The Northwestern College Magazine
FARM TO TABLE, DELIVERED
With a chef's passion and a gardener's discipline, a GLCI grad launches Fresh Life Meal Prep from her Kingsley farm.
WHEN NEVADA YETTER
enrolled in NMC’s Great Lakes Culinary Institute as a step toward her goal of opening a restaurant in her native Traverse City, her future business prospects seemed rosy.
Then came COVID-19.
Indoor dining rooms closed. Restaurants pivoted to curbside pickup and delivery. Menus turned into QR codes. “I knew I had to change my business plan,” says Yetter, 34. But she already knew how to pivot—in 2016, she had bought a farm
and since adopted a health-conscious, sustainable lifestyle, prioritizing her own diet and fitness.
MOROCCAN CHICKEN LUNCH
Makes 2 servings
MACROS: 25.3 g carbs, 9 g fats, 58.2 g protein
Serve chicken over orzo, accompanied by cucumber salad.
2 6 oz chicken breasts
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp sea salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sprinkle seasonings over chicken and rub. Place chicken on oiled sheet pan and bake until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
1 cup cooked and chilled orzo
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp crumbled feta
Pinch sea salt
Any vegetables desired
Put all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well. Chill for 30 minutes.
1/2 cup cucumber, washed and quartered, sliced thin
4 cherry tomatoes, quartered long ways
1/2 tsp white vinegar
Pinch sea salt
Pinch cracked black pepper
Put all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well. Chill for 30 minutes.
Her ethos and education, not to mention a Business Development Certificate (also from NMC), led her to create Fresh Life Meal Prep, a meal kit subscription service. Fresh Life’s calling card is locally grown ingredients—Yetter’s aiming for 60 percent from her own half-acre garden—and macro-based menus, where customers choose their meals based on protein, carbs and fats per serving.
“They’re really conjoined, the farm and the meal-prep business,” Yetter says. “The whole point is fresh sustainable food, not bigbox. That’s what we’re trying to showcase.”
Yetter is as much an entrepreneur as she is a chef. Last year, Fresh Life won a pitch night at TC New Tech. (She bought a new fridge with the prize money.) She brims with ideas, including plans for a podcast, pop-up dinners on the farm, a petting zoo, on-farm classes such as foraging and canning, and even franchising the Fresh Life concept, which NMC is also advising.
“I feel like I’m ready for more,” she says.
▶ Find out more or order online:
SOUND WALL 2.0
Interactive Dennos favorite restored for new generation
EASTERN ELEMENTARY KINDERGARTEN TEACHER KATHLEEN FERGUSON COMPOSES MUSIC ON THE RESTORED SOUND WALL WITH HER STUDENTS DURING A FIELD TRIP TO THE DENNOS MUSEUM CENTER.
has always been the
rule in The Dennos Museum Center’s
Discovery Gallery. Thanks to the donorfunded
restoration of a signature piece,
the sound wall, decades of future visitors
will get to observe that rule.
In March, 75 Eastern Elementary kindergarten
students were among the first large
groups to compose their own music on
the wall when they visited on a field trip.
The theme for their trip was art and how
it affects emotions. With the sound wall,
one emotion was abundantly clear, said
teacher Kathleen Ferguson, right.
“You could see the joy in their faces when
they were exploring and discovering the
different sounds,” she said. “The children
were drawn to it.”
Ferguson was, too.
“I highly recommend it for any age. I found
myself mesmerized by it,” she said.
That’s by design. The Dennos wants to be
known as a family-friendly, intergenerational
destination, and the sound wall is a
great example, director Craig Hadley said.
A fundraising campaign last year raised
more than $30,000 to restore the wall,
installed in the early 1990s. Over the
winter, museum staff disassembled,
sanded and painted each piece, testing
it with every new coat of paint to make
sure all the components worked. NMC IT
staff replaced the computer, and Milliken
Audio Technician Maria Ulrich wired new
speakers and repaired the sound board.
Even better, Ferguson received a scholarship
for the trip, so admission for all 75
students was completely covered.
“We were able to experience the whole
museum,” she said. “It was beautiful. The
children, at such a young age, were so
LANDSCAPES, LUSTER AND JERRY’S MAP
See three new summer exhibitions
THROUGH SEPT. 3
A New Perspective: Landscapes from the Dennos Museum Center.
Explore this collection and see if they evoke memory, transport you through time, or reveal new outlooks and possibilities.
Marc G. Jones, Austin Healy. 2017, Acrylic on canvas. Detail. ©
Luster: Realism And Hyperrealism In Contemporary Automobile And Motorcycle Painting
This traveling exhibition showcases artists who specialize in the vehicles.
Jerry Gretzinger, AAIII. n.d. Mixed media. Image courtesy of the artist.
Composed of over 4,000 individual eight-by-ten inch panels, its installation, unique to every venue, is dictated by the interplay between an elaborate set of rules and randomly generated instructions.
War prevented an exchange student from returning home. She’s now on the dean’s list and plans to transfer to WMU.
