stock pile mentality long before this pandemic came along. Some of us are just born preppers and to be honest I enjoy shopping the way I do. It may look silly to purchase 30 lb. of flour at a time but with my family it really makes sense.

Items to Help Fight Illness

Now is the time to make fire cider, freezer meals, and homemade cough syrup-which also happens to use some great honey my bees provided this fall.

Fire Cider

This wonderful mixture of goodness is potent stuff. The recipe I have include horseradish, garlic and apple cider vinegar. I strongly advise you to use gloves and to wear glasses when you are shredding the horseradish up to avoid irritation.

Fire Cider needs to sit for approximately 6 weeks to really steep in the goodness that helps to your body. I suggest starting your fire cider mixtures now so that you will have some on hand when fall rolls around. Starting a batch at the end of July or beginning of August is about ideal for cold and flu season prep.

If you haven’t started on yet though it really never is too late to get one going. A short soak is better than not having any fire cider on hand at all.

This isn’t exactly the recipe that I use but it is very comparable. Thank you Foodie With Family for this great DIY recipe. I like that her recipe is ready is just 4 weeks compared to my six.

We have taken fire cider as a preventative measure when someone who was ill had been around us. My main use for it is to help clear up congestion. I have found that it really helps to clear and keep away my seasonal allergy congestion so that is a huge win for me.

Freezer Meals

Freezer meals are one of my favorite things to make. It can be a bit exhausting to have to cook meals for your family every night. Sometimes I just really need a break. A chance to not have to cook and then clean the kitchen again.

Enter freezer meals. I love to make things like ham and potato soup, chicken pot pies, and of course lasagna. A stockpile of homemade chicken broth is always in our freezer as well. You can always find my latest freezer meals right on the main menu. Be sure to let me know which ones are your favorites.

The beauty of the freezer meal, for me, is that you can double, triple or quadruple the recipe you are making. I often quadruple our recipes. We will eat one that night and then I can still put three in the freezer for another time. I love doing this since it is one messy day in the kitchen but I get four meals from my effort.

I love using my pyrex baking dishes to freeze things in. I love that they come with the great lids to match the containers. You can also use handy disposable dishes like this one. I was able to find these at the dollar tree and they are great so that on the freezer meal night I can still keep the dishes down.

Freezer meals can really drain your energy on the batch day but the benefits of those pre-made meals in the freezer by far outweigh the work to create them.

Homemade Cough Syrup

Having a cough can be one of the worst things to overcome. A cough that wouldn’t stop was actually my biggest problem this fall. Having a cough syrup that isn’t loaded with sugar and preservatives can be really tough to find. Believe me I have looked.

Our family loves Sambucol for taking regular elderberry syrup. I have started making my own elderberry syrup at home from berries we harvest locally and I’m loving that frugal option with our growing family size.

If you are interested in a healthy elderberry syrup that you make yourself this recipe is fantastic. My favorite part is that she uses honey to help sweeten her syrup. This helps to soothe the throat as well as getting your body all the great benefits of the elderberries.

If you have someone who falls ill and you don’t have any homemade syrup on hand try a simple honey lemon tea. Be sure to use local honey to get the best results.

honey to help with sore throats when sick

Staying Well

The best option for every homestead is just to stay healthy. Be preventative and try not to go out as much during the sick times of the year if you can. Limiting exposure is a really great way to stay healthy.

If you do fall ill remember that rest and healthy foods are the keys to a quick recovery. Stay healthy out there everyone.

Wishing you all good health. Happy homesteading.