Life Lab

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

little-munchkin

Little Munchkins

Little Munchkins Pretend you have shrunk to the size of an ant and imagine the world from that perspective! Ages 5+ ~15 min For this activity you’ll need a string (about 24 inches long), colored pencils, paper, a firm book or clipboard to draw on and a magnifyi [...]

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kids in the garden with chicken

Intern with Life Lab

Come work with kids in a garden setting. We have placements year round at our Garden Classroom Site on the UCSC Farm or in Watsonville at our Blooming Classroom Site. Additionally our School Garden Corps program places interns to work at school gardens and provides trai [...]

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garden classroom

See Our New Blooming Classroom Site

Learn more about our work in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District at www.lifelab.org/pajaro. [...]

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kids in the garden

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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changing the nature education

We’re Changing the Nature of Education

View Life Lab's Education Director Whitney Cohen's inspiring description of how Life Lab is changing the nature of education to the audience of our 2014 Benefit Brunch. Please consider supporting Life Lab's work. Make a donation today.     For th [...]

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Good Times ~ “Food, What?!” Selected for Good Times Community Fund

Good Times ~ “Food, What?!” Selected for Good Times Community Fund

Our "Food, What?!" Youth Program was selected as one of four programs in the Good Times Community Fund. We have the goal to raise $12,500 through the Good Times Community Fund.  Right now, every dollar donated will be matched.  Please Consider a Year-End Donation t [...]

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Worm Composting Resources and Video

Worm Composting Resources and Video

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="180"] Worm Sign Design from Life Lab[/caption] We like our red worms that compost for us at the Garden Classroom. Here are some resources for you to learn and teach about red worms.   Vermicomposting Q and A from Ca [...]

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Benefit Event on GoodTimes TV

Benefit Event on GoodTimes TV

Life Lab's Annual Benefit was so great this year that the local media came to make a video of it:-) Greg Archer of the GoodTimes finds out what Life Lab is all about. [...]

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“Back Pocket” Garden Activities

“Back Pocket” Garden Activities

The following videos demonstrate what we, here at Life Lab, refer to as "back pocket activities." These are all quick, easy, and highly engaging activities that require minimal preparation. We suggest always having one or more of these activities ready to go (or "in [...]

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“Food, What?!” Youth Program

“Food, What?!” Youth Program

Eco Company TV created this video on Life Lab's Spring Afterschool Internship. It aired across the nation on over 100 TV stations. Check out more at Eco Company http://www.eco-company.tv/tvshow/episode-102-organic-growing More on "Food,What?!" [...]

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Creating and Sustaining Your School Garden

Creating and Sustaining Your School Garden

The Creating and Sustaining Your School Garden (CSYSG) Video Series is a part of the CSYSG Training Model. This workshop has been given to over a thousand educators in California and it includes the California School Garden Network's book Gardens for Learning, participa [...]

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Worm Composting

Worm Composting

Everyone should learn to compost with worms. They are natures way of recycling so they can be greatly beneficial to the environment. It can be good for teaching kids how to make less waste and how giving back to the envirnment can be a good thing. By showing them wo [...]

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“Food, What?!” on National TV!

“Food, What?!” on National TV!

Eco Company TV created this video on our "Food, What?!" Spring Afterschool Internship. It aired across the nation on over 100 TV stations. http://www.eco-company.tv/tvshow/episode-102-organic-growing [...]

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Birthday Party in the Garden Classroom

Birthday Party in the Garden Classroom

Our 30th Birthday Party was celebrated in The Garden Classroom with over 450 people enjoying garden crafts, strawberry tarts, chickens, goats, fresh squeezed lemonade, The Banana Slug String Band, garden fresh pizza, honey tasting, and of course a huge birthday c [...]

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Life Lab Video Contest Winner

Life Lab Video Contest Winner

As part of our 30th Birthday we hosted a video contest. The theme of the contest was "How does the garden help you grow?" See more information, runner ups and link to all the entries here: www.lifelab.org/contest.php Here is the winning video: First Prize Winner: G [...]

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Project Food Lab Video

Project Food Lab Video

They really have something great going at Pacific Elementary School in Davenport, CA. Since 1984 the Food Lab Program, in cooperation with the school's Life Lab Garden Program, has been cooking the school lunch for students and staff! [...]

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“Food, What?!” Harvest Fest on KSBW News

“Food, What?!” Harvest Fest on KSBW News

KSBW TV News was on hand at our 2008 Harvest Fest that served hundreds of Middle and High School Students from Santa Cruz County. Check out their news report and how the reporters were trying to get the right inflection on the words "FOOOOD.....WHHAT!!!??!!!" See fe [...]

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Compost Sifting Lesson

Compost Sifting Lesson

Garden instructor Jane Forbes of Westlake K-5 in Santa Cruz, CA teaches 2nd graders about compost. This 13 minute video is created from a 45 minute lesson of children learning about decomposition by sifting composting and exploring the garden. [...]

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School Garden Learning Stations

School Garden Learning Stations

3rd Grade Mar Vista Elementary School Teacher Colleen Riggen and parent volunteers lead students in garden activities. [...]

