Life Lab

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

Category : Garden Tips & Resources

Garden-Based Learning Literature Lists

GARDEN-BASED LEARNING LITERATURE LISTS American Horticulture Society/Jr. Master Gardeners Growing Good Kids Book List GrowingMinds.org Farm to School Literature List Favorite Books for Kids and Their Educators  from City Blossoms Harvest of the Mon [...]

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Gardens for Learning – Guide Book

Gardens for Learning Created in partnership with Life Lab, Gardens for Learning is a comprehensive guide for Creating & Sustaining School Gardens A comprehensive guide developed by experts to be a must-have resource for anyone starting or enhancing school garden [...]

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Garden for Learning Book


Choosing Plants and Planting Times

Choosing Plants & Planting Times(Crop Planning) Our Resources GARDENS FOR LEARNING: Chapter 7 - Planting Your School Garden - Planting Guide, pp. 65-68 CSYSG TRAINING HANDOUTS: See downloads below More Information Choosing Plants and Planting Times [...]

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Harvesting

Harvesting Harvesting food straight from the garden is a powerful act. For many kids the school garden is the only place they will experience eating “straight off the vine.”  Students who harvest straight from the garden are often more adventurous and try food the [...]

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Soil & Garden Beds

Soil & Garden Beds Our Resources VIDEO: Making Raised Beds and Using Containers (below) VIDEO: Soil and Bed Preparation (below) GARDENS FOR LEARNING: Chapter 7 - Planting Your School Garden, pp. 56-59 CSYSG TRAINING HANDOUTS: Download on botto [...]

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Maintaining Your Garden

Maintain Your Garden Watering Your Garden Savingwater.org How to save water with drip irrigation and sprinklers. Dripworks.com Planning and sales of drip irrigation supplies BeWaterWise.com In depth information on how to save water in your garden. W [...]

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kids in the garden


Seedling & Transplanting

Seedlings & Transplants Our ResourcesVIDEO: Starting Seeds and Transplanting(below)VIDEO: Water Drip & Irrigation (below)GARDENS FOR LEARNING: Chapter 7 - Planting Your School Garden, pp. 59-68Life Lab's Choosing Plants and Planting TimesCSYSG TRAINING HANDO [...]

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Finding Supplies & Budgeting Resources

Finding Supplies & Budgeting Resources Gardens for Learning: Creating and Sustaining Your School Garden Chapter 6 - Finding Supplies and Funding Your Garden Budgeting Resources Download this School Garden Materials and Resource Guide to help you create a b [...]

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Healthy Fundraisers

Healthy Fundraisers Fundraising Idea Lists The Center for Science in The Public Interest has a one page Fundraising Options Available to Schools  a two page School Fundraisers Can Be Healthy and Profitable and a more detailed 70 page report document entitle [...]

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Design Your School Garden Space

Design Your School Garden Space Our ResourcesGARDENS FOR LEARNING: Chapter 5 - Designing Your School GardenEducational Garden Design Elements ListPRESENTATION: CSYSG School Garden Design Element PowerPointGarden Design Resources Online or for DownloadAt Life Lab y [...]

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Gardening and Fruit Tree Care Resources from the UCSC Farm

Gardening and Fruit Tree Care Resources from the UCSC Farm Garden The UCSC Farm & Garden has been learning, teaching and sharing best practices for growing vegetables, flowers and fruit trees since 1967.The following resources and video playlists have been cura [...]

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Seeding


Family Gardening Resources and Webinars

Family Garden Activities www.backpocketlearning.org searchable database of easy to do activities www.kidsgardening.org large collection of resources and gardening how to’s Looking for resources in Spanish? Check out this list of Spanish language garden-based le [...]

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Boy with Cup


Edible Crop Planning

Edible Crop PLanning Webinar Life Lab Educator John Fisher shares tips to plan an edible crop plan for a school year calendar. This video was created for the 2020 FoodCorps Service Member National Training. This 15 minute video shares concepts and resources relate [...]

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Edible Crop Planning


Raising Backyard Chickens

Raising Backyard Chickens Learn what it takes to raise your own backyard chickens. Life Lab provides tips about setting up your chicken coop and caring for your flock. This hour long presentation is shared by Life Lab Educators and longtime backyard chicken caretake [...]

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chicken


Paper Pots

Paper Pots Make paper pots with your kids and learn about reusing newspaper to help your garden grow! Ages 5+, 30 min+ Reuse newspaper to help get your seeds started in a pot you can make at home with your kids.  There is no need to go out and buy small pots when [...]

