Life Lab

Life Lab cultivates children's love of learning, healthy food, and nature through garden-based education.

“Food,What?!” Strawberry Youth Blast coverage from the Santa Cruz Sentinel — All things strawberry were the focus at the UCSC Farm and Garden Wednesday, as 300 county high and middle school students joined volunteers from Food, What?! for the 2010 Strawberry Blast.
Teenagers descended on the farm to celebrate the seasonal fruit. They harvested and tasted organic strawberries, made their own smoothies and ate fresh strawberry pies. But strawberries were just the tip of the Food What?! event, dedicated to food education.

Growing their own food, students learn not only about the health benefits of fresh fruit over fast food but the dangers of pesticides as well. Before this program, few students and even adults realized that sometimes harmful chemicals can be used to protect food from insects that will later be consumed by the customer. This can make people really sick. While most food producers are compliant with government guidelines when spraying their crops, there can still be a risk to the public if mistakes are made. Anyone who does become ill due to the negligence of food producers can click here to hire a personal injury lawyer who can help them receive the compensation they deserve.

A project of the nonprofit Life Lab Science Program, Food What?! has held the strawberry festival for three years, aiming to make it a cornerstone of nutritional education. Strawberries serve as a vehicle to make teenagers aware that healthy and affordable food is within reach, said Food What?! Director Doron Comerchero.

Students walked from booth to booth under a large metal shed on the half-acre farm. These sorts of sheds, provided by metal building companies, have become very common on modern farms as they last a lot longer than the original wooden barns and as such, they now play a pivotal role in food production. The students were able to test their knowledge of fair trade, label understanding and health hazards related to fast food.
“We are countering the media influence of the fast-food industry,” Comerchero said. “Kids are always told about what not to do. But it’s super important to talk to them about the healthy alternatives.” These days, with access to the internet, many parents and teachers can visit sites like The Nutrition Insider to help them to educate young people or children on the best nutrients and also how to create a balanced diet!

James Smith, director of food services for Santa Cruz City Schools, also manned a nutritional stand. Smith started in the job last August and introduced changes to school lunches. Food services stopped buying prepackaged food, emphasized the importance of fruit and vegetables in a healthy diet, and how something like these total restore ingredients can further aid a healthy and nutritionist diet for any individual wishing to change their lifestyle. So, when food services stopped buying prepackaged food, they now buy 75 percent of its produce from county farmers, Smith said. But the former UCSC cook stressed the need for better education. “I can put anything out there, but it doesn’t mean the kids are going to take it,” Smith said. See the rest of the article

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1 month ago

Readers To Eaters

Time for Summer Gardening! Thrilled to partner on @big green’s #ReadAsYouGrow, "connecting the stories and ideas that they are exploring in these fantastic books to what they can observe while growing food in their garden," with Readers To Eaters books in English & Spanish. See video on prgrm+ resource bit.ly/3JLxGMe ..#SummerGardening #SummerLearning #SummerReading #KidsGardening #OutdoorEducation National Summer Learning AssociationNational Environmental Education Foundation – NEEFNational Farm to School Network Common ThreadsNational Agriculture in the Classroom Life Lab

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1 month ago

Readers To Eaters

Love this new review on Sandor Katz and the Tiny Wild from Shelf Awareness! bit.ly/3bG3czi "Martin and Lee incorporate quotes from Katz throughout their energetic, onomatopoeic text… Julie Wilson’s casual, enthusiastic, earth-toned illustrations suit the subject and Katz’s effervescent personality. The entertainment value here is rivaled by expansive backmatter including an afterword by Katz addressing readers, a visual guide to kraut-making, long author and illustrator notes (including ethnographic research) and additional resources.A fizzy and informative celebration of fermentation that enthusiastically supports curious experimentation and food literacy."..#FoodLiteracy #FoodEducation #FoodHeroes #FoodBiography #FoodWriter #Fermentor #Fermentation #NoHeatCooking #TinyWild #Microbes #FoodScience #STEM #LGBTQ #Queer #QueerCommunity #SummerReading #SummerLearning #SummerCooking #SummerGardening #KidsGardening American Farm Bureau Foundation for AgricultureNational Farm to School Network Tennessee Library Association Tennessee Agriculture in the ClassroomSlow Food Middle TennesseeJunior Master Gardener Program The American Horticultural Society Big Green Life LabChelsea Green Publishing

