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Love Beer? Brew Your Own at SJC Ecology Center
by: Larry Casner
The workshop takes place at the Eco Center this Saturday.
The workshop takes place at the Eco Center this Saturday.

Beer lovers, let’s kick it up – brew our own beer! According to the Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano, it is a green act! Why is it green? No transportation means no carbon emission!

What else can crown you the green title? The Ecology Center has a lot to tell. Why not go there to find out yourself? Located at South Coast Farms (OC’s only working organic farm), and inside the century-old Congdon House, the Ecology Center is a place that everyone in the family can enjoy.

As the name tells, the Ecology Center is about educating the public on how to live greener and more enjoyable. In this former residential building, the setup is very much like our home. The exhibits can be easily replicated at home. Have you thought LED bulbs are perfect for chandeliers? The Ecology Center proves they look great together. Here you see that with a little creativity, many little “unusual” changes can make our living just as enjoyable.

Every Saturday afternoon, free consultation is provided at their Eco Design Studio. And every other Saturday, a hands-on workshop is provided. Learning by doing is the practice here. Although this month is the first month that the Ecology Center officially opens, six programs and 10 events took place in 2009, and were attended by over 5,000 people, from adults to children. Just to name a couple, the Gardens for Life program, partnered with the Boys and Girls Club of San Juan Valley and Mission Hospital, introduced organic gardening, soils, plant propagation and nutrition to over 100 students; the 150 volunteers at the Groundbreaking event helped to turn the empty space in front of the Center to a beautiful California friendly garden highlighting water efficiency and native plants. Edible landscaping is being expanded on the one-acre land surrounding the Congdon House.

2010 is a year that you can bet on more happenings at the Ecology Center. Mark you calendar: homemade beer workshop on 2/20! The limited space is filling up quickly. Make your reservation now. If you are not able to make it, check back next week for our report.

Larry Casner is a Southern California native and freelance writer/photojournalist who has traveled extensively. He enjoys sports, art and science.

What do you think? Leave your comment here.

Comment by Morgan G 2/17/2010 3:31:00 PM

Hey all! I'm the Program Director here at The Ecology Center. Wanted to give a little extra info. The workshop starts at 1pm on Saturday 2/20. Tuition and materials fee is $45. There WILL be beer sampling! Visit to sign up.

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