Life Lab

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


In addition to the onsite workshops that we teach each year in our Garden Classroom, we are busy connecting with folks around the country and world.

View our offsite workshop offerings

2019 Offsite Workshops and Consulting

  • Emeril Foundation Partner School – New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Emeril Foundation Partner School – Austin, Texas
  • National FoodCorps Orientation (pre-service training), Portland, Oregon
  • Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Mount Diablo Unified School District, California
  • Middletown, California
  • Orion Montessori, San Jose, California
  • Pescadero High School, Pescadero, California
  • School Garden Support Organization 5-day Leadership Institute, Santa Cruz, California
  • Education Outside Boot Camp, San Francisco, California
  • Climate Core Service Members, San Francisco, California
  • Center for Ecoliteracy, Berkeley, California
  • Oster Elementary School, San Jose, California
  • Humboldt County Office of Education, California
  • Saratoga Elementary, California
  • Santa Cruz County Teacher Leadership Institute

2019 Conference Presentations and Talks

  • Children and Nature Network International Conference – Oakland, California
  • California Foods for California Kids – Oakland, California
  • National Children and Youth Gardening Symposium – Madison, Wisconsin
  • American Camps Association Sights on Sites Conference – Boulder Creek, California
  • National Webinars on School Garden Summer Programs and School District-Run Garden Programs


2018 Offsite Workshops and Consulting

  • San Juan Bautista Elementary – California
  • Foothill Elementary – Saratoga, California
  • Kansas City Community Gardens – Missouri
  • Aromas Elementary – Aromas, California
  • National FoodCorps Orientation (pre-service training) – Portland, Oregon
  • Oak Spring Garden Foundation – Upperville, Virginia
  • Old Adobe Elementary – Petaluma, California
  • El Centro, California
  • Fairfield, California
  • Argonaut Elementary – Saratoga, California
  • Stanislaus, California
  • Emeril Foundation Garden Training – Seaside, California
  • Mount Diablo Unified School District – Mt. Diablo, California
  • Education Outside 2-day Boot Camp – San Francisco, California
  • Hosted Keisen University (Tokyo) 5-day Learning Institute at Garden Classroom
  • National FoodCorps Orientation (pre-service training), Portland, Oregon
  • School Garden Support Organization 5-day Leadership Institute, Santa Cruz, California

2018 Conference Presentations and Talks

  • Arizona State University Sustainability Conference – Tucson, Arizona
  • Missouri Community Action Network – Ozarks, Missouri
  • National Farm to Cafeteria Conference – Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Santa Cruz County Teacher Leadership Instititute
  • Field-Based Learning Initiative

2017 Offsite Workshops and Consulting

  • Berkeley, California
  • Concord, California
  • Blythe, California
  • Pleasant Hill, California
  • Napa, California
  • Sunnyvale, California
  • Modesto, California
  • Petaluma, California
  • Los Gatos, California (Consultation)
  • San Diego, California (Consultation)
  • Pasadena, California
  • Lake Wales, Florida
  • Quincy, California
  • Fairfield, California
  • Spreckles, California
  • Watsonville, California
  • Cobb, California
  • San Luis Obispo, California
  • Crescent City, California
  • National FoodCorps Orientation (pre-service training), Portland, Oregon
  • California FoodCorps State Orientation at Garden Classroom
  • Education Outside 2-day Boot Camp, San Francisco, California
  • Hosted Keisen University (Tokyo) 5-day Learning Institute at Garden Classroom

2017 Conference Presentations and Talks

  • FoodCorps Region Mid-Year Gatherings – Philadelphia, PA; Tucson, AZ; Raleigh, NC
  • International Master Gardeners Conference – Portland, Oregon
  • American Horticulture Society Youth Gardening Symposium – Vancouver, Washington
  • Slow Food Nation – Denver, Colorado
  • A Garden in Every School Symposium – Opening Plenary and Workshop, Sacramento, California
  • California Farm to School Conference – Modesto, California

