Life Lab

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

The California School Garden Training Program (CSGT) trained over 1,700 educators from 2012 – June, 2014. It included workshops on Creating and Sustaining Your School Garden (CSYSG) and Garden-Enhanced Nutrition Education (GENE). CSGT conducted Train-the-Trainer Workshops, where new leaders were trained to replicate the CSYSG and GENE workshops.

View these extensive resources for school garden educators and trainers

Creating and Sustaining Your School Garden Workshop Handouts and Trainer Guides

Download a zipped file (3.6MB) of all CSYSG Workshop Handouts, Trainer Outlines (TO), and Supplementary Trainer Materials.
These files are organized in folders with titles that match each section of the workshop. Each section folder contains participant handouts, a trainer outline, and a section separator page. The Supplementary Materials Folder contains a sample workshop flier, cover sheets, workshop evaluation, packet table of contents, supply lists, and more. Also find a folder with tips for working with adult learners. Happy trainings!

Why School Gardens Presentation

School Garden Design Elements Presentation

Garden-Enhanced Nutrition Education Workshop Handouts and Trainer Guides

Download all GENE Workshop Handouts and Trainer Materials  (zipped file 16.1MB) 

These files are organized in folders with titles that match each section of the workshop.The GENE Training Materials folder contains sample agendas, workshop evaluation, packet table of contents, packet cover sheet, supply lists, tips for working with adult learners, and Mini-Grant information. Happy trainings!

Download Edible Themed Crop Planning Image Cards and Lesson Instructions  (zipped file 11MB)

Garden-Enhanced Nutrition Education Workshop Introduction Presentation

GENE in Action Presentation

 

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California School Garden Training Program Final Numbers

Additionally the CSGT training model and resources were shared at 6 statewide conferences reaching 229 people.

Workshop Participant Final Survey Highlights

GENE

77% of final survey respondents stated that they increased the amount of fruits and vegetables they tasted/ate with students

67% said they increased time spent using the garden to teach nutrition education

97% noted some (56%) or significant (41%) marked improvement in their effectiveness in implementing garden-enhanced nutrition education

75% noted some (59%) or significant (16%) marked improvement in student’s families’ consumption of fruits and vegetables

CSYSG

27% installed a school garden

76% improved an existing school garden

73% shared what they learned from the Creating and Sustaining Your School Garden workshop with colleagues

93% noted some (45%) or significant (48%) marked improvement in their abilities to access resources to support their garden program

Quotes from Final Survey

“I never ate a snow pea pod before, now I will eat millions!” – Student

“Can we have some MORE kale chips?” – Student

“[My favorite thing I learned about in the garden was] drinking strawberry water. It tastes good and it’s good for you.” 4th grader, after making strawberry lemonade on a hot day and talking about the vitamins in strawberries.” – Student

“After my kindergarten students experienced “eating a rainbow” and the rainbow body… while eating their mid-morning snack at the snack table, they would hold up vegetables and fruits and bring them to the part of the body that the vegetable or fruit made healthy and say things like “my carrot is eye food” or “my grapes are brain food” – Teacher

“One of my high school students is on the football team. One day when we were working on our school garden I saw him staring at the football field. When I asked him what he was doing, he said, “I was just thinking about how much food we could grow if we converted this football field.” – Teacher

“I am a community partner working in an elementary school that has a majority of youth in the free and reduced lunch program. They often get vegetables they do not like in the packaged meals and have a bad association with eating their vegetables. We grew fresh carrots in the garden and the kids came out of the garden so happy to be carrying their harvest! In fact, it has made them more adventurous to try new items that the school district is implementing. Some kids I never expected to be trying new items are eating and enjoying raw sweet potatoes! Just like me, when you invest time into something and care for it, you are that much more likely to try it and be empowered to grow more!” – Student

“I didn’t know worms and bugs were so much fun to play with! I didn’t know I liked Kale! Now I know I like 3 different kinds of kale!” – Student

 

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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 weeks 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 weeks 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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4 weeks 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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4 weeks ago

Readers To Eaters

Happy #PoetryFriday, #NationalPoetryMonth & #NationalGardenMonth!Sharing #poem "Three Sisters" from Our School Garden!, winner of #GrowingGoodKidsBookAward from Junior Master Gardener Program and The American Horticultural Society bit.ly/1x8LrbK See Curriculum Matrix from National Agriculture in the Classroom, including more on Three Sisters Garden. bit.ly/3Lybfv1 ..#Poetry #ChildrensPoetry #FoodPoetry #FoodLiteracy #SchoolGarden #GardenEducation #FarmToSchool #STEM #STEAM #AITC #AgClassroom #AgLiteracy National Farm to School NetworkCalifornia Farm to School Massachusetts Farm to SchoolSouth Carolina Farm to School Clemson Extension School & Community GardeningIowa Agriculture Literacy FoundationNew York Agriculture in the ClassroomLife Lab Big Green Pilot Light Common Threads FarmWashington Ag in the Classroom Common Threads Farm Viva Farms Edible Schoolyard NYC Slow Food SeattleNational Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI)

