Total colony collapse

The other day, we were walking around the park in downtown Paso Robles. We heard a crunch underfoot and looked down. There were bees. Thousands of them. They were on the ground. An entire colony! Or a massive swarm.

Why were they out here?

How did this happen? This is a great tragedy! Bees are super important for pollinating plants and keeping us alive. They make honey 🍯, pollinate trees 🌳, and help keep the world 🌎 healthy and green.

My first two theories about these bees were this:

1. There was a disease that infected the colony, like mad cow disease but for bees. They all got infected and then started to poison each other. Slowly, the whole hive was infected, then they died.

2. There was a spray that was applied to the hive and the bees fell out of the tree and all clustered together and slowly died.

What was so crazy about this whole experience was that the ants 🐜 were coming and taking the bees and their bodies away. It was like they didn’t even care. They just came to get all the dead bees and bring them back to their colony. Must be a sweet snack… Wait, that made me think, if the bees were poisoned, maybe it would poison the ant colony as well. Or may, if they were infected with mad bee disease, the ants would get it too! Can that even happen? Bees spreading disease to ants?

Once I posted this to Instagram and Facebook and asked for some help, one of my friends told me that with his background in Ag and pests, it didn’t look like they had been sprayed with a pesticide. In his experience and from what he could see here, he suggested that the queen 👑 🐝 bee could have died, which would mean all the workers and drones would be without a leader, thus leading to the entire colony collapsing.

What a sad day! Could you imagine everyone in your colony having to die with you because your leader died? How terrible would it be to have no clue what to do, no purpose, no direction, without the queen bee.

In some ways, our lives can be like that. Without a sense of purpose, a higher power that we submit to and follow, we are living a purposeless existence. We would be just like the bees, living on our own, spinning around on the ground, void of meaning. That is why it is so important to find your purpose. Find out that God is real. He is there and He has a plan and a purpose for you. Let’s make the most of our lives on this planet and follow our Creator.

Little House on the Prairie

And here we are… surviving in this new era of covid19. One of the most challenging things for us so far has been that we do not have a washer and dryer at the property we live at. We could go to a laundromat, but germs… lots of other people’s germs, clothes, hair, and we just don’t want to go through that. Especially with this virus being able to live on metal and plastic surfaces for three days.

So today we did our laundry in the sink. Totally the old fashioned way. We’ve done this before while backpacking through Europe, yet now we are doing it so we have our most basic clothing items available… we were running dangerously low!!!

It makes me think of Little House on the Prairie. They lived in way tougher conditions. They were pioneers, trekking across this great land of ours, paving the way for progress, Cities, and towns that have sprung up and grown over our country. That same pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit is what I believe will keep our American spirits strong. We will bounce back from this. It has been super hard this week as more companies have laid off employees, business has become tougher, and less people are looking to buy goods and services. We will bounce back. We always do.

This morning I tried something new. I took our homemade bread, made toast, and spread coconut oil on it instead of butter. It was really good! Nice to know that there is a plant based substitute to butter that tastes decent. It isn’t the same thing as butter, which fills you in a way the coconut oil doesn’t. It does make you feel lighter and healthier though, which I do like!

Next thing that I did today was make some orange 🍊 poppyseed muffins. Oh my goodness, this was so fun and they turned it delicious! Simple recipe here.

Baking is such a delightful way to pass the time on a rainy day. Plus, you get some delicious snacks that you can munch on throughout the week.

Got a little excited after making those muffins and decided to do a recipe a friend told me about this week. It is from Joanna Gaines’s new cookbook. It is a zucchini bread recipe! Check it out on her instagram TV account. @joannagaines

It is sooooo good to bake yummy foods, using whole ingredients. Now is the time to get back to our roots and cook more yummy, less processed foods.

After making some zucchini bread, I found a video on how to make a sourdough starter from scratch. I thought, hey that looks easy! So I threw it together and am going to start feeding it over the next week. I have no idea how it will turn out, so I will keep you posted.

The starter is started! It isn’t that old yet, so I will have to keep you posted. Check in next week to see how far it has come. Also, what is your life like now? What are you doing now that you haven’t done in a while or ever before?

Dalgona coffee

The world is stuck at home. A global quarantine has got us sitting on our couches wondering what we should do with our lives. Baking, gardening, fitness, things we all want to do and yet don’t have enough time to are finally getting done. And it is all trending online. One of these popular trends has made its way from South Korea 🇰🇷 all over the world. It has gone viral online through social media. Dalgona coffee!

Basically, people wanted a way to drink deluxe gourmet coffee and take cool pictures to post on Instagram from home. Thus, Dalgona Coffee was born!

How you make it is pretty easy – if you have the right ingredients! We tried it two different times this morning to no avail. The real key is to use instant coffee mix. The crystals in it allow for the coffee to coagulate and stiffen to form the peaks. We tried it with regular coffee, even ground it up super finely, and it still didn’t work. We were whisking the concoction for 20 minutes… it wasn’t working so we started over with a lesser quantity, and it still wasn’t working. So I finally had to go to the store to buy the right ingredients.

Once we had the right stuff, we quickly got the ingredients and started to whip it into shape. It is super easy!

