Life Lab

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

Life Lab offers garden-based field trips for preschool through middle school students in the Garden Classroom on the UCSC CASFS Farm.

Seeds of Wonder Preschool & Kindergarten Field Trips take place on Wednesdays, April-June and October-November.

Spring Science Exploration Field Trips for 1st-4th grades. Mondays & Tuesdays, mid-April through mid-June.

Fall Farm to Fork Field Trips for 1st grade – middle school. Mondays & Tuesdays, September through mid-November.

Winter Feeling Fine with Fresh Food Nutrition Field Trips for 3rd-5th grades. Tuesdays, January-March.

Garden Classroom Field Trip Reservation Info

View field trip visitor information (confirmation materials, parking information, daily agenda)


Seeds of Wonder Preschool & Kindergarten Field Trips: A Hands-on Exploration of the Garden Classroom

This 90 minute seasonal program is geared toward 3 1/2 – 6 year olds. Programs focus on hands-on exploration of the garden, songs, stories, and opportunities for discovery.

Fall Program
  • Visit our vegetable garden to harvest and eat garden treats
  • Collect leaves, make leaf prints, and celebrate the falling leaves
  • Visit our pumpkin patch, read a pumpkin story and taste pumpkin seeds
  • Meet our friendly hens, find out what they do for us in the garden and peek into their nesting boxes to search for eggs
  • Classes take home post-visit activity ideas for teachers
Spring Program
  • A soil discovery station, where students use their senses to explore a variety of soils and search for worms in the soil
  • A seed sorting and planting station, where students investigate garden seeds and plant seeds in root view cups to bring back to the classroom
  • A visit with our friendly hens, along with a discussion of what they do for us in the garden and peek in the nest boxes to search for eggs
  • An exploration of our garden wildlife, to find insects, lizards, and birds that make their home in the garden
  • Classes take home post-visit activity ideas for teachers and root view seed cups for classroom observation

Wednesdays, 9:00-10:30, $100/class (payment required 3 weeks in advance of field trip date), one class maximum per visit (20-30 students), $4 per car parking fee, scholarships available.

Click here for field trip registration info.

Spring Science Exploration Field Trips

For 1st through 4th graders. We are in the process of bringing our Spring Science Exploration field trips in line with NGSS, and some content is still being developed. Please contact amy@lifelab.org with any questions. Thanks!

All programs include:
  • Garden-based science exploration stations
  • A hands-on exploration of the UCSC Farm
  • Visiting with our chickens and observational bee hive

Pondering Plants – Grade 1 Come explore the garden and discover how different types of roots and leaves help the plant grow and survive.

Garden Pollinators – Grade 2 Birds, butterflies, and other creatures are essential visitors to the garden. Come explore the relationships between plants and pollinators and learn how they depend on each other.

Life Cycles in the Garden – Grade 3 Come investigate life cycles in the garden, where we can find plants and animals in all ages & stages! From seed to sunflower, egg to butterfly and back again, we’ll look into how life cycles work.

Fabulous Functions – Grade 4 Dig into photosynthesis, plant and animal parts and how they help these living things survive.

Field Trips are available Mondays & Tuesdays, mid-April through early June. Field trips begin at 10 a.m. and end at 1 p.m. $180/class (payment required 3 weeks advance of field trip date), 1 class maximum per visit (20-30 students), $4 per car parking fee, Scholarships available. Click here for field trip registration info.

Fall Farm to Fork Field Trips

For 1st grade through middle school students. This program helps students to make the important connection between farms and the food on their dinner table. All participating teachers will receive pre- and post-visit lessons related to our local food system.

Farm to Fork Field Trips include:

Hands-on Exploration of the 25-acre UCSC Farm

  • Explore a organic flower and vegetable farm
  • Harvest and sample the six plant parts—roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits & seeds
  • Participate in apple investigations and tastings in the orchard
  • Gain an appreciation for the different varieties & uses of corn

Activities in the Garden Classroom

  • Harvest celebration, where students make and taste corn tortillas & apple cider
  • Visiting chickens, honey bees, composting worms, and other garden learning sites

Field Trips are available Mondays & Tuesdays, early October through mid-November.

Field trips begin at 10:00 a.m. and end at 1:15 p.m.

$180/class (payment required 3 weeks advance of field trip date), One class maximum per visit (20-30 students), $4 per car parking fee, Scholarships available. Click here for field trip registration info.

Winter Feeling Fine with Fresh Food Nutrition & Cooking Field Trips For Third, Fourth & Fifth Graders

For third, fourth, and fifth grade students. This program helps students to make the important connection between their health and the foods they choose. The activities prepare students to make informed decisions about what they eat. All participating teachers receive a packet of pre- and post-visit lessons to extend the learning into the classroom.

Field Trips Include:

Nutrition Activities in the Garden Classroom

  • Find out how eating a rainbow of fruits & vegetables keeps our body systems working
  • Learn how to create a balanced meal or snack
  • Harvest and cook “Stone Soup” and enjoy it with your lunch

Hands-on Exploration of the 25 acre UCSC Farm

  • Explore an organic vegetable and flower farm
  • Discuss the seasonality of food
  • Learn about the value of eating fresh and local

Field Trips Available: Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., January through March. $180/class (payment required 3 weeks advance of field trip date), One class maximum per visit (20-30 students), $4 per car parking fee, Scholarships available. Click here for field trip registration info.

Field trips take place rain or shine. Ponchos and covered areas available.

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1 week 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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2 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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2 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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2 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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2 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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4 weeks ago

Life Lab

🗣️PSA: Life Lab is Hiring 🗣️ We are seeking energetic, experienced and dedicated individuals to join the Life Lab team!We are hiring for 3 different positions:🌱 Pajaro Valley Partner Schools Program Coordinator (Bilingual)🥕 Nutrition Educator in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District🌸 Life Lab Garden Educator in the Pajaro Valley Unified School DistrictFor more information and how to apply, click the link below.lifelab.org/jobs/

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1 month ago

Life Lab

💚Learn to make a Life Lab favorite: Spring Rolls with Sunbutter Dipping Sauce!😋come hungry for this Life Lab virtual community cooking class presented by Life Lab Educator Sierra Barsten and co-sponsored with Pajaro Valley Unified School District and the Sage Garden Project. Join the live stream on May 27th at www.youtube.com/c/pvusdstreaming/live 🌱🥕🥦#springrolls #LifeLab #schoolgardens #kidscook #healthyfood #delicious #cookingclass

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1 month ago

Nikki Patterson

Planting Seeds: A Conversation About Planned Giving 🌱Join us Life Lab Saturday May 15th at 10am for a gentle, free “no ask” opportunity to learn more about financial planning and the reciprocal personal and community benefits of planned giving🥕Similar to a garden, all that is needed is some planning and vision. “You don’t need to be wealthy to make an impact, just an opportunity to learn how to make the most of what you have.” 💚Message me for event link ✨#giving #lifelab #schoolgardens #retirement #plannedgiving #loveoflearning #sharingvalues #legacy

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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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