Great Outdoor Month

June marks the observance of Great Outdoor Month! The Keweenaw Peninsula abounds with explorable potential, beautiful landscapes, and unique features. The CSMHW staff are particularly excited about getting outside this month, so we put our heads together and came up with a list of some of our favorite spots in and around Houghton Michigan.

Favorite Locations

  • Hungarian Falls

Maybe you’re chasing waterfalls, looking for a sick hammocking spot, or just looking to get in a quick hike with some beautiful views. Whatever the case may be, students enjoy this hike because it’s a classic trail that pretty much every MTU student makes a point to hike at least once.

  • Nara Nature Trails

The Nara trails are a popular walking, running, skiing, and sledding location for MTU students and Houghton County residents. The Nara trails connect to the MTU trail system. One of the best things about the Nara trails is that they are accessible from the Copper Country Humane Society! Meaning that you can take a furry friend as a walking companion!!

  • East Houghton Waterfront Park

The East Houghton Waterfront Park is another well-known location for MTU students. The East Houghton Waterfront Park hosts lots of green space, sits adjacent to the Houghton skate park, and has docks for swimming. The park is definitely one of the most convenient locations for students if they don’t feel like making the drive to a beach.

  • The Quincy Mine

Yet another iconic stop in the Keweenaw, the Quincy Mine is one of the most well-recognized landmarks. Visitors can explore the grounds of one of the largest copper mines in the area, take a guided tour and tram ride down into the mine, and visit the steam hoist.

  • Houghton Waterfront Bike Trails

The paved bike trails on the Houghton waterfront are used for much more than boking. So head out and get some exercise whether that be running, walking, or biking! If you get tired of the trail, you can stop off in downtown Houghton, go for a swim at princess point, or stop to visit the Pilgrim River nature trails and boardwalk.

  • Estivant Pines

Originally a part of a greater nature preserve, Estivant Pines boasts 500+ acres of forest, perfect for hiking. Another draw is the mountain biking trails maintained throughout the summer and fall. If you’re looking for some medium difficulty hiking, head up to Copper Harbor to experience this little piece of well-preserved landscape. Some of the trees are so tall and old that you won’t even be able to fit your arms around them!

  • Porvoo Park

Porvoo Park, located on the Hancock side of the canal, is one of the most peaceful spots to hang out with friends, have a picnic, or take in the canal views. There is a swing set and a lit pavilion for anyone who wants to use the park. One of the best features? Porvoo Park is within walking distance of K.C. Bonker’s and Milly’s, meaning that great coffee and pizza are totally an option!

  • Big Travers Bay

This location definitely makes you work for the experience of lounging on the beach in the sun. If you’re willing to make the 30-minute drive from Houghton, the sandy beach won’t disappoint. As a bonus, there are camping spots located lake-side. Just make sure to reserve your spot before you camp!

  • Bear Bluff

Bear Bluff is a good option if you want to do a longer hike than Hungarian Falls. The hike takes around 1.5 hours with a 3.1-mile trail loop. The views from the top of the buff are unmatched, especially during the fall.

Plant-A-Palooza & the Benefits of Keeping Plants

MTU’s Student Leadership and Involvement organization put on their Plant-A-Palooza event last week and we had a blast! It was so fun to hang out with the MTU community that is still active on campus for the summer.

Did you know that plants can be beneficial to your well-being in multiple different ways? We have listed the ways that plants can be helpful to your well-being below. Click the link at the end of this post to read more about each point!

Plants can…

  • Decrease stress levels.
  • Help to increase your attention.
  • Provide a source of therapeutic activity.
  • Help you heal from sickness faster.
  • Increase your productivity habits.
  • Positively impact the way you view work.
  • Improve the air quality indoors and outdoors (depending on the type)

To read more about each of these points, visit the link below!

