Last week was backhoe week here on the homestead and in the community. It was a busy time and long days for Stewart, but it was a great blessing to watch more water catchment and root cellar action happening in order to further our sustainability.


There was much watching by little boys on our homestead and others. It was hard to keep these guys focused on school and chores but we always had some time to spare to go check out the latest of Daddy’s digs.


And all of the children got a turn on the backhoe with Daddy. Annabelle was just a little bit excited when I asked “Who wants to drive the backhoe with Daddy?!” She likes to keep her feelings close to the chest, that one.


This little project with the pallets was neither a goat shelter nor a tomato shader nor a grape trellis (all great ideas you’ve now given us, though!). I think I’ll let Stewart tell you about this, or at least wait until I fully understand the project. But, I can tell you that the hole that dirt came from is to be a root cellar and storm shelter, Lord willing.


We watched the weather closely leading up to backhoe week and throughout and prayed that we might get our usual fairly dry weather. Well the rain stayed away… until Friday night not much more than an hour after Stewart finished up on one of our neighbor’s fields.


These photos are taken on our homestead and we got to see the water being put to use in swales holding water and ponds that may someday supply goats with water.


It was fun to go on a tour of it all with Daddy and the children, Stewart getting to see the fruit of his labor and the children generally frolicking (and falling) in the mud.


I often feel like a spectator here on the homestead, nursing baby in tow and camera at the ready. But thinking back on the past three years (our landiversary was last week!) I really see what spectators we all are. Most of what has come to pass over the past few years I could have never have planned for or envisioned. Because it’s so grace-filled, from the shells of newly hatched chicks to the kale taken out by grasshoppers to a storm blowing in at the end of a blessed week such as this.


I don’t know what it is about this time of year, but like a squirrel I feel like I should be stocking up on the essentials. I make bulk purchases of grains, beans, and coconut oil. I buy more toilet paper than I normally would and garner funnier looks than usual from the lady behind the cash register. (I wonder what her face would look like if I told her about our “composting” toilet).

And I generally replenish our usual stash of herbal and natural remedies.

I’m really excited to be growing more of our herbal medicines. Truth be told, some of these medicinal herbs were the easiest things to grow in this harsh climate and many of them are perennials, which is always exciting to me.

Along with our homegrown oregano, mullein, and a few others I’ve been meaning to tell you about, I like to keep some immune-boosting stuff on hand. I am definitely more interested in staying healthy and keeping the immune system strong with real food, plants, and good quality supplements than heading to the doctor with sick little ones. Then again, isn’t everybody?

With all of the hype at this time of year surrounding whatever current epidemic is going around the globe, I’m happy to find a common sense approach to generally aiding your immune system against all types of illness in this article. It reiterates some things we’ve done off and on for years that I may have gotten slack on, and is a helpful reminder to me to keep things on hand.

With that in mind, here is our latest stash of immune-boosting foods, herbs, and supplements:


Herbs & Plants

  1. Lemon
  2. Lavender
  3. Tea Tree
  4. Clove (I was happy to find it 20% off this month!)
  5. Cinnamon
  6. Rosemary
  7. Eucalyptus

(Boy howdy, am I ever not interested in joining in on the big essential oils debate. I’ve used several brands, including both of the big MLM brands, and liked some and not others. We use Mountain Rose Herbs oils most frequently, mostly because I trust and respect their company, their products, and their overall mission to bring all forms of herbal medicine to folks.)


We generally like to put more emphasis on foods and plants, but we also like to be realistic about times when our diet isn’t ideal. So, this is our general list.

Did we miss something? What do you eat/make/take to keep your immune systems up?