Today I want to share something special with you. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know that I have a dream to move to BC and be near the mountains and the ocean. This is not an announcement that I am moving (hint: just wait a few more months) but instead a love letter to a beautiful project that lives in Vancouver!
City Beet Farm is an urban farming project in Vancouver, BC. It was started 4 years ago by two farmers, Katie and Ruth. They gathered together a community of people who agreed to let them grow food in their backyards in exchange for vegetables. They created a CSA (community supported agriculture) and gained a number of members.
If you're unfamiliar with the CSA model, I will try to explain it as best as I can. Basically, the members buy their shares at the beginning of the growing season and then receive weekly boxes of vegetables throughout the next few months.
It is a really beautiful model of food distribution that relies on community and trust. The farmers trust their members to show up and support the project, and in turn the members trust the farmers to grow and distribute the food.
A little while back, my cousin Elana sent me a text that went something like: "I might be buying a farm!" I knew that farming had been a dream of hers for a long time, but I hadn't expected the amazing adventure to start so soon. Over the next few months I would get periodic updates and glimmers of information, and then one day I heard the news... Elana and her friend Maddy had bought City Beet Farm!
This summer, Elana and Maddy will be selling weekly vegetable boxes and growing food on twelve different people's front and back yards. I feel so full and exuberant when I think about City Beet Farm. It makes me so happy to see Elana achieving one of her dreams, and there is so much beauty and nourishment in this project. As Elana told me, "it nourishes the soul as well as the people." To receive boxes of food that have been grown with such love and care is a radical act. It promotes a culture of food justice and a connection to the earth that we inhabit.
I am keeping my head up high through this icy winter wind, and looking straight towards the sunshine, rain, and soil that will coat my hands as I travel across the country to support this little farm.
I would love so much if you checked it out and supported their work along with me! xo
I wanted to create a recipe this week that would represent something of the food that is available at markets right now. Of course in Montreal that isn't really possible, but in Vancouver winter squash is still a seasonal option!
This pasta is made with spaghetti squash and it really fulfils all of my saucy pasta dreams! <3
One of my favourite things about making a pasta dish with spaghetti squash is that literally the whole meal is made up of veggies! It is pretty awesome and makes my body feel great. Here we have squash, tomatoes, onions, garlic, mushrooms, olives, and spinach. And that's it! All delicious veggies that heal the body and the mind -- at least I believe that they do.
This skillet has the coziness of a simple pasta dish but with deep umami tones from the olives and mushrooms. It all comes together while the squash is baking, and is the perfect communal sharing food.
I hope you make this and love it as much as I do!
SONG OF THE WEEK: Ivy by Frank Ocean. I am in love with this whole album, but this song always gets to me.
PODCAST OF THE WEEK: Harry Potter and the Sacred Text. Friends, I am obsessed. I listed to 16 episodes of this in one day. It is beautiful, moving, smart, funny, and best of all about one of my favourite books. Listen.
skillet spaghetti squash pasta w/ green olives & mushrooms
Serves 2 - 3
You can actually make this with real pasta and add the cooked pasta into the sauce at the same time that the spaghetti squash is added in the instructions. I've made both versions and love them equally!
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
- 1 can (796 ml) whole tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic, divided
- 1 tsp + 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, julienned
- 5 cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 10 - 15 green olives with pimento, sliced lengthwise
- 1 cup packed spinach
- salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the squash in half lengthwise and place each half face down on the baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 40 - 45 minutes.
Make the sauce. Drain most of the liquid from the can of tomatoes and then add them to an upright blender. Add in 1 clove garlic, 1 tsp olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Blend on high for about 30 seconds to a minute until the sauce is smooth.
Heat a cast iron pan over low-medium heat. Add 1 tbsp olive oil. Once the pan is hot add in the onions and cook for 2 - 3 minutes frequently stirring, until soft and translucent. Mince the remaining clove of garlic. Add in the sliced mushrooms and minced garlic and stir for another couple of minutes. Add the sauce to the pan and let simmer.
Using a fork, rake the spaghetti squash lengthwise to pull out the "spaghetti" strands. Add the cooked spaghetti squash to the simmering sauce along with the olives and spinach. Cook for another 5 - 10 minutes until all of the spinach has wilted. Serve hot! This keeps well in the fridge for 3 - 4 days.