5 Tips for Surviving the Summer in an Unsupportive Environment

If you’re anything like me, the summer months signal a much-needed reprieve from school-related activities. Near the middle of April, all I can think about is how wonderful it will be to trade my class google calendar for a consistent work schedule, and I look forward to lazy summer nights spent with family and friends. Although students are mostly off-campus for the summer, scattered around the US doing all kinds of exciting things, I’ve been thinking a lot about our MTU community and the different circumstances people face over the summer related to their living situations. Specifically, I’ve been thinking about those living in or navigating unsupportive environments and how isolating and challenging that can be. 

Perhaps you feel that you are struggling to navigate an unsupportive environment right now, or you know you will have to in the future. Maybe you are a friend working to help someone else navigate their unsupportive environment. Maybe the people you are currently living with do not affirm your identity, maybe they struggle to show love or empathy, maybe your home is politically divided and tense, or maybe the people you live with are unable to see past their own problems and therefore struggle to see the good things in you. While being mindful that every situation is different and has its own unique set of challenges, I hope this post offers some encouragement and visibility. 


  1. Acknowledge and Accept That Your Environment Isn’t Your Ideal

I love talking about resilience. For this post, let’s suppose that resilience is simply defined as the ability to withstand and recover from difficulties. One component of lasting resilience is that of radical acceptance. I like how HopeWay explains radical acceptance, so I’ll give you their definition. 

“Radical acceptance is NOT approval, but rather completely and totally accepting your mind, body and spirit that we cannot currently change the present facts, even if we do not like them. By choosing to radically accept the things that are out of our control, we prevent ourselves from becoming stuck in unhappiness, bitterness, anger, and sadness and we can stop suffering.”

So, suppose you’re currently navigating an unsupportive environment. I think the first significant step is to recognize your situation for what it is and then accept that for right now, despite the discomfort around you, you will not allow the living situation to overshadow the progress you’ve made.

Of course, if your environment is unsafe, posing a present danger to you or others, or is causing you to consider dangerous behaviors, you should seek help. Please refer to the resources page at the end of this post for more specific information. 

  1. Practice Self-Care

In my opinion, self-care is so crucial for everyone in their everyday life. However, self-care becomes essential when a person has to live in an unsupportive environment or without a strong support network because suddenly, you are your own greatest advocate. Moving back to hometowns without college friends and resources can be really tough. So, even though breaks are often restful, they can also be quite unsteadying. 

If you feel any of this, I challenge you to show up for yourself. This might look like going to the gym, going on a walk, making a new recipe, starting a new hobby, or building a routine for yourself. Be selfish with your time when you need to be, and find ways to cultivate joy. Self-care will look different for everyone, but at the end of the day, it is how we show love to ourselves, and it’s one of the easiest ways to develop balance and connection when the other parts of our life feel disconnected. 

  1. Set Boundaries

Setting boundaries is a majorly important life skill. Setting boundaries is how we communicate what we need and tell other people how we are comfortable getting what we need. When living in an unsupportive environment or with a small support system, setting boundaries can be complex because of the dynamics of the environment. However, boundaries are worth pursuing because they are how we will be able to cultivate peace and balance within the dynamics of the group. 

When setting boundaries, consider your needs and then consider the group. It is well within your rights to look out for your needs. However, also consider compromise. For example, if family mealtimes are difficult for you but are important to your parent(s), you might consider trying to reach a compromise where you only attend one or two a week instead of all seven. 

  1. Pick Your Battles

In the past, I have found that I am easily angered when I perceive someone as disrespecting me or my boundaries. My mind always runs through familiar phrases like, “why would they do that?” and “don’t they know that this makes me feel disrespected?” However, unsupportive people do unsupportive things, and that’s just an unfortunate fact in life. No matter how hard we try, arguing and blaming the unsupportive people in our life will only cause US harm because it promotes a cycle of bitterness. 

Here’s another challenge from me to you. Evaluate your “battles.” Then, ask yourself some of the following questions:

  • Is it worth the energy to engage in the fight that this person is trying to start? 
  • Is it helpful in the long term to hold on to bitterness or blow up at this person who inevitably will not see a problem with their behavior? 
  • Is the change I want realistic, given the attitudes of the people involved? 