The Timothy J. Nelson Innovation Center is Anastasiia Hrukach’s favorite place on NMC's campus. “I love how modern it is, how light and open it is,” she says. “I’m in the Innovation Center ninety-nine percent of the time if I don’t have my classes.
has so completely adopted Traverse City as her home that she tries to use her palm, as Michiganders do, to show the location of her native Ukrainian city, Chernihiv.
“But it doesn’t work,” she says with a laugh, dropping her hand in her lap as she sits in the Hawk Owl Cafe on NMC’s main campus, separated by 5,000 miles and nearly two years from Chernihiv and her family.
Hrukach arrived in Traverse City in fall 2021 for a year as an exchange student at Traverse City Central High School. She was supposed to reunite with her parents and younger brother Nikita in Ukraine in May 2022.
HOME AWAY FROM HOME
Dual-enrolled at NMC and Traverse City Central High School
Runs with Traverse City Track Club
Member of TC Central cross-country, cheerleading and tennis teams
Named to NMC Dean's List and plans to attend Western Michigan University in fall 2023
Located on main highway to capital, Kyiv
Russia invaded Feb. 24, 2022
United Nations estimates 8,231 civilians killed
Parents and brother, 9, moved to grandparents' more rural home
But Hrukach’s plans changed on February 24, 2022, when Russian troops invaded Ukraine. Chernihiv, located near the border on the main highway a few hours north of the capital, Kyiv, was one of the first cities attacked. Hrukach, 17, had to figure out how to cope with an unimaginable reality. “People didn’t believe, to the last day, that the war would start,” says Hrukach, who had known fighting between Russia and Ukraine for half her life, dating back to 2014. Despite the eight intervening years of conflict, mostly in eastern Ukraine, no one had foreseen an all-out war. So the news her host mother broke that February morning was shocking as well as frightening.
In those first days, both of her parents’ workplaces were bombed as was a
neighbor’s house. Her family fled to a shelter. To prevent a Russian advance on
the capital, Ukraine bombed a key bridge between Chernihiv and Kyiv, isolating the city. Hrukach worried if her family would have enough food. Power was limited and unreliable, so she could only communicate by text.
Quickly, however, her parents and brother moved to her grandparents’ home in a safer village outside Chernihiv. Power improved enough that she could make phone and video calls. And with the help of those in her new hometown, including host parents Erin and Dean Bowles, the Traverse City Track Club and NMC, she
created a coping strategy.
“Keeping myself busy helped me the most,” says Hrukach. “I do read news. I also know the best for me, and the best I can do is just get an education.”
She’s well on her way. Hrukach took most of her senior year classes as a dual-enrolled student at NMC. She made the dean’s list for her high grade point average and earned 24 credits in subjects including English, psychology, contemporary social dilemmas and chemistry. She loved the in-person classes and NMC's faculty.
“The best I can do is just get an education."
– Anastasiia Hrukach
“Everyone wants to help you. You can text your professor and they will help you,” she says.
Chemistry instructor Mary Jo Elliott is one of her favorites. “She explained it in a way that I loved. She is keeping us on track,” Hrukach says, adding that the course requires 20 hours of homework a week.
Thanks to Elliott’s influence as well as the Bowleses (both engineers), Hrukach is leaning towards a degree in chemical engineering.
Dual-enrollment also was financially advantageous for Hrukach. In Ukraine, school goes only to 11th grade, so back home she would have been in college, which is mostly free to citizens. In the U.S. on a student visa, she’ll have to pay for tuition herself. She waged an all-out effort to get a scholarship, applying to 57
U.S. colleges and universities. She plans to attend Western Michigan University, which has offered her a full scholarship to its honors college. Combining her dual-enrolled credits with an Advanced Placement calculus course at Central, she could start at WMU with a full year already completed.
Sports and outdoor activities round out Hrukach’s life in Traverse City, another
change for her. She was born with a heart condition and doctors prevented her from much activity until she was 12 and outgrew her condition. Here, host dad Dean Bowles introduced her to running. Wednesday evening runs with the Traverse City Track Club became a weekly ritual, and she’s competed in events like the Frozen Foot 5K and St. Patrick’s Day fun run. She enjoys her fellow runners as much as the running.
“I felt like a part of the community,” she says.
The track club led to joining the Trojan cross-country squad. Her host mother introduced her to tennis, and she went on to earn the number one singles slot on the Trojan junior varsity tennis team. In between those seasons she even tried cheerleading for the boy’s basketball team.
“Getting out of your comfort zone
is sometimes the best thing to do.”
“After cheerleading, I really changed. That got me out there,” Hrukach says. “It taught me how to smile.” In Ukraine, people don’t show their teeth when they smile, so it was a change her family noticed right away, and one that she marvels at now herself, a visible evidence of how much has happened since she arrived in Traverse City. Prior to her exchange experience, she had never left Ukraine and never been on a plane.
“Getting out of your comfort zone is sometimes the best thing to do,” she says. “Being connected to people, and being part of some community, some outside support and people you trust, that’s what helps you most in life.”
Her visa requires that she return to Ukraine for at least two years. But for the time being, with no end in sight to the war and the scholarship awaiting at WMU, her home will be in Traverse City, at the tip of the pinky finger, with the Bowleses. “I will stay here until the war finishes,” she says. “Maybe one day I will do something for my country.”