Life Lab

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

We are celebrating a return to in-person events after more than 2 years of primarily offering virtual workshops due to the pandemic.  We are staying busy connecting folks across the country and world.  Check out where we’ve been lately!

View our onsite workshops  and offsite workshop offerings

 

2022 Workshops and Consulting

  • Mt. Diablo Unifed School District, Mt. Diablo, CA
  • Pomeroy Elementary School, Saratoga, CA
  • Denver Urban Gardens, Denver, CO
  • Life Lab Certified School Garden Educator Course with participants from around the country, Virtual

 

2022 Conference Presentations and Talks

  • Oregon Farm and School Conference, Virtual
  • Kids Gardening STEAM Webinar, Virtual
  • Growing School Gardens Summit, Denver, CO

 

2021 WORKSHOPS and CONSULTING

  • Terracorps, Lowell, MA
  • Newark Public Schools, Newark, NJ
  • Austin 4-H, Austin, TX
  • Agnes Charter School, Humbolt, CA
  • Climate Core Education Outside / SEI, Bay Area, CA
  • Community Bridges Bilingual Workshop, Watsonville, CA
  • East Stanislaus Resource Conservation District, Turlock, CA
  • Emeril Foundation Partner School, Starlight Elementary, Watsonville, CA
  • Life Lab Certified School Garden Educator Course with participants from around the country and world including Brazil, Mexico, and Canada

 

2021 Conference Presentations and Talks

  • National Children and Youth Gardening Symposium, Virtual
  • California Science Education Conference, Virtual

 

2020 Workshops and Consulting

  • Oster Elementary, San Jose, CA
  • MEarth, Carmel, CA
  • Terracorps, Lowell, MA
  • Climate Corps Education Outside / SEI, Bay Area, CA
  • SGSO Leadership Institute –  Promising Practices, Virtual

 

2020 Conference Presentations and Talks

  • School Garden Almanac Conference, Tuscon, AZ
  • Paso Del Norte Edible Education Conference, Las Cruces, NM
  • Farm to Cafeteria Conference, CA
  • National Children and Youth Gardening Symposium, Virtual
  • North American Association for Environmental Education, Virtual
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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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#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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3 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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4 weeks 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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4 weeks 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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