About admin

Hi, my name is Owen Staples. Thank you for visiting my website! I am a Wellness activist, who adores the natural world (naturalist) with an emphasis on plants, background in horticulture with the natural world outlook, (botanist.) I am one who actually reads plant encyclopedias in libraries on my leisure time! Early in my research, when I realized that taking care of my own health, is also helping to heal the earth, I was absolutely fascinated. I have invested a lot of time and energy into education from this standpoint. I work at a small specialty store that services and sells tropical plants. I have a detailed background with mental health. I teach for NAMI, Utah , B.R.I.D.G.E.S courses. My own approach to wellness emphasizes the need for time outside, the connection between the spirit, mind and body, the importance of the nourishment, nurture and care of each, and the importance of knowing oneself as an individual. I share this that I have learned with others also. Asserting one's needs, and filling one's glass are some fundamentals of what I teach. I am a naturalist, wellness activist, plant guy. I have a background in horticulture. I have found that botany and horticulture and the two complement one another very nicely. I emphasize both indoor well-being and time outside, plant-based nutrition, balance, and asserting one's needs as an effective route to wellness. Current interests include: Xeriscaping, interior-scaping, bio-active substrate in terrariums, nature's methods of correcting imbalances, and wild, edible plants. I enjoy observing weather, trees, insects, birds, fish, and reptiles in nature, and as seen throughout the globe. I also enjoy music, Chess, Medieval history, (particularly the almost unknown pursuit of the study of plants and herbs of the time,) laughter and life. I live in Utah. Thank you for reading.

“Hmmm, I think I’ll go snag me one of them cookies.”

“Can you read this? Of course you can’t; that’s because it’s written in Finnish.”
The vegan Finnish cookies were a hit. As I said, you simply have to try Terhi’s cookies.


I understand that she is working on a other special creations, the health-side vegan cookies: non-GMO, sweetened with stevia etc.

While we’re on the topic of Finland, cookies, vegan cookies that originated in Finland, never forget about this interesting tidbit from the health and wellness standpoint: Finland is right up there with Denmark in terms of being among the happiest people on the planet. There are several studies, articles and documentaries about this. Here is the link to an article from Linkedin a few weeks ago:

Unhappy? Try Moving to Finland

In terms of happy people, the Scandanavian countries have some really good things going, from which we can all learn and strive to emulate.

Here’s to a full glass and happy people and planet.

Cheers from here,


Vegan Finnish Cookies!

Hi Everyone,

With that, be sure to try some vegan cookies from Finland!
When I talk to people about eating well, plant-based diets, veganism etc I’m always enthusiastic to tell them about Terhi, my Mormon vegan friend from Finland. Terhi is one whose entire family (husband and three teens) eat plant-based, (vegan in fact).

You just have to try her cookies. Even the packaging of the cookies sports the philosophy of reduce, reuse and recycle.

Living in the Salt Lake valley, you can contact her about homemade vegan cookies here:


Thank you for reading,

The Rest of ‘eem

As promised, here is the orchid photo after the new blossom. You know it’s that time of year later winter into spring. Sun, snow, rain all in a day.
Enjoy, hereux Vendredi, and have a fantastic weekend!

Before the blossom:


PS, nevermind the dog hair, but I couldn’t resist adding this photo of a spider I saw in my house. What did I do with it you ask. The answer is…

of course not! It was too cold outside; 🙂 so who knows where he is now, (yes, I do believe it is a male).

A Sure Sign of the Stirrings of Spring!


Before and after. I have some moth, or Phalaenopsis orchids, which have been given to me over the years and/or picked up from employers etc.

You can see them in these photos with buds forming, just prior to blooming and then the reward that is well worth the wait. Look at the spectacular blossoms! He’s not finished yet either. Notice the two green buds that will blossom in a few days. I will provide updated photos when they emerge.

Moth orchids require patience, cooler temps and a bit of luck to again see blossoms after their flowers have been spent. One of my three bloomed this year. This is why oftentimes they are unfortunately discarded after flowers have faded. I say hang on to them, providing care, talk to em’ if you want and they may just reward you. Moth orchids are beautiful and their blossoms last for a long time.