Sometimes the answer to all of these questions will be no, and that’s just the way

 it is. Think of radical acceptance again. 

  1. Find Safe and Supportive Spaces

Finding safe, supportive, and allied spaces is another essential piece to surviving unsupportive environments. A sense of community and belonging goes a long way toward promoting personal resilience. Sometimes these spaces can look like a hometown friend group, a counselor-patient relationship, in-person or online support groups, discord servers, or extended families like grandparents or cousins. A safe space could also be less about the people and more about the environment. For example, anything that offers relief, like spending time in your favorite room in the house or reading a book, can also count as a safe space. 

Another note is that sometimes the perfect safe space won’t exist. Maybe you’ll only be able to find a safer and more supportive space than the previous one. That’s okay. Don’t discount the value of a safer space simply because it doesn’t check all of your boxes. Also, be careful that your safe space is actually safe. Just because the people in that space agree with you always doesn’t mean that they always act within your best interests. If the safe space makes you bitter or promotes an unhealthy us-versus-them mentality, it might be time to reevaluate if that space is actually safe and has a positive influence on your well-being. 

In closing, I want to remind you that if your situation has become unsafe or poses a danger to you or someone you know, we are not advocating for you to simply accept the environment for what it is. We encourage you to reach out for help! Please refer to the resources listed below for more information about crisis lines and confidential support. We miss you Huskies, and we hope you have a wonderful summer! 


Radical Acceptance

The quote that appeared in the text above was taken from the page connected to this link.

Healthy Boundaries


Confidential, short-term, solution-focused counseling and resources. Free to all MTU students and accessible all year round. Download the app and follow the prompts! 

Trevor Project

Text START to 678678 or call 1-866-488-7386. This resource is specifically geared towards those who identify or are allied with the LGBTQ+ community.

Crisis Text Line

Text START to 741-741 for a free, confidential conversation with a trained counselor 24/7

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

Call 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) for nationwide peer-support services. This is not a crisis line but it does provide information, resource referrals, and community support for those who have a mental illness or live with someone who has a mental illness. 

Mindful Eating

Part of mental health and well-being in college includes looking at mindful eating. Mindful eating is being aware of what you are consuming and being attentive during the act of eating. While this is easier said than done, one Netflix special may make it a little bit easier to process.

Cooked on Netflix is a short series looking at how food can shape our world. The narrator and host, Michael Pollan, is an acclaimed writer who is known for taking extra steps when doing his writing. In his series Cooked, he meets with masters of the field, to take a deeper look at the relationship cultivated between themselves and food. Between old-world cheese-making and the time and care put into making bread dough, it can be an inspiration to take a closer look at your food.

As a college student who puts effort into everything other than cooking and as a person who hates to cook – I found this series inspirational. Something I’ve always wanted to improve on was what foods I was consuming and how I was consuming them. Getting home in the evening after classes and work, sometimes I make the quickest thing, so I can just simply eat. I am not taking the time to make a meal out of what I am eating and just consuming it as quickly as possible instead. Watching Michael Pollan talk with people who were so passionate about the time and energy put towards what they were making, made me want to take a second look at how I eat.

If you’re interested, check out the trailer here or visit the resources below to find out more on mindful eating.

*Some other great sources that explain more about mindful eating can be found below!

  1. Mindful Self-Talk Leads to Mindful Eating
  2. UCookbook from CampusWell
  3. 8 Steps to Mindful Eating
  4. Mindful Eating: The Art of Presence While You Eat

*Thank you to Meredith Raasio for contributing to this article and finding the above resources.

Fall Recipes

The fall semester can be crazy busy for everyone! Margaret Hansen of “Teach To Taste” has some great recipes on her website for chilly fall days that will warm the soul. One thing we really like about Margaret is that she emphasizes the importance of connecting with what’s on your plate.