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Amazing Reseeding Annuals

Reseeding AnnualsI call them "amazing" because this bunch of plants has the ability to surprise and delight every year that they return to the garden! Self-sowing, or reseeding plants create seeds that re-emerge as plants year after year. Some gardeners refer to these p [...]

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Mini Bouquet


Education Outside School Garden Program Resources

Education Outside’s School Garden Program Resources – An Incredible Collection of Resources to Run a School Garden Program [...]

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Whole Class Garden Caretaker Activities

As part of a University of California Global Food Initiative project that we collaborated on with UC Davis and UC Berkeley, we created the the following activity guides for undergraduates to lead local school children in garden caretaking. These UCSC students are part o [...]

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kids in the garden


Make a Weather Station

Incorporating climate science into a classroom or garden is a fun and enriching way to heighten students' awareness of the natural world around them. Weather stations are compact and versatile and are an excellent tool for teaching children about weather patterns and da [...]

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Make a Weather Station


Independent Stations – Caretaking and Monitoring the Garden

A garden classroom is wonderful space for children to "take ownership" of a corner of their school. Here are examples and resources for independent stations that contribute to garden caretaking and/or engage students in the scientific practice of observation. Many of th [...]

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kids composting


Whitney Cohen on Garden Based Education – An Urban Farm U Podcast

Whitney Cohen on Garden Based Education Examining school garden support organizations to promote natural world learning. Whitney is a teacher, trainer, and author with tremendous commitment to, and expertise in, inquiry- and place-based education; strategies for en [...]

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Whitney Cohen


Webinar: Innovative Ways to Fund Your School Garden

View the archived webinar at EdWeb Growing School Gardens Community www.edweb.net/schoolgardens. Life Lab curates the following resources at the Collective School Garden Network: Finding Funds for School Gardens at www.csgn.org/funding-school-gardens More on [...]

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Summer Vacation for Your School Garden

Summer Vacation for Your Garden- Adapted from The Life Lab Garden Times, Spring 2003. Here are some ideas to keep your garden maintained during the summer so that your fall garden will be full of treats to harvest instead of weeds. Garden Guardians Have families [...]

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Outdoor Classroom Management Webinar

View Life Lab and EdWeb's Growing School Garden Community webinar on Outdoor Classroom Management View the archived webinar here! View all our webinars. View Life Lab's resources on effective outdoor classroom management Presenters: Whitney Cohen, Education Dir [...]

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Steps to a Successful Garden Workday

-by John Fisher Life Lab's Director of Partnerships and Programs This post is part of our Sustaining School Gardens Series Over the years I have led many garden workdays at the Life Lab Garden Classroom and school gardens across California. In addition to the obv [...]

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kids in the garden


Plastic Bottle Greenhouse

What a great example of repurposing, but do they work? I have researched a bit and asked school gardeners that use these greenhouses if they do work. They can with the right design.     The following sites are the b [...]

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How Do Schools Compost?

A senior intern at Life Lab, Savannah Rugg, created a composting in schools survey (still open!) to better understand how composting functions in schools and school-districts. The survey asks questions regarding types of composting, compost materials, compost management [...]

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Types of School Composts chart


The Ultimate School Composting Resource Page

This post is part of our Sustaining School Gardens series. Attention school gardeners: A summary of nearly 70 responses to a school compost survey are described on this blog page. Check it out to see how compost functions in schools! The survey is still open and we wou [...]

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Saving Water in the Garden

The newest sign in our Garden Sign collection is designed by National Geographic Scientific Illustrator Jose Miguel Mayo and demonstrates tips and tools for saving water. View all our Garden Sign Designs. Tips for Saving Water in the Garden Plant native and dr [...]

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saving water in the garden chart


Fall 2013 Newsletter

View our September 2013 Newsletter View newsletter archives Program Updates Meet Faith - Support our Work Summer Accomplishments Announcing the National School Garden Network The Top Ten of Farm- and Garden-Based Education Garden Tips and Educator Resources [...]

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Detergent Bottle Watering Can

Watering is an activity that kids can do by themselves, with little or no instruction. Having kids water their garden instills a care taking ethic. Kids love to water and having a watering can for every kid makes it even more fun! By collecting the right types of bot [...]

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Spring 2013 Newsletter

View The May 2013 Garden Times - Life Lab's Newsletter Program Updates What We Have Been Up To Since Our Last Newsletter Meet our Senior Program Associate - Amber Turpin and her baby Hazel Update on the California School Garden Training Program California Foo [...]