2016 Offsite Workshops

  • Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Berkeley, California
  • San Francisco, California
  • Visalia, California
  • Salinas, California
  • Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • National FoodCorps Orientaion, Portland, Oregon
  • Education Outside 2-day Boot Camp, Life Lab Garden Classroom
  • School Garden Support Organization 5-day Leadership Institute, Santa Cruz, California

2016 Conference Presentations and Talks

  • FoodCorps Western Region Mid-Year Gathering – Watsonville, California
  • Keynote Green Our Planet School Garden Educators Conference – Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Georgia Organics Conference – Atlanta, Georgia

2015 Offsite Workshops

  • Tampa, Florida
  • Stockton, California
  • Petaluma, California
  • Davis, California
  • Ventura, California
  • Farifield, California
  • San Gregorio, California
  • Pleasant Hill, California
  • National FoodCorps Orientaion, Portland, Oregon
  • Half Moon Bay, California
  • Bellingham, Washington
  • Washington D.C.
  • Tucson, Arizona
  • Education Outside 2-day Boot Camp, Life Lab Garden Classroom
  • Keisen University 5-day Institute, Life Lab Garden Classroom
  • California FoodCorps Service Member Orientation, Life Lab Garden Classroom

2015 Conference Presentations and Talks

  • SHINE Forum for Early Childhood Eduation, Long Beach, California
  • SHINE Forum for Early Childhood Eduation, San Digeo, California
  • California Farm to School Conference, Asilomar, California
  • Sacramento School Garden Conference, Sacramento, California
  • National Food Safety Management Institute – USDA Farm to School, San Diego, California
  • Keynote and Workshops – National Youth Gardening Symposium, Austin, Texas
  • FoodCorps Western Region Mid-Year Gathering, Santa Cruz, California


2014 Offsite Workshops

  • Manteca, California
  • Nowata, Oklahoma
  • Ashland, Missouri
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Springdale, Arkansas
  • Fayetville, Arkansas
  • Roseville, California
  • Oakland, California
  • Half Moon Bay, California
  • Alameda, California
  • Brooklyn, New York
  • National FoodCorps Training, Portland, Oregon
  • DC Greens, Washington, D.C.
  • Half Moon Bay, California
  • Blythe, California

2014 Conference Presentations and Talks

  • Eco-Farm Conference, Asilomar, California
  • Keynote Presentation Schoolyard Gardens Conference, Chaska, Minnesota
  • Early Childhood Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (ECSTEM) Conference, Costa Mesa, California
  • Monterey Bay Science and Math Project’s Common Core and Next Generation Conference, Santa Cruz, California
  • California Agriculture in the Classroom Annual Conference, Scotts Valley, California
  • National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, Austin, Texas
  • National Science Teachers Association, Long Beach, California


2013 Offsite Workshops

  • DC Greens, Washington, D.C.
  • Edina, Minnesota
  • Salinas, California
  • San Francisco, California
  • Garden-Enhanced Nutrition Education, Santa Rosa, California
  • National FoodCorps Training, Portland, Oregon
  • South Boone Learning Garden,  Ashland, Missouri
  • Cherokee Nation, Healthy Nation, Pryor, Oklahoma
  • Education Outside Green Corps, San Francisco, California

2013 Conference Presentations and Talks

  • Portland Garden Club, Portland, Oregon
  • SHINE Forum for Early Childhood Eduation, Los Angeles, California
  • Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture, UCSC, CA
  • New Teacher Center, Santa Cruz, California
  • California Subject Matter Project Conference, Cal State University Monterey Bay
  • California Science Teachers Association Annual Conference, Palm Springs, California
  • Bioneers, Marin, California