Our favorite recipes are linked below, but you can also head over to her website yourself, or you can register for our Husky Hobby cooking events next week on Thursday, November 18th. On the 18th, she’ll be teaching a course over Zoom about making your own marinara and how you can pair it with different foods!

An Evening in Italy Recipies | Oat + Fruit + Nut Cookies | Simple Zucchini Cupcakes

What is the Healthy Minds Survey?

The Healthy Minds Survey is a campus-wide survey that will be available to Michigan Tech students until October 15th at 5 pm. The Healthy Minds Survey is a questionnaire that was launched in 2007 in order to examine mental health, service utilization, and related issues among undergraduate and graduate students— it now is used by over 400 colleges and universities in what is known as the Healthy Minds Network for Research on Adolescent and Young Adult Mental Health.

What can I expect from the survey?

Participation is easy and rewarding, only taking 25 minutes. The survey has a bunch of multiple-choice questions that were interesting and thought-provoking to answer. The survey starts off with some generic questions such as gender, age, sexual orientation, and race/ethnicity. Following this, it asks questions about your socioeconomic status, food security, and a plethora of questions about education and college life. Other questions involve citizenship status, disability status, military status, and religious affiliation. Many of these questions have an “other” or “prefer not to answer” option, and none of them are required. 

In the next section, the survey asks Likert scale as well as multiple-choice questions about mental and emotional health. Some of these questions involve suicide, eating disorders, sexual assault, discrimination, substance use, exercise, sleep, COVID-19, and guns. Next, it asks questions about service and support such as therapy and medications. Building on top of that, the survey then asks about your knowledge and beliefs about those services as well as your own knowledge about mental health. It also asks a few questions about how you would handle difficult situations on campus. Then, the survey asks about the mental health climate and culture on campus. At the end of the survey, it asks you if you would like personalized feedback on your answers, which can help you understand how you are in relation to mental health challenges.

All of the questions are confidential and voluntary. Therefore, if you do not feel like answering one, you do not have to. If you would like to view the questions before taking them, you can view the 2021-2022 questionnaire on their website. By taking this survey, you agree to become a part of a de-identified national and aggregate data set. Typically, data is also blinded in relation to schools, except in cases where researchers wish to compare institutions, are doing a regional analysis, or wish to compare other mental health programs. Here is the most exciting part of this survey: upon finishing the survey, you will be entered into a sweepstake to win 1 of 2 $500 prizes or 1 of 10 $100 prizes. The drawing will be held in the summer of 2022 by the researchers at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Winners will be notified by email.

How is my data utilized?

Universities that participate in the Healthy Minds Survey receive customized data sets, data reports, access to the interactive data interface data reports, and even an Economic analysis of mental health services. Universities may use this data in a number of ways. According to their page on benefits, the The Healthy Minds Survey may be used to:

  • Support and strengthen Grant application
  • To advocate for mental health services and programs on campus
  • To evaluate existing programs 
  • To assess the need for programs and services 
  • To assess the training programs or the need for training programs
  • To raise awareness of mental health and campus resources
  • To make comparisons with peer institutions
  • To educate and inform the community about the state of Student Mental Health on campus
  • To inform the Board of Trustees about students attitudes and behaviors regarding mental health
  • To give presentations to faculty and staff

Michigan Tech is in general very interested in the well-being of its students, but has three important questions in mind for this survey: 

  • How has COVID-19 affected our campus community’s well-being? 
  • With respect to well-being, what are some high-risk areas that our students are reporting?
  • How does our Healthy Minds Survey differ this year from 2018?

Now that you know what it is, what to expect, as well as how your data is used, please remember to take the survey!

Let’s Talk About STI’s

September is National Sexual Health Month, so what is a better way to end the month than talking about STIs (or also known as STDs).

Practicing safe sex is essential to our physical and mental health, but what is “safe sex?” We hear this phrase a lot, and it simply means taking steps to protect yourself and your partners during sex. There are many options and methods to ensure healthy and safe experiences with sex. Whether this is through open communication with our partners, using contraceptives or other forms of protection, and regular STI testing. Today’s post is focusing on all the resources available to students and non-students here at Michigan Tech, along with the surrounding community as well. 