If local, one of my favorite places,Cactus and Tropicals not only has an excellent selection of moth and other orchids, but they also have Utah native perennials, shrubs and trees, water wise plants suited to a desert landscape. We do live in a desert! Let’s keep this fact in mind when landscaping and be sure to check on their water wise plants when landscaping this spring (only weeks away)! Water conservation is everyone’s responsibility.

Focus on beauty. Tend the orchids, plant the garden, save water as you do, “and it is approx. seventy-three degrees within my household. Thank you.”


Are You Loving the Snow?


Spectacular storms right?! I hope ya’ll have been able to enjoy the snow, rain and sunshine in this state of the date this February.

Through the usual pollution it is easy to forget how beautiful Utah can be.

They call it Zion. I agree that overall it is a great place to live. With that however, I don’t think you will disagree with me that it is time to start refining Zion in a few ways; some of the most obvious are reducing air pollution, eliminating poverty and homelessness, treating the opioid epidemic, taking a more compassionate approach to and eliminating the stigma of brain disorders, (mental illness) reducing depression rates and healing tension between split cultures.

But that beautiful sunny morning after the storm gave me some hope in more ways than one and I hope it did for you also. Below are some photos of reminders in photo form of how beautiful Utah can be, and is beneath the yuck. Yes, we do have options for the above issues. Everyone from senators to every citizen have a responsibility.
Education, understanding and seeing clearly.

Regarding air pollution here are a few tips:

With the exception of traffic lights, don’t idle your car
Buy cars that are more eco-friendly such as hybrids, electric, or natural gas vehicles
Vote locally for parties/individuals who are concerned about Utah’s air and who will take steps toward improving it
Car pool and combine errands into one single trip
Utilize public transportation. Resolve to take public transit to school or work at least once a week. The frontrunner and trax are handy and efficient and cover much of the state.

But while you’re at all of that, look at those fantastic clouds! I hope they inspired you the way they did me. White, puffy clouds, the best kind. Notice how crisp and clear they look without that soapy-water-oil filmy appearance where you can’t tell the difference between the clouds and the sky. Oh wait, that is the sky because there are no clouds today!
“Wait…Are you sure?”
You know that’s not really an exaggeration.

So, believe it or not, these spectacular scenes were less than 10 minutes from where I live. Phragmites, dog, clouds, lichens, fences, trees, bird feeder, day, night, moon, sun, snow, enjoy the photos:

Whether near or far, where will the well-being of yourself and the planet take you?

Vote For This Small Business

Hi Everyone,

Many of you know I’m all about non-profits, small business and companies that do good things, and the ones that are concscious enough to think about more than just their own profits.

Must be a good time to clear my throat… AaAAAGH!

Supporting small business (buy local) is an excellent step toward being a conscious citizen.
Merely the nature of small business means having a lighter carbon footprint, while encouraging culture, flexibility, creativity and authenticity over steep profits.

Many of you may remember my sister Lora, who had the “Red Desert Violin Online Lessons” booth at the Ecomarket.
She is a finalist in a small business contest to win $20K, which will fund her efforts to bring violin lessons to an orphanage in Guatemala, and other places in need.
She believes music can enrich the lives of these people who have so very little, and it will be a sustainable gift that will keep enriching these children for the rest of their lives!
You can vote for Red Desert Violin here: Vote. Small business, big impact

Voting takes 10 seconds.
Click on the link.
Scroll down to Red Desert Violin with the video.
Click the checkmark below Red Desert Violin.
You can vote once per day until mid-February.
Thank you for caring and taking the time to vote for this worthy cause.

Gallery-Find Lora braving the cold at Ecomarket

Adults Need Play Too-Video Link


It was refreshing to hear Dr. Pam Popper say in a video what I’ve been saying for a long time. I just knew there was something to it! Adults need play too. Dr. Popper makes an excellent point. Recreational pursuits or programs that are supposed to encourage play such as children’s sports become another way to get worked up, even for parents! Since they are taken so seriously, don’t these add up to another form of work?

Here is the link: Adults need play too-video

Being too rigid is not only exhausting but is not conducive to physical, mental or spiritual well-being, and people that try too hard to one up on you, or to perfectly follow prescribed norms are tiring to be around.

So have fun and “lighten up eh? Do they really say eh in Canada? Is it ‘eh,’ or ‘ay’?”

Play like…