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Event Recap, Uncategorized February 28, 2023

BDS Students attend the African American Foodways Summit ’23 At Great Kids Farm

Last Friday, a group of Baltimore Design School H.S. students joined their peers from 9 other high schools to participate in the African American Foodways Summit at Great Kids Farm.  Great Kids Farm is a City Schools program with an active farm that grown vegetables, raises livestock and connects students and their families to the […]

Last Friday, a group of Baltimore Design School H.S. students joined their peers from 9 other high schools to participate in the African American Foodways Summit at Great Kids Farm.  Great Kids Farm is a City Schools program with an active farm that grown vegetables, raises livestock and connects students and their families to the food we eat and the soil from which it sprouts.The Summit is an AMAZING celebration of African American culture, connecting the food that nourishes much of the United States back to its roots in African soil.  Baltimore’s Black community comes together to educate students on the powerful network of Black-owned businesses and organizations that ‘nourish’ the community on many levels.  Students learned about the power of honey, mushrooms and the history of how foods from Africa was brought to America.

They discussed food security, agricultural technology, and the future of food. They learned that you can grow watermelon in an IKEA bag!  Decorated terracotta planters and realized just how important food is in connecting us to our past.  Most importantly, they connected the dots from the secret passage of African seeds to the nourishment and life-saving power that food holds, and how they can carry that legacy into the future.

Following is a list what our scholars learned from the session and the selection of workshops that students participated in throughout the day.  Lunch was provided by Land of Kush.

I Learned that…

– There are more than 100 Black owned restaurants in Baltimore.

– How enslaved peoples braided seeds into their hair which they brought over to America where they planted and grew the seeds into plants.  The white people didn’t know what to how to cook that food, so it increased the number of Black cooks
in the kitchen.

– Why cornbread symbolizes GOLD and green beans symbolizes money and they’re both standard food at celebrations; because the soldiers came and destroyed all of the crops, but the green beans and corn survived to keep people fed, so it was as important
as gold and money.

– That a 17 yr old girl who’s grandmother used to make a delicious lemonade for, found her grandmother’s recipes, started a business, and now sells her lemonade in most stores.

– That bell peppers have a sex!  Female peppers have 4 bumps on the bottom and male peppers have 3.

– Afro-agriculture helps the world in many ways including health and nutrition and using food as medicine.

– I had fun and learned that there was such a thing as sweet potato cake.

– People use honey as a healing regiment as well as all of the other multi-purposes pf honey.

– That indigo is a dye that is used to make clothing, like denim, and that Africa is one of the biggest producers of the dye.  Nigeria has the oldest dying pits, which are still used today.

Mrs. Frederick spent a lot of time clucking around with the birds. Truly entertaining!

A Hoppin’ Cooking Demo and Tasting.

Crystal Forman
, Health coach, Gardener and Founder: Holistic Wellness and Health

Do you love to cook or want to learn more cooking skills? Cooking-curious and want to learn about a dish you can easily make (with a little time and effort)?  Did you know there’s a tradition of eating Black Eyed Pea dishes for good luck on the new year? Bring some luck and prosperity into your life through this interactive cooking demo. Engage with the history of the famous black-eye peas, learn the wealth of protein and other nutrition benefits they offer when paired with rice and veggies in this downright delicious, also nutritious, classic dish of Southern cooking, known as the Hoppin John or Carolina Peas and Rice. You’ll learn a variety of cooking skills along the way and close with a tasting. YUM.

Honey Bees Make the World Sweeter

Kairi Dukes
, Educator, Trauma-Informed Care Facilitator, and Beekeeper at the John Newman Honeybee Company

There are 20,000 species of bees in the world but only the Honey Bee makes honey. Honey has been used as a sweetener in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa for thousands of years, and the ancient art of beekeeping is now accessible in urban backyards, roofs and gardens. Did you know that honey has the possibility for thousands of flavors since it takes on the flavor of the flowers the bees pollinated? Did you know that honey has many healing properties and that it can literally never go bad? Learn how bees make honey, then sample, taste and learn how to analyze the sensory attributes of honey made from flowers across the seasons and regions.