First, let’s cover exactly what STIs are. STIs are sexually transmitted infections that are passed from individuals through sexual contact. Sexually transmitted infections are a very common and important aspect of our sexual health. Many STIs can be treated, and some are even curable! However, if they are left untreated they can cause significant problems to our body’s health. This is why it is important for us to practice safe sex, not only for ourselves but for our partners as well. Therefore, it is important for us to be keeping track of our bodies and seeing medical professionals if or when we notice changes in our medical conditions.

So, what are the best ways we can prevent STI transmission when we are sexually active? This is where communication, use of barrier methods (external & internal condoms), and regular STI testing come into play. Communication is attractive, and so is practicing safe sex! Being open and honest with sexual partners can be the first step to safe sex (after consent). Discussing things like barriers and past testing can be great steps to practicing safe sex. Speaking of barriers, using things like condoms can do more than prevent pregnancy, they can also prevent STIs. However, this is ONLY the case for barrier contraceptives. Contraceptives such as the pill, patch, IUD, and a few other contraceptives work to solely prevent pregnancies and do not prevent STIs. Making sure we are informed on which contraceptives keep us protected from each circumstance is essential. Finally, getting tested frequently for STIs is the next step to taking care of your sexual health. By seeking out testing, you are ensuring healthy sex for you and your sexual partners.

But what if you don’t have access to barrier protection, or aren’t sure where to get tested? No problem! There are plenty of resources open to the Michigan Tech community from free condoms to accessible STI testing. 

In search of protection or resources? Check out these places below.

  • The Center for Student Mental Health and Well-Being carries free condoms that are available to everyone. Just head to the campus administration building on the 3rd floor.!m/368429?ct/39008,36886

  • The Center for Diversity and Inclusion also carries free condoms that are available to everyone. 
  • If none of these options work out, try out the local Walmart, Walgreens, or any other drugstores you may be located by. Drugstores often carry a plethora of sizes to surely fit anyone’s needs or preferences.

In search of STI Testing? Check out these places below.

  • Western Upper Peninsula Health Department offers testing for all major STIs. Fees are offered on a sliding scale based on an individual’s income. Students receive a reduced or waived fee. (Yes, free testing is an option!) Located at 540 Depot St, Hancock, MI 49930.
  • Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center provides STD screenings and HPV vaccinations. Call ahead for a face-to-face appointment. Located in the Student Development Complex.
  • Aspirus Houghton Clinic provides STD testing. Call ahead to schedule an appointment. Located next to the Houghton Walmart. 

In search of other resources? Check the ones listed below.

  • If you are looking for sexual health advice or information check out the Center for Student Mental Health website or walk down to the administration building on the 3rd floor for face-to-face help.

  • If you are looking for more medical information on sexual health talk to your primary physician!
  • If you are wanting to research more on this topic check out the CDC website for more information.

Happy National Sexual Health Month! Go get tested.

What is NAMI?

The National Alliance on Mental Illness or NAMI for short is just that.

Providing support, education, signs/symptoms, and much more, NAMI focuses on providing support to those who are affected by mental illness.

Recently on our Instagram page, we put up some stories with questions from NAMI’s StigmaFree quiz. Our goal was to help engage our student population and get people thinking about what they can do to support their friends, family, and community members who are affected. NAMI is a great resource that we wanted to make available during this time, as it is Suicide Awareness Month. Educating ourselves and others and providing resources is a small step we can take to help build a StigmaFree environment on campus. Not only does NAMI offer a quiz to help individuals think about their actions, but they also have an online pledge that can be taken. This pledge allows you to help facilitate the change in which NAMI is hoping to achieve – ending stigma and creating positive environments for those affected by mental illness.