2012 Offsite Workshops

  • Forest Hill Elementary School, San Jose, California
  • Alisal School District, Salinas, California
  • Stone Barns, Tarrytown, New York
  • Vida Verde Environmental Education, Half Moon Bay, California
  • Buena Vista Edible School Yard, Bakersfield, California
  • The Hawaii School Garden Network, Waimea, Hawaii
  • Project EAT, Hayward, California
  • Google Childcare Center, Mountain View, California
  • DC Greens, Washington, D.C.
  • Spring Creek Recreational Fund in Starrett City Housing Development, Brooklyn, New York

2012 Conference Presentations and Talks

  • SHINE Forum for Early Childhood Eduation, Los Angeles, California
  • Nutrition and Fitness Collaborative of the Central Coast, Monterey, CA
  • Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture, UCSC, CA
  • Why Hunger Award Dinner, New York, NY
  • American Community Gardening Association National Conference, San Francisco, CA
  • National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, Burlington, VT
  • BookShop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA
  • Annie’s Annuals, Richmond, CA
  • Nordic New Food Conference, Norway
  • Copenhagen University, Denmark
  • Cabrillo College Early Childhood Education, Aptos, California
  • DC Healthy Schools Act Panel, Washington, DC


2011 Offsite Workshops

  • Merced, California
  • Santa Clara, California
  • San Rafael, California
  • Salinas, California
  • Cupertino, California
  • San Francisco, California
  • Hayward, California
  • El Dorado Hills, California
  • Springfield, Missouri
  • Stone Barns, Tarrytown, New York
  • Fayetville, North Carolina – See Teacher Blog day one, day two
  • Tahlequah, Oklahoma – See Life Lab Trainer Michelle Whizin talk about workshop in the Cherokee Phoenix Video.

2011 Conference Presentations and Talks

  • Bay Area Environmental Education, San Jose, CA
  • Ecological Farming Association, Asilomar, CA
  • Rooted in Community, Philadelphia, PA
  • Cabrillo College Early Childhood Education Conference, Aptos, CA
  • Community Food Security Conference, Oakland, CA
  • Bioneers, Marin, CA


2010 Offsite Workshops

  • Jonesboro, Arkansas – See article in Edible Memphis
  • Watsonville, California
  • San Luis Obispo, California
  • Ukiah, California
  • Salinas, California
  • San Juan Bautista, California
  • Santa Rosa, California
  • Hayward, California
  • Miami, Florida

2010 Conference Presentations and Talks

  • Ecological Farming Association, Asilomar, CA
  • Cabrillo Early Childhood Education, Aptos, CA
  • American Horticultural Assocaition’s Youth Garden Symposium, Pasadena, CA
  • Bioneers, Marin, CA
  • Rooted in Community, Durham, NC
  • Monterey Bay Area Healthy Habits for Life Symposium, Salinas, CA


2009 Offsite Workshops

  • Pacific Palisades, California
  • Grand Prairie, Texas

2009 Conference Presentations and Talks

  • Green Tech Teacher Summit, Sacramento, CA
  • Project Eat, Hayward, CA
  • CA Ag in the Classroom, Sacramento, CA
  • Farm Based Education Association, Tarrytown, NY
  • Green Schools Summit, Pasadena, CA
  • Bioneers, Marin, CA
  • Rooted in Community, Lewiston, ME
  • Ecological Farming Association, Asilomar, CA


Consultations and Professional Mentoring

We have consulted with schools and organizations from the Google Childcare Centers in Silicon Valley, CA, to the Health, Wellness and Environmental Studies Magnet School in Jonesboro, Arkansas. We’ve also hosted customized institutes for international visitors from Mexico and Central America, Denmark, Ukraine, Japan, Brazil, Sweden and India.

Learn more about our consulting services.

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2 days ago

Life Lab

The Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation is proudly celebrating five years of supporting nonprofits that teach students and communities about the goodness of fresh ingredients. This year, the Foundation awarded more than 110 Neighborhood Grants to nonprofit organizations, with Life Lab being one of them!