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1 month ago

Readers To Eaters

"Colorful, stylized art and playful, accessible text… Inspiring and ‘kraut-chi-licious.’" So excited for our first review of Sandor Katz and the Tiny Wild from Kirkus Reviews, just posted today! Full review below. Cheers to co-authors Jacqueline Briggs Martin and June Jo Lee for their followup to Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix, part of the award winning "Food Heroes" series, and the illustration debut for artist Julie Wilson. Such a fun team to work with! Just like June Jo wrote in her Author’s Note on visiting Sandor’s fermentation school, "we were all transformed—livelier, funkier, and more wild." Bay Area friends can come to joint book event with Sandor signing FERMENTATION JOURNEYS and co-author June Jo Lee signing Sandor Katz and the Tiny Wild at South Berkeley Farmers Market/Ecology Center, 5/31, 3-5pm. Sandor will also make pao-cai, a chinese style of fermenting vegetables in a spiced brine that is perpetually reused. bit.ly/3wmhifZKIRKUS REVIEW A biography of food-fermentation guru Sandor Katz.Colorful, stylized art and playful, accessible text draw in readers, beginning with the endpapers’ beautiful cabbages. First, Katz is shown in his world-renowned fermentation school in Walnut Ridge, Tennessee, where his kitchen lies inside a house with a “crickety-crockety porch.” Next, readers learn of his boyhood in New York City, where he grows up loving fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kosher dill pickles. As a young man, Katz watches friends dying of AIDS and then learns that he is HIV-positive. He decides that the best way to take better care of himself is to leave his beloved city and “join a community of queer folks” in rural Tennessee. When their farm is overpopulated with ready-to-harvest cabbage, Katz is inspired to try his hand at sauerkraut. Soon, he combines that recipe with Korean kimchi spices and creates something that he dubs “kraut-chi.” A dazzling double-page spread shows him and his living partners at table as they dub him “Sandorkraut.” Katz markets his product and eventually travels the world, teaching, learning, and writing about fermented foods. The simple instructions—“chop, salt, squeeze, pack, and wait”—become the foundation for an accessible, six-step recipe at the end. Fermentation definitions are deftly sprinkled throughout the pages. Inspiring and “kraut-chi-licious.” • Book info @ bit.ly/35X4frY• Friends @ #TXLA22 can see the book at Publisher Spotlight booth 2140. • SANDOR KATZ will be published this June. Look for June Jo signing at #ALA2020 in DC this June. Stay tuned for more info.• Look for the audiobook from Live Oak Media later this year! ..#FoodLiteracy #FoodHeroes #FoodCulture #Fermentation #NoHeatCooking #Microbes #TinyWild #LGBTQ+ #QueerCommunity #PictureBookBiography #FoodBiography #FoodWriterNational Farm to School Network National Agriculture in the Classroom Life Lab Big Green Slow Food USA Real Food Media The Edible Schoolyard Project Center for Ecoliteracy FoodCorps Pilot Light The Fermentation Association

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1 month ago

Stephen Ritz

STANDING OVATION! National Growing School Garden Summit! Thx School Garden Support Organization – SGSO – Network Sprouts Farmers Market Sprouts Foundation Life Lab Denver, Colorado Denver Public Schools This is what #community looks like. #schoolgarden #lettuce #turnip #beet

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Conference Day 3 photo dump!Jen attended the seminars That’s Tasty! Garden and Cafeteria Connections through Taste Tests and Building & Institutionalizing a Sustainable School Garden Program Incorporating Horticultural Science Curriculum, as well as lightning talks about Salad Bar Success, Top 10 Takeaways for Building your Vision, Urban Agroforestry, Amplifying Indigenous Culture in the Classroom, A Community School starting a garden in a pandemic, How to diversify your volunteers.The seminars Lydia attended included Speak Their Language: Easy Peas-y Impact Communications for Diverse Stakeholders and From the Ground Up: Three Perspectives on Building a Districtwide School Garden Program, as well as lightening talks on soil, holistic care in the garden, program evaluation and regenerative forests. Key takeaways include the importance of sharing collected data back to stakeholders and of having ‘mission moments’ at board and staff meetings. Favorite lines from today:"The importance of having control over our own food and a safe plate of food on our table." "The garden is a mirror.""Which weeds in our lives are using up resources and taking up space?""Great conversations happen in the garden.""Empowering students to become agents of change in their communities through science, peace and gardening."The evening concluded with a plant-based dinner-dance party where attendees made music with vegetables (see video!) and @djcaverm had the group shouting "kale life!"#veggiecatethefirststate #growingschoolgardens Life Lab Sprouts Farmers Market School Garden Support Organization – SGSO – Network

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Conference photo dump Day 2!The day started out with a group session where we wrote our best school garden tips on a piece of paper, turned them into paper airplanes and flew them across the room! A fun way to wake everyone up and get the day going!Sessions we attended included: Growing Garden Leaders, not Garden Weeders!, Our Garden Mocktail Mix: Teachers, Models & Advocacy, Use It or Lose It: Maintaining Long-term garden program and Growing our Youngest Gardeners: Garden Design and Creative Education. Some of our favorite quotes of the day are——"The next frontier is right beneath our feet.""Hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up.""Soil is the living skin of the earth.""Landscapes shape mind-scapes.""We are part of a movement that honors life."" We need to embrace growth-oriented discomfort"#veggiecatethefirststate #growingschoolgardensSprouts Farmers Market School Garden Support Organization – SGSO – Network Life Lab

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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
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