It is rare that any of us are perfect and will walk around without a bias on the occasion, but participating in the quiz and taking the pledge, can help us put a little more accountability on one another to work on creating safe and inviting environments around our campus. If you would like to learn more about who NAMI is and what they do, go to this link.

Fungi Frenzy

Amy Bachhuber and Rohn Sorensen are the co-owners of Superior Mycology Co.

Both having a love for being in the woods and having a natural curiosity of nature, Amy and Rohn met roughly five years ago and began their partnership by sharing photos of mushrooms with each other. “We started foraging together and had a blast learning and trying new varieties of mushrooms”, they commented. Eventually, after getting to learn about the different seasons of growing, Amy and Rohn decided to start growing indoors to “be able to have fresh mushrooms even when there is snow on the ground”, they said.

Enjoying the ability to grow delicious mushrooms during the “off-season”, Amy and Rohn decided to get a Community Supported Agricultural (CSA), and begin growing there. Amy has a Certified Wild Mushroom Expert Certification in the State of Michigan, which is required to sell mushrooms, specifically ones that are foraged.

While the Houghton and Keweenaw Counties are great places to forage, there are many toxic “look-alikes” that could be misidentified. Because Amy is certified, she knows which are which and has learned proper identification techniques. An example that Amy and Rohn warn about is morel’s, which have a toxic “look-alike” called “the false morel” or Gyromitra esculenta. A warning they stress is, “[t]he existence of these toxic mushrooms in our forests and the possibility for misidentification with a choice edible is very real. We cannot stress enough that an abundance of caution should be first and foremost in foraging wild mushrooms.”

To avoid misidentification, Amy and Rohn have some great safe/edible mushrooms for sale that have some awesome health benefits.

Generally, mushrooms are fat-free, contain very little sodium, and are low in calories. They will add a delicious flavor to meals and for individuals who have plant-based diets, mushrooms can even be substituted for meats. Mushrooms are also packed with vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins, vitamin D, and potassium. Amy and Rohn also shared that some mushrooms, like Oyster Mushrooms, contain beta-glucans. Beta-glucans are currently being studied for their effects on the immune system. Mushrooms can also produce additional bioavailable Vitamin D if they are exposed to UV light before preparation.

Amy and Rohn recommend Oyster Mushrooms as a great place to start if you’re interested in implementing mushrooms in your diet. They also recommend Lion’s Mane, which is sweet like crab meat. Below are a few recipes they recommend for those looking to give mushrooms a try.

Basic Mushroom Sauté


8 oz of mushrooms

2-3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 T butter or other oil


1 T tamari

1/2 T rice or white wine vinegar

1/2 T sweet cooking wine or white wine


  • Tear your mushrooms into pieces.
  • Heat a heavy skillet on medium heat
  • Place mushroom pieces in the skillet with NO oil or butter and let them steam off some of their water.
  • Once they stop steaming and have shrunk to about 1/2 to 2/3 their original size, add butter and chopped garlic
  • Saute until garlic is fragrant and the mushrooms are well cooked.
  • Turn the heat off and add the mixed tamari, cooking wine and vinegar. Toss and allow the sauce to coat the mushrooms
  • Now they can be stored in the refrigerator for about 5-7 days and used in eggs, on pizza, in pasta, over meat or fish, you name it!

Lions Mane or Hericium Mushroom Crabcakes



  • 1 lb lions mane or other Hericium mushrooms
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons water

Cake mix

  • ¼ cup minced scallion
  • ¼ cup minced red bell pepper
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup high fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons chopped herbs like cilantro tarragon, or Italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon worcesterchire or similar I use mushroom ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning optional, a mix of paprika, cayenne, and extra salt can be substituted
  • 1 large egg
  • Kosher salt to taste


  • All purpose flour for dredging
  • Flavorless oil for cooking the cakes
  • Fresh green salad
  • Dollop of spicy mayonnaise optional
  • Fresh cut chives optional
  • Lemon wedges


Wilt the mushrooms and remove the water

  • Pick the lions mane mushrooms into pieces to resemble crab meat. Put the mushrooms in a pan with the water and salt, cover and bring to a simmer, stir, cover, and cook for a few minutes until the mushrooms are wilted and have given up their juice.
  • Allow the mushrooms to cool, then squeeze out as much water as you possibly can. This step is important as mushrooms, unlike crab, contain lots of water.