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School Garden Design Webinar

Life Lab's John Fisher led a photo filled webinar on School Garden Design as part of EdWeb's Growing School Gardens Community. Design Ideas for a Fun, Successful Instructional School Garden Webinar shares school garden design elements from school gardens across the n [...]

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December 2012 Life Lab Newsletter

  You don't want to miss our December 2012 Newsletter. In This Issue Garden Tips and Educator Resources Planting Fruits Trees and Vines in School Gardens Sustaining School Gardens - Funding Garden Coordinators Book Review: Our School Garden! Recipe: H [...]

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Sustaining School Gardens – Funding Garden Coordinators

Model Policies and Organizations from Across the Country Written by Whitney Cohen. Life Lab Education Director School gardens are fantastic! (To be convinced, view The Garden, A Master Teacher) But that's not what this article's about, so let me start over. School g [...]

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100 Plus Years of Garden-Based Learning

​Check out the Chard those kids are holding!! And we thought that our 35 plus years of school garden work at Life Lab was a long time. Browse through these school garden publications from a 100+ years ago! There are some great illustrations and images in many [...]

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Summer 2012 Newsletter

  You don't want to miss our Summer 2012 Newsletter. In This Issue Garden Tips and Educator Resources Seed Saving Resources and Video Growing Questions - Inquiry in the Garden Teaching at a Farmer's Market Recipes: Zucchini Baba Ganoush and More Disc [...]

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Seed Saving Resources

Educator Resources for Teaching About Seeds A Handful of Seeds: Seed-Saving and Seed Study for Educators - free download with practical information on seed saving in the school garden and seed history and lore. Fedco Seeds has multiple seed fundraising oppo [...]

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Growing Questions – Inquiry in the Garden

When kids explore Life Lab's Garden Classroom, questions naturally bubble to the surface. Giant drops of water on kohlrabi leaves, gophers peering out of their holes, and hummingbirds drinking from flower vases seem to ignite their curiosity. In most residential garden [...]

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Spring 2012 Newsletter

  View Newsletter View Archives     Garden Tips and Recipe Make a Human Sundial Edible Crop Planning Recipe - Kale Salad Program Updates The Book of Garden Projects for Kids Update on the California School Garden Training Progra [...]

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4 days ago

Life Lab

❤️💛💚 Happy Juneteenth!!!❤️💛💚It’s official, President Joe Biden on Thursday signed a bill to recognize #juneteenth as a federal holiday! This is a step forward and reason to celebrate. We must also acknowledge, celebrate and honor the Black freedom fighters who brought chattel slavery to an end, pushed for the end of segregation, and who continue strive to create a more just and peaceful society. Learn more about Juneteenth by clicking the link below.ow.ly/ySdn50FdYyrTo support local Black owned businesses checkout www.blackownedsantacruz.org/nationalblackguide.com/

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5 days ago

Life Lab

On Sunday, June 27th, @YosoWellness @YosoAnnex is celebrating 9 Years of Thriving! They are having a fundraiser to celebrate and have generously selected Life Lab as a beneficiary of this momentous event.⁠ ⁠Sunday, June 27th from 3:00-6:00pm, join us for music, light eats & drinks, swag, fun for you and the kids and a raffle with items from local small businesses.✨There will also be special welcome gifts for the first 50 guests!If you’re not able to make the event, here are some other ways to support:⁠– Stay connected to the garden-based learning movement and our work – via our e-news, social media, and the networks we support.⁠– Volunteer⁠– Participate in the raffle virtually- more information to come on this! ⁠-Shop at Yoso Wellness where you will find an array of consciously curated and tested wellness products for skin health, non-toxic living, astrology planners, wellness rituals, feel good gift cards, herbs, body products and so much more.

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2 weeks ago

Readers To Eaters

So excited about this on Summer Author Series with Clemson Extension School & Community Gardening, South Carolina Farm to School, and The Bee Cause Project! This August features Rick Swann on Our School Garden! The poetry collection is based on Rick’s own experience as a Seattle school librarian when he helped launch the school garden. Good read on growing a community through food all year round! Free registration @ bit.ly/2TLW23xAuthor series kicksoff with Jacqueline Briggs Martin on 6/29 with her #FoodHeroes series: Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table, Alice Waters and the Trip to Delicious & Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix. Katherine Pryor presents Sylvia’s Spinach & Zora’s Zucchini on 7/14. Wonderful way to celebrate food literacy this summer! ..#FoodLiteracy #FoodEducation #GardenEducation #SchoolGarden #CommunityGarden #GardeningWithKids #FarmToSchool #AgClassroom #AgLiteracy #AITC #SummerReading #SummerGardening #SummerLearing #OutdoorEducation South Carolina Library Association (SCLA)South Carolina Association of School LibrariansSlow Food South Carolina South Carolina State LibraryJunior Master Gardener Program Life LabThe American Horticultural Society KidsGardening.org National Farm to School Network

