This week Youth Crew headed over to the Park Heights Community Health Alliance’s annual Brassica Fest! Brassica Fest is all about connecting residents, activists, growers and consumers who are committed to establishing networks to enhance food access, discuss personal sustainability and promote food justice approaches to reduce food insecurity. The Brassica family includes collards, kale, cabbage, mustard greens, brussels sprouts, broccoli and others. Brassicas are nutritious, high in fiber, low in calories, tasty and contain anti-cancer compounds – all available without a prescription!
At Brassica Fest, Youth Crew got to meet members of the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives and sample some delicious fresh juice from Sandy’s Raw Food Juice Bar. Sandy told us about how she is creating a healthy hub in her neighborhood by selling fresh juice as well as starting a running club that leaves from the cafe on weekend mornings. We watched as she blended green apples, pears, and kale together. Our crew skeptically took a sip – but then went back for seconds! It was so good!
A fun feature of Brassica Fest is the Brassica cooking competition. Participants brought in dishes created using members of the Brassica family. With such a long list of produce to choose from, the entries were varied. Youth Crew brought their pickled Brassicas they made the week before! Find the recipe at the end of this post.
While we ate, we enjoyed watching clips from Soul Food Junkies, a film using soul food to investigate food culture and the growing food justice movement within the African American community. Filmmaker Byron Hurt was also in attendance!
Quick Pickled Turnips
Prep time: 40 minutes
3-4 small turnips (about 12 ounces), peeled and very thinly sliced
2-3 thinly sliced carrots
2-3 thinly sliced radishes
½ cup of thinly sliced scallions
3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
1 cup red-wine vinegar
1 cup hot water
1 tablespoon sugar
10 whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
1. Layer turnips, onion and garlic in a quart jar (or similar 4-cup container) with a lid.
2. Whisk vinegar, hot water, sugar, peppercorns, salt and crushed red pepper (if using) in a medium bowl until the sugar is mostly dissolved. Pour the mixture over the vegetables. Put the lid on and gently shake a few times to distribute the flavorings. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to develop.