Mix with the crab cake mix

  • Combine the mushrooms with the cake ingredients and mix well. Taste a bit of the mixture (you can cook it if raw egg weirds you out) adjust the seasoning for salt and anything else you’re looking for, then allow the crab cake mix to rest for at least 15 minutes to allow the breadcrumbs to hydrate, which will make forming the cakes easier. In a perfect world, you’ll let it sit overnight.


  • To cook the cakes, form 4 oz patties of the mixture (it will be delicate, don’t worry—the egg will set as they cook). For the most refined look, form the cakes using a ring mold.
  • Heat a pan with a few tablespoons of oil.
  • Heat an oven to 350F. Meanwhile, gently dredge the cakes in flour on both sides, tap off the excess, and brown gently on medium heat. When one side of the cakes are golden brown, gently flip the cakes and transfer the pan to the oven and cook until hot throughout, about 10 minutes.


  • Remove the cakes to a plate with a fresh green salad, top with a dollop of spicy mayonnaise or aioli if using, sprinkle with chives and serve with lemon wedges on the side. The cakes are also excellent served on a bun like you would a burger.

Another Suggestion from Amy & Rohn

Simply saute about ½ pound of oyster mushrooms with onions or shallots and garlic. Once the onions begin to soften and mushrooms are cooked, add some thyme and a little white wine (optional). Then add a quart of broth and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and blend the whole thing until creamy. Serve with a little soy sauce and crusty bread!

Photo Gallary

For the Love of Florals

Having a passion for nature and finding beauty in the simple things, Bobbi Bicigo from Protea Floral chatted with us about her journey to becoming a florist.

Originally studying environmental science in school, she came to the realization that it wasn’t something she could see herself pursuing for the rest of her life. Looking for a more creative outlet and making friends with a stranger, Bobbi found herself heading off to the Floral Design Institute in NW Portland. “I had no idea something like that existed, once I found out, I knew I had to do it”, she said. Learning from some of the West Coast’s top floral designers, Bobbi knew she had to continue her passion for floral design wherever she ended up.

Ending up in Hancock, MI of all places, she moved from a renovated camper design studio to her current studio on 100 Navy St. in a matter of roughly six months. Now owning a successful business, Bobbi offers workshops and advice for all the plants in her shop. Typically workshops are held in the spring before the wedding season and after the holidays, but Bobbi still offers advice to those that are interested!

If you’re looking for some bouquets or floral designs, some advice Bobbi has is, “You’ll always receive the best design when you allow for some creative freedom. Trusting the designer will always yield you the best results that stem from heartfelt inspiration. Giving them a color, feeling, or mood you’re wanting to create will allow the designer to choose the best possible blooms for your vision.”

If you’re looking to bring home some new plant friends Bobbi recommends Philodendron Brasil for beginners, because of how easy they are to take care of. But, she notes that it’s easy to love your new plant friends too much! Reminding us that, “it’s better to let the [plants] dry out a little than to over water” and that “not all plants should be on the same watering schedule”.  Another tip suggested is switching your watering schedule in the winter. “Less light means the less they drink. They go into a state of dormancy.”, she notes.

While we did previously mention in our Instagram post the health and well-being benefits of owning plants, Bobbi echoed similar benefits saying, “Not only are they incredible at purifying your air, but there is a whole list of science-backed benefits to having plants in your space. They reduce stress, purify your air, sharpen your attention, may boost your immune system, are therapeutic to work with, and can increase productivity, to name a few.”

If you’re also a lover of plants and floral design head over to Bobbi’s shop at (100 Navy St, Hancock, Michigan 49930) or website to learn more about what she offers and all the plants she has available.