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3 weeks ago

Readers To Eaters

Checked out the new enhanced book edition of Sylvia’s Spinach and Zora’s Zucchini from Vooks, just out this week. Fun to see images come to life! Great sharing for #SummerReading #SummerGardening. Sign up for a free trail. bit.ly/3vKXnWu ..#FoodLiteracy #FoodEducation #GardeningWithKids #GardenEducation #SchoolGarden #OutdoorEducation #KidsGardening #AgClassroom #AgLiteracy #AITC #WIC #SNAPEd Junior Master Gardener Program The American Horticultural Society KidsGardening.org American Farm Bureau Foundation for AgricultureIowa Agriculture Literacy FoundationCalifornia Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom (CFAITC) Washington Ag in the Classroom National WIC Association California WIC Association Clemson Extension School & Community Gardening FoodCorps Whole Kids Foundation Life Lab Common Threads Farm

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3 weeks ago

Life Lab

🥕 VOTE FOR LIFE LAB! 🥕Help us grow healthy children and reduce your carbon footprint. 🌿EVERY time you visit ANY New Leaf Community Market (@NewLeafCMarket) from now until June 20th, find the PAPER BALLOT in the store & VOTE FOR LIFE LAB to be a recipient of the Envirotoken program. 10 cents from every reusable bag can be donated to us. This support has provided a wonderful boost for us over the years–thanks for your votes!

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3 weeks ago

Life Lab

🏳️‍🌈. Happy #PrideMonth! 🏳️‍🌈We take the time to honor some of the leaders that have helped make the month of June a celebration. Pride month wasn’t always parades, rainbow flags and fun. The beginnings of Pride month started with the Stonewall Riots in 1969, however these protests were the culmination of decades of civil rights movements. We honor the leaders of these protests that not only created representation for the queer community but also created representation for black and trans members of the community. Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, and Stormé DeLarverie were leaders in the Stonewall Protest. These trans women and women of color fought and advocated for LGBTQIA rights.This past month PVUSD joined in with California public schools in raising the Progress Pride flag, which includes black, brown, light blue, pink, and white stripes that brings awareness to marginalized people of color, trans individuals, and those living with HIV/AIDS and those who have been lost. Life Lab proudly stands in solidarity with the queer community we invite people to learn more about Stonewall, Pride, and the leaders who have helped us get to where we are today.

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3 weeks ago

Readers To Eaters

June is National Pollinator Month! #GoodRead: The Thing About Bees: A Love Letter by Shabazz Larkin. bit.ly/2VLmEPG*Best Picture Books 2019* "Larkin spins a buoyant monologue to his young sons about why bees are so important and how they are analogous to rambunctious children; the narrative is threaded with unconditional love for both subjects. Hand lettering, bold coloring, and textural, mixed-media artwork add energy while evocative language makes for a spirited and joy-filled read-aloud."—School Library JournalVisit our partner Whole Kids Foundation‘s "World of Honeybees" with extensive resource and you can also order their Honey Bee Activity Box, including a copy of THE THING ABOUT BEES. bit.ly/2M7VVIM. See the WKF reading guide along with with Shabazz reading the book for PBSThirteen WNET New York with his wonderful message on how to care for bees, our environment, and ourselves. bit.ly/34B9f1x..#NationalPollinatorMonth #Pollinators #Bees #Pollination #BeeEducation #BeeGarden #SchoolGarden #EnvironmentalEducation #OutdoorEducation #SciecneEducation #STEM #FarmToSchool #AgClassroom #AgLiteracy #AITC The Bee Cause Project The Pollinator Partnership National Farm to School Network National Agriculture in the ClassroomAmerican Farm Bureau Foundation for AgricultureClemson Extension School & Community Gardening SC Ag in the Classroom South Carolina Farm to School Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation Life LabNC Farm Bureau "Ag in the Classroom"Utah Agriculture in the Classroom FoodCorps Chef Ann Foundation Pilot Light Common Threads Edible Schoolyard NYC The Edible Schoolyard Project

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Stock up your Garden Classroom

Life Lab 40th
Life Lab’s 40th Gala – Sunday, October 13th  Celebrate 40 years of bringing learning to life in gardens. Learn more  
Life Lab's 40th Gala
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
We Are Hiring!

We are excited to announce 3 new job openings.

For more information and to apply see below

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