We are grateful for the continued support from Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation. Life Lab is honored to have been chosen as a recipient of the Neighborhood Grants. Our partnership reflects Sprouts Farmers Market’s core values of education, environmental stewardship, and nutrition.

With this support we have been able to launch and sustain, a robust directory of easy to use activities that require no screen time, promote healthy eating and inspires creativity. This site is perfect for teachers and parents alike! has garnished over 7k users from all over the world, in almost every continent, since our launch in April.

Sprouts Farmers Market

#sproutsfarmersmarket #MyLifelab #local #nonprofit See MoreSee Less

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7 days ago

Life Lab

🌱 Join the SGSO Leadership Institute 🌱

Every year, we host a School Garden Support Organization Leadership Institute to provide an opportunity for school garden professionals from across the country to collaborate, learn from one another, and develop resources to share with a national audience. Collectively, SGSO Institute participants have improved their own work while also sharing ideas and resources to help others do the same.

In the face of the myriad challenges of 2020, all of you in SGSOs across the country are innovating in creative and inspiring ways to sustain and enhance garden education for their students. We are eager for other SGSOs to learn from you! With generous support from Whole Kids Foundation , we are pleased to be able to provide stipends for peoples’ contributions to these Working Groups.

This year’s SGSO Institute is open to newcomers and SGSO Institute Alumni!

🚨 Applications are due November 6, 2020 🚨

To learn more about this exciting opportunity and apply, visit: See MoreSee Less

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1 week ago

Life Lab

Life Lab celebrates Indigenous Peoples Day with special recognition of the land on which our gardens grow and by sharing beautiful family friendly resources highlighting indigenous storytelling and efforts of Native peoples to reclaim food sovereignty, cultural identity, and native land stewardship.

The Life Lab Land Acknowledgement, now shared at all formal gatherings in our Garden Classroom on the UCSC campus:

“The land on which we gather is the unceded territory of the Awaswas-speaking Uypi Tribe. The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, comprised of the descendants of indigenous people taken to missions Santa Cruz and San Juan Bautista during Spanish colonization of the Central Coast, is today working hard to restore traditional stewardship practices on these lands and heal from historical trauma.”

*Land acknowledgement developed in partnership with the
Amah Mutsun Tribal Band Chairman and the Amah Mutsun
Relearning Program at the UCSC Arboretum.

Learn more about the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band and the

Life Lab is honored to support the film, GATHER (Gather) with a
FREE virtual screening on October 30th at 7pm

📷 credit: Amah Mutsun Land Trust website See MoreSee Less

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2 weeks ago

Life Lab

Looking for some #garden #joy? Join us for a sweet sharing of Life Lab Reimagined: program updates, inspired learning, and community at our Fall Benefit this Saturday at 10:30am 🌱Register at 🌱Learn about our New Curriculum, New Life Lab Educator Certification Program, New Staff, and New Garden Additions👀Plus all the beautiful work we’re doing to support school garden education locally and nationally🌻Participants are automatically eligible to win a raffle prize courtesy of @synergyclothing ❤️ #schoolgarden #education #kisstheground #teachtheyouth #landstewardship #fundraiser See MoreSee Less

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3 weeks ago

Life Lab

It’s Harvest Festival Week🌻happening virtually October 5-10th. A collaboration between the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems UCSC CASFS Farm Life Lab​, and students of UCSC Food Systems Working Group
Mark your calendar! The week-long series is full of fun virtual activities for all ages, with live streamed musical performances, a lecture on agroecology from a panel of experts, and ending the week with Life Lab’s #Funtastic Fall Benefit highlighting new program updates and staff/garden additions. Register at

Visit for a complete schedule of events and registration instructions.

Monday, October 5
7:00 PM – 7:45 PM
Life Lab Backyard Chickens Q&A

Tuesday, October 6
10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Saving Seeds, Sustaining Our Communities

Wednesday, October 7
1:30 PM – 2:45 PM
The evolution of agroecology as a practice, a research discipline, and a social movement

7:00 PM – 7:45 PM
Nurture Yourselves With Nature!