The Secret History of Our Heritage – and key to our future – through Seeds

Rodette Jones
, Farmer, Educator and Activist, formerly of the 
Filbert Street Garden

Are you interested in secret histories? Do you want to plant/ learn how to plant your own seeds? Then this workshop is for you. Many foods we associate with soul food, are from Africa: kale, okra, watermelon, yams, many varieties of rice, and more. Discover the secret history of how people stolen from Africa stashed their seeds with them on the arduous journey to the Americas. Through those seeds, we have fed our bodies to keep them alive. Through recipes passed down generations, we’ve kept our culture alive. In this workshop you’ll receive and plant your own seeds to take home, and eventually harvest yourself. 
[Note, you’ll plant your seeds in a transportable fabric pot that can fit in anyone’s indoor or outdoor space no matter how small, and which can be kept fully indoors until the spring]


Telling Black Food Stories through Writing & Content Creation

Simone Phillips
, Food writer, Instagram blogger, and young entrepreneur. Owner of 
Charm City Table, now featured in the Baltimore Banner

Are you a writer or social media head? Or do you love to discover foods and make recommendations to others?This workshop is for you. You’ll learn some historical context for black foods in Baltimore and the U.S. (soul food and culturally popular foods/snacks) alongside the elements of strong storytelling. After tasting foods and snacks from black owned brands, you’ll work on your own or in pairs to craft a short written story or 2 minute or less vlog to share the brand’s story, its ties to heritage, and to yourselves.


Who’s Who?/What’s What? – A Live Agricultural Journey Simulation.

Myeasha Taylor
, Lead Farmer-Educator: 
Black Butterfly Urban Farmer Academy, program of the Baltimore 
Farm Alliance +  recent graduate, 
Ace Breaux  

“There is NO culture without agri-culture”- Baba Tariq Oduno. From seed to plate or seed to closet (yes, clothing is often made from plants):  follow the journey it takes to create a single food or clothing item. In this interactive activity you’ll have your mind expanded by the web of relationships between food, health, our environment as you take on the roles of the sometimes surprising, always behind the scenes, jobs or careers that make “ag” GO. Along the way you’ll find out how any profession you might be interested in – including, but way beyond farmers –  has a place in agriculture.



Panel #




1: Marcus Williams, Master 

Gardeners/ UMD Extension

Agriculture + College and post college careers


2: Emmanuella Osei, Ada and Abby: UMBC Sondheim Scholars

College Applications and College Scholarship Programs at UMBC and beyond. 


3: Chimei, Baltispore

Foraged Food and Medicines


4: Brian Bordley, One More One Less Mentoring

The outdoors, mental health, and healing on the water


5: Kerrin Massarueh, Bmore Ag

From Passion to action – Aquaponics and other urban agriculture technology


6: Chef Cat, Our Time Kitchen


7: Simone Phillips, Charm City Table 

Knowing food through Food Content Creation


8: Rodette Jones, Black Butterfly Urban Farm Educator

Carrying our Heritage through Seeds


9: Wande Akinkuowo, Baltimore City Food Access Planner 

Working Toward Food Security Through Community Engagement


10: Greg Brown & Naijha Wright-Brown, Land of Kush –

Food entrepreneurship in Baltimore


11:  Robin Palmores, Commodore John Rodgers EMS –

Heritage cuisines of African and Latin America, and ties to health and wellness


12: Terri Downey Holton, FNS, City Schools –

Behind the scenes of school meals


13: Myeasha Taylor, Farm Alliance  of Baltimore –

Entrepreneurship/ Careers, & What is Research Farming?


14: Crystal Forman, Holistic Wellness & Health – 

History of Food Justice in the US: Looking at African American Perseverance and Resistance.