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“Salad Bowl” Fundraiser Lesson

“Salad Bowl” Fundraiser Lesson

Garden Teacher Caprice Potter leads 4th graders in potting up "cut and come salad bowls" for Gateway's School Garden Plant Sale. Visit the Gateway school garden blog to learn more about year round teaching at the Gateway garden [...]

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Creating School Garden Rules

Creating School Garden Rules

Hear from three Life Lab Garden Instructors and one 3rd Grade Teacher on how they generate and share their school garden rules. View our post and resources for Managing an Effective Outdoor Classroom. [...]

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40 Years of School Garden Instruction

40 Years of School Garden Instruction

The following videos are interviews with Garden Teacher Jane Forbes of Westlake K-5, 3rd Grade Teacher Colleen Riggen of Mar Vista K-5, and Garden Teacher Caprice Potter of Gateway K-8. Collectively these three garden educators have close to 40 years of teaching childre [...]

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Spring Scavenger Hunt

Spring Scavenger Hunt

Garden Instructor Susan Dahlgren leads first graders in a garden scavenger hunt. This 7 minute video highlights a 20 minute lesson at Gault K-5 School Garden in Santa Cruz, CA. [...]

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Flower Anatomy Lesson

Flower Anatomy Lesson

Caprice Potter has been a garden teacher since 1987 at Gateway K-8 in Santa Cruz, CA. This 13 minute video highlights a 40 minute flower anatomy lesson taught in the spring of 2008. Visit the Gateway Life Lab Garden blog to learn more what's being taught in the gard [...]

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2007 ~ Food, What?! ~ A Youth Empowerment Program

From the early days of the Garden Classroom there were always visions of offering programming for teens. We focus on teaching young adults and children about where there food comes from and how to eat a balanced and nutritional diet. As we do this, we hope to fo [...]

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Garden Classroom 2007

2000 ~ The Garden Classroom: Life Lab’s Model Educational Garden

In 2000 construction begins for the latest chapter in Life Lab's history. In collaboration with the UCSC Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) The Garden Classroom annually serves thousands of pre-schoolers through adults in garden-based learning a [...]

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2000 ~ The Monterey Bay Science Project

The National Science Foundation Grant which funded the Language Acquisition in Science Education at Rural Schools comes to and end but LASERS continues to thrive through the Monterey Bay Science Project (MBSP). Life Lab becomes a MBSP host site and receives funding thro [...]

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1995 ~ LASERS

The National Science Foundation funds Life Lab, from 1995-2001 in the Language Acquisition in Science Education at Rural Schools (LASERS) project. Life Lab starts working with 7 school districts to improve science teaching practices for second language learners. UCSC pa [...]

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1986 ~ Life Lab Video

The following 14 minute video is a great summary of the impact that Life Lab Science Program has on schools. The power of school gardens has not changed much since 1986, but you will notice that hairstyles and clothing do! Are you one of the people in this video? Add a [...]

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1 day ago

Readers To Eaters

Love this new review on Sandor Katz and the Tiny Wild from Shelf Awareness! bit.ly/3bG3czi "Martin and Lee incorporate quotes from Katz throughout their energetic, onomatopoeic text… Julie Wilson’s casual, enthusiastic, earth-toned illustrations suit the subject and Katz’s effervescent personality. The entertainment value here is rivaled by expansive backmatter including an afterword by Katz addressing readers, a visual guide to kraut-making, long author and illustrator notes (including ethnographic research) and additional resources.A fizzy and informative celebration of fermentation that enthusiastically supports curious experimentation and food literacy."..#FoodLiteracy #FoodEducation #FoodHeroes #FoodBiography #FoodWriter #Fermentor #Fermentation #NoHeatCooking #TinyWild #Microbes #FoodScience #STEM #LGBTQ #Queer #QueerCommunity #SummerReading #SummerLearning #SummerCooking #SummerGardening #KidsGardening American Farm Bureau Foundation for AgricultureNational Farm to School Network Tennessee Library Association Tennessee Agriculture in the ClassroomSlow Food Middle TennesseeJunior Master Gardener Program The American Horticultural Society Big Green Life LabChelsea Green Publishing

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4 weeks ago

Philip Lee

So excitd about #MDSNAPEd #EatYourWords kickoff Thur! Check out video on summer program connecting #NutritionEducation & #EarlyLiteracy, giving away 50,000 Sylvia’s Spinach at schools and #FarmersMarkets. Event info+ kickoff w author Katherine Pryor+ resources @ extension.umd.edu/eat-your-words..#SNAPEd #EarlyLiteracy #FoodLiteracy #FoodEducation #Nutrition #NutritionEducation #EatingFresh #EatingVegetables #KidsGardneing #SchoolGarden #FarmToSchoolSlow Food USA School Garden NetworkBig Green Common Threads Pilot Light Life Lab

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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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2 months 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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2 months 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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2 months 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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2 months 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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2 months 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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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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Full Time Garden Instructors and Supervisors