1 TBSP instant coffee mix

1 TBSP hot water

1 TBSP sugar

You have to whip it together. It should take about 7-8 minutes. If it takes longer, you may need to check your ingredients. Once you have it all whipped together, you get to put it on top of a cups of milk. It can be hot or cold, your choice.

It took us a very long time to make, so we hope you learn from our mistakes. Enjoy this delicious 😋 quarantine treat. It is a fresh, homemade healthier alternative to some of the store bought and sugar loaded drinks you can get from a coffee shop. Stay healthy my friends. #dalgonacoffee #stayathome #quarantine

Making noodles from scratch

Good food. Real food. 😋

Today, we go to the store and buy food, if we are lucky to find any now thanks to all the hoarding, that is processed and preserved. Who knows what is in it? Who knows how fresh it is? Don’t get me wrong, I love the simplicity and ease of food that is ready to go, yet we are sacrificing something very natural and very human every time we eat pre-made meals and processed foods. The art of preparation. The art of cooking. It is a skill that we lose sight of in our buys lives. That is why this whole quarantine stay at home thing is actually very rewarding to the soul. It is giving us the ability to return to our roots. To try new things. To enjoy the process of making food and knowing where it came from.

Last night, I made noodles from scratch. It was so fun! I used the KitchenAid noodle maker Camille got me for Valentine’s Day last year (she knows me so well!). All it took was 3.5 cups of flour, salt, and some water. The recipe called for eggs but we didn’t have any.

Making the dough was super easy and fun. You put all the ingredients into the bowl and then you have the bread hook spin around and mix up the dough. It only took a few minutes. The dough came out a little too stick and didn’t hold its form very well at first. We tried to make bucatini noodles but they collapsed on themselves.

So we started over, put the dough in the fridge to help it stiffen, and then did rigatoni noodles. So, so good! 😋

After we made the noodles from scratch, we had to make a sauce. It was a cream based sauce with milk, mozzarella cheese, diced red and white onions, and olive oil. Super simple. Super delicious.

Lastly, and in good Frutopian style, we made the vegetables. Asparagus is so good for you. It has all kinds of health benefits that can be found in the Health Benefits Menu found in the back of the Frutopia Novel.

We ate the food and it was good. Nothing like homemade noodles 🍝 The one piece of advice I would give is to get a higher quality flour than the one we used. It was a generic brand from Smart and Final. Great to buy in bulk for quarantining, but I’d prefer a more whole wheat type flour that has more nutritional benefits than simply pure white, all-purpose flour. The more you know!

I hope this post inspires you to make some of your own food from scratch. If you do, please share a pic or a comment. I’d love to see what you did!

All the best my friends! And stay healthy!

Frutopia Valley the Novel

While studying agbusiness at Cal Poly, I learned in a nutrition class that this young generation might be the first generation to have a shorter life expectancy than their parent’s generation due to childhood obesity and diabetes. The thought made me sad. I wanted to do something about it, so I decided to write a book. After 6 years of writing, creating, and editing, Frutopia Valley is finally complete. This book is about a young, video game addicted boy who ends up going on the journey of a life time to Frutopia Valley where he helps lead a rebellion against King Desmond, the wicked, weed king. Along his journey he learns the importance of a balanced diet and outdoor activity. This book is ideal for middle grade readers ages 8-12. I hope that is serves as an inspiration for kids everywhere to get outside, explore, and eat more fruits and vegetables! You can get a copy on Amazon and I’d be more than happy to sign it! #kidlit #kidsbooks #kidshealth #frutopiavalley

Check out the book at this link here!

Healthy cooking in the age of Coronavirus

When we were told that we may be quarantined for weeks, we didn’t want to believe it. That sounds ridiculous. Who would actually do that in America? The land of the free. Well… they did it. The person who sent me the audio clip saying it would happen was right. We started to stock up on non perishables like beans, canned goods etc. and the shelves for most of those goods were empty. People seem to have an irrational paranoia that we are going to run out of food or something.

There was lots of produce left over which was great. We got some fresh broccoli and made some couscous tonight.

It is simple, healthy, and delicious. We put all kinds of spices on it and cooked the couscous with coconut oil. The meal took about 3 minutes of prep, 20 minutes cooking in the rice cooker, and was completely done. It made enough food to feed two and there were some left overs!

In the age of Coronavirus, we are having to ration our food. There is no telling how long this pandemic will go on for or how bad it will get. We have enough food for several weeks, but we will eventually run out of fresh produce.

That is why I am going to start a garden. It will be so nice to have some fresh items on hand in the backyard. It is going to be my first time gardening in several years. I’m going to love getting feedback and ideas on what to do, what to plant, how to take care of it.

This was a plant based meal, which is a new healthy theme of the year we are trying out. Love the way plant based meals make me feel after them. More energy, clarity, less lethargy and bloatyness. Super excited and can’t wait to see what we grow or what we make next!

When Aphids Attack, Brillen and Lola Fight Back

We have finally launched the first of a series of children’s books! A horde of aphids invades the broccoli village, and Brillen the Broccoli Boy and his friend Lola the Ladybug must fight back! Read the book to see what they must do before the aphids eat all of the village’s harvest!

First time we’ve self-published a book. Please feel free to leave a review and share with friends!