Conscious Eating at Nourishes All
othing brings people together better than good food and good conversation. At this year’s Green Feast, strangers quickly became friends, as their voices filled the air full of hopeful chatter about the future of conscious eating – and living. Long family-style tables sat adjacent to The Ecology Center’s farmhouse, draped in white linen, decorated with candles and succulents. The surroundings were full of beautiful bounties of crops, trees and flowers, illuminated by hanging bright white bulbous lights. The terrific smell of compost, mixed with the fresh scent of nature, acted as a wonderful interlude between the dishes being served. The conversation, the laughter, and the food was full of love. Green Feast isn’t merely an experience; it’s a taste of the positive changes that still lay ahead.
The Ecology Center + Green Feast
Founded by Evan Marks in 2008, this two-acre plot of land paved the way for what is today an ecological hub dedicated to bringing environmental awareness to the forefront of our minds – The Ecology Center. Evan wanted to create an environment that would better help educate and encourage its visitors to live more sustainable lives. In June 2016, Alice Waters (Chef, Author, Food Activist, and the Founder and Owner of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA) joined The Ecology Center’s movement as a partner and keynote speaker at the center’s annual Green Feast.
This abundant outdoor farm feast acts as a way of bringing the community together for a farm-to-table dining experience unlike any other. Hundreds of supporters, donors and sustainable food advocates, gather around a long beautifully set table in the garden to pledge funds to help support The Ecology Center’s educational initiatives, all while enjoying fresh, organic, specially prepared dishes. Without the help of countless volunteers, and the talents of chefs who support the cause, Green Feast would be unable to experience the success it has had throughout the years. It’s truly an event that brings all together for such a wonderful purpose.
The Chefs + Their Dishes
The menu at this year’s Green Feast was an ode to Baja Norte. Featured chefs in residence were Drew Deckman of Deckman’s en el Mogor, Jennifer Sherman of Chez Panisse, and Chef Gina Galvin of Mood for Food.
In addition to this year’s featured chefs, other local chefs helped contribute to the evening’s careful crafted menu. This year’s appetizers included: Kumiai oysters from Baja Shellfish Farms, chorizo tostadas with sweet corn and poblano cream presented by Chef Joel Harrington of Lido Bottle Works, summer zucchini cakes presented by Chef’s Kathy McKnight of Eilo’s Kitchen, and Erin Davis, along with locally pickled vegetables, olives, bread and olive oil. The main course consisted of a fresh, beautifully presented caesar salad, melt-in-your-mouth striped bass with fennel confit accompanied with stewed summer squash and roasted tomatoes, Chef Gina Galvan’s family tamales, and an incredibly tender, fire-roasted lamb accompanied by an heirloom bean salad. The Green Feast dinner concluded with hot tea and an apple dessert by Pastry Chef Clara. Without contributions from generous donors and those who believe in The Ecology Center’s mission, they would not be where they are today.
10 Principles of a Regenerative Food System
Commit to contributing to a more abundant future by living and eating in accordance with these ten principles. Each one of us has the ability to contribute to an ecological food future.
- Eat Fresh + Seasonal – Choose local produce that’s in season.
- Buy Local – Support a dynamic local economy.
- Choose Organic – Remove contaminants and toxins from our food supply.
- Respect Animals – Only eat animals raised with intention and respect.
- Grow Your Own – Participate in the act of growing food.
- Celebrate Diversity – Cultivate and consume a diverse variety of foods.
- Promote Polycultures – Make farms regenerative ecosystems.
- Nourish All Children – Give children everywhere access to delicious, healthy food.
- Educate For Change – Empower positive change through personal and collective activism.
- Celebrate The Harvest – Take time to celebrate, recognize, and inspire your community.
Be The Change
Evan Marks believes that modeling simple solutions can make a significant change. He hopes that his passion for sustainable living and conscious eating helps act as a model for future generations to come. When speaking at this year’s Green Feast, Evan remarked that, “[He] wants to be what’s best for the world.” By giving more than we take, and living in harmony with the world around us, Evan believes our actions can be indefinitely good for the generations ahead of us. Thanks to the 228 guests at this year’s Green Feast, The Ecology Center was able to raise nearly $250k, thanks to a generous matching gift from Sheila and Jim Peterson.
If you would like to become a member of The Ecology Center and help build a better future for generations to come, please visit www.theecologycenter.org. For all questions and partnership inquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Experience the magic at The Ecology Center | 32701 Alipaz St. | San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675 | www.theecologycenter.org