Eco Apprentice Book club
16 and up!
Free to buy your books at your own pace, $100 to join and buy your books through The Ecology Center
32701 Alipaz St, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
For the first time, The Ecology Center will be hosting an environmental gathering of the minds, Eco-Apprentice Book Club. Join us every other month to discuss our recommended reads from Evan Marks, our founder. Each book is hand curated to give you inspiration on how to live a more conscious, sustainable lifestyle.
For every meeting, we will met for a zero-waste potluck at the farm. Together, we will dive into environmental literature, discuss world-changing ideas, and commune together to envision a sustainable future for our community and planet. All of the literature chosen are classics of this genre.
Our meetings will fall on Thursday nights at our farm in San Juan Capistrano. Each meeting will start at 5:30pm. Mark your calendar with your Eco-Apprentice dates below!
January-February: Meeting Thursday, February 20th
A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold
A Sand County Almanac is one of the great classic nature writings from one of the most well-known conservationists of the century. Written over a 12-year period, Leopold’s masterpiece conveys his passion for and observation of the landscape in his home state of Wisconsin. His call to action is for the adoption of a land ethic by all and a rediscovery of our moral responsibility for the natural world. It is the perfect text to kick off our environmental book club and reinvigorate our poetic connection to the land.
March-April: Meeting Thursday, April 16th
Cradle-To-Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by William McDonough & Michael Braungart
McDonough and Braungart use this epic book to challenge how our society designs and manufactures its products, from carpets to campuses. Growing from the “Cradle To Grave” mentality will take an intentional movement from our former, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” societal mantra to redesign, recollect, and recreate. Envisioning our broken system as a design challenge is a practice we like to model at The Ecology Center. From our shipping containers turned courtyard kitchen to our double-decker bus redesigned to be a mobile learning lab, we believe in upcycling in all we do.
May-June: Meeting Thursday, June 4th
Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth by R. Buckminster Fuller
Written by the creator of the geodesic dome, a symbol we are quite fond of, this operating manual reminds its reader that we have a finite amount of resources. If we are going to survive on this closed-loop planet, we need to operate evolutionarily and use the tools of today to help us solve. Fuller advocated for mapping the planet clearly so that we could begin to envision our connectedness and be inspired to create international solutions for our one, shared blue planet.
July-August: Meeting Thursday, August 20th
The Unsettling of America Culture & Agriculture by Wendell Berry
This masterpiece by Wendell Berry calls to light the destroyed relationship between humans and the land, especially in terms of agriculture. Our nurturing friendship with and love for earth has been all but destroyed due to the uprising of agribusiness and the increased mileage between our farmland and plates. “Good farming, Berry argues, is a cultural development and a spiritual discipline.” Berry’s experience as a poet and farmer makes this a phenomenal, must-read for anyone interested in the broken food system.
September-October: Meeting Thursday, October 15th
The One-Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka
Masanobu Fukuoka changed the agricultural world when at 25, he abandoned his life as a customs inspector in Yokohama to return to his home village and farm. Considered one of history’s most outstanding organic farmers, Fukoka’s idea of “Do-Nothing Farming” included methods revolving around no-till, no weeding, no fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, or pruning. His return to the land manifesto teaches the philosophy of natural farming, minimal disruption to the land, and the techniques that get us there.
November-December: Meeting Thursday, December 10th
Small is Beautiful Economics as if People Mattered by E.F. Schumacher
In direct opposition to the idea that, “Bigger is Better!”, Schumacher uses this book to challenge our conventional economic and political understanding. Looking at economics through a lens of sustainability, he argues against our overly extractive economic model and posits the need for education, a renewal of village culture, and a second look at the platitudes of Capitalism. Our recent history of man turned machine and the dehumanizing manufacturing system needs restructuring to a people-centric approach that would enable environmentalism and sustainability for all.