Thursday, October 8
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Cider Donut Workshop and The Everything Apple Panel

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Celebrating Queers and Nature

7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Giant Green Anemone! Going Deep Into Local Tide Pool Explorations

Friday, October 9
12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Planting Seeds For Success: Community Connections to Water Your Garden for Wellness!

2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
What is the Food Systems Working Group and what does it do?

5:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Rachel Carson Garden Cooking + Poetry Workshop/Mic!

Saturday, October 10
10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Life Lab Fall Benefit Gathering
#schoolgardens #gardeneducation #lifelab #harvest #gratitude See MoreSee Less

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4 weeks ago

Life Lab

Happy weekend everyone ☀️Enjoy this sweet share of the UCSC Farm featuring Life Lab 🌱and our chickens! 🐓We look forward to sharing more with all of you as part of our upcoming Fall Benefit on October 10th. Register at See MoreSee Less

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4 weeks ago

Life Lab

In celebration of the Fall Equinox 🍁we are excited to share a poignant new film called Kiss the Ground Movie🌱Life Lab is honored to have partnered with Kiss the Ground to develop middle school curriculum and accompanying training video for educators, focused on the process of capturing and storing carbon in living organisms such as soil, plants and algae.🌿

This hopeful film showcases part of the solution to climate change that is right under our feet: biosequestration in the soil. Life Lab invites you to join a Global Watch Party for the film, followed by a live Q and A at 6pm PST / 9pm EST. For more info, go to Kiss the Ground Movie 🌍 #Lifelab #regenerativeagriculture #schoolgardens #soilhealth #earthactivist #climatechangesolutions See MoreSee Less

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1 month ago

Life Lab

It’s World Gratitude Day! 💐Life Lab is grateful for our community and to continue our 40+ year mission of cultivating children’s love of learning, healthy food, and nature through garden based education🌱#life lab #schoolgardens #education #worldgratitudeday #gratitude See MoreSee Less

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1 month ago

Life Lab

Join us on October 10th at 10:30am for Life Lab’s Fall Benefit: A Celebration of Learning and Community.
Register at
This virtual event includes a tour of Life Lab’s evolving work and vision. Plus we have a surprise announcement! We are thankful for your encouragement and support as a member of our Life Lab community. Despite the challenges of this unprecedented year, Life Lab is moving forward with grace and creative innovation. The events of this season have provided opportunities to support our local community and national networks in new ways, expand our reach through virtual connections, and dive more deeply into justice and equity in all of our work. We are strengthening the roots that feed Life Lab programs as we continue to transform the Nature of Education. Continued cultivation of children’s love for learning and connections with healthy food and nature during COVID is essential and brings hope, wonder, and a much needed breath of fresh air. We are excited to share the inspiring work of our dedicated staff with you! #gratitude #schoolgardens #education #lifelab #fundraiser #gardens
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1 month ago

Life Lab

🚨Join us TODAY at 11am PST🚨

💚Bringing Social Emotional Learning and
Mindfulness Education to Your Work💚

Join Sheri S. Dollin, M.Ed., Educational Consultant and Mindfulness Facilitator, and Sunny Wight, Co-Founder of Mindfulness First, for an overview of mindfulness and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in the distance learning setting.

Together, we will look at how an understanding of trauma, mindfulness and SEL can help us to manage stress while nurturing the scientifically proven “protective factors” that help prevent and manage trauma and mental health issues both for ourselves and our students.

We will specifically learn about the brain science of stress, and practice mindfulness techniques you can teach to your students. We’ll also take a look at Mindfulness First’s synchronous and asynchronous online work, and quickly understand that it’s easier than we think to integrate mindfulness and SEL into online classrooms. Bring: something to draw with and a piece of paper, for Mindful Art.

For more information and to register click the link below See MoreSee Less

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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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