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2 months ago

Philip Lee

So excitd about #MDSNAPEd #EatYourWords kickoff Thur! Check out video on summer program connecting #NutritionEducation & #EarlyLiteracy, giving away 50,000 Sylvia’s Spinach at schools and #FarmersMarkets. Event info+ kickoff w author Katherine Pryor+ resources @ extension.umd.edu/eat-your-words..#SNAPEd #EarlyLiteracy #FoodLiteracy #FoodEducation #Nutrition #NutritionEducation #EatingFresh #EatingVegetables #KidsGardneing #SchoolGarden #FarmToSchoolSlow Food USA School Garden NetworkBig Green Common Threads Pilot Light Life Lab

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#tbt to that time two weeks ago we were at the School Garden Support Organization – SGSO – Network conference organized by Sprouts Farmers Market and Life Lab !Check out this cool recap video Jen put together – love how we’re #growingschoolgardens together!#veggiecatethefirststate #STEMeducation #handsonlearning #schoolgardens #kidswhogarden

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3 months ago

Life Lab

www.lifelab.org/jobs Full-time Bilingual Garden Educators at PVUSD School Gardens and Summer Program Staff at Garden Classroom on UCSC Farm

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3 months ago

Life Lab

Full-time Career and Summer Staff Positions in @pajarovalleyusd school gardens and the Life Lab Garden Classroom. On the @ucscagroecology farm @ucsc @pvusdschoolfood lifeLab.org/jobs

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3 months ago

Readers To Eaters

Thrilled that The Thing About Bees: A Love Letter is NC Farm Bureau "Ag in the Classroom" #BookOfTheMonth! Check out their terrific Activity Guide, including a few fun facts:• The honeybee is the state insect for North Carolina and 15 other states? • In North Carolina, bees help to pollinate strawberries, apples, and broccoli to name a few.bit.ly/3tE6nLASee this reading of author/illustrator Shabazz Larkin for PBS/ Thirteen WNET New York. bit.ly/32LQ0S0Good sharing for United Nations #WorldBeeDay on 5/20 and June #NationalPollinatorsMonth. ..#AgClassroom #AgLiteracy #AITC #FarmToSchool #Bees #Pollinators #Pollination #FoodLiteracy #FoodEducation #DiverseBooks National Agriculture in the ClassroomAmerican Farm Bureau Foundation for AgricultureNCLA: North Carolina Library AssociationNC School Library Media AssociationState Library of North CarolinaASAP – Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture ProjectNational Farm to School Network The Bee Cause Project The Pollinator Partnership North Carolina State Beekeepers AssociationNC Beekeepers Forsyth County Beekeepers Association of N.C.Whole Kids Foundation Big Green FoodCorps Life LabThe Black Church Food Security Network The Brown Bookshelf Multicultural Children’s Book Day We Need Diverse Books

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Life Lab provides truly inspiring training. Their breadth of experience, joy for teaching, and commitment to sharing knowledge highlight the best practices in food and garden education.
Erica CurryTraining and Professional Development ManagerFoodCorps
Thank you for such a wonderful field trip experience! Your leaders did such a great job at keeping our kids engaged.
Sheila BrickenKindergarten TeacherSan Lorenzo Valley Elementary
Terry had another awesome two weeks at Life Lab. I think he learns more there than in any other part of his year. School is great, but he’s passionate (and often dogmatic) about what he learns there.
Tara NeierCamp ParentSummer camp mom
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