New Edition of The Growing Classroom!

September 10th, 2014

A brand new edition of our most popular garden and nutrition activity guide is hot off the presses! The 4th Edition of The Growing Classroom includes new and updated hands-on activities to bring learning to life for elementary school students. There is a new chapter on Healthy Eating, an expanded resource section on Cooking with Kids, over 25 student lab sheets for experiments, and more. The 480 pages of science, math, [Read More →]


2015 Workshops At The Life Lab Garden Classroom

October 30th, 2014

Life Lab Garden Classroom Workshops

Upcoming Educator Workshops in the Life Lab Garden Classroom:

Thursday, February 19, 2015 – 9AM-3PM
Next Generation Science in the Garden – Cost: $150/person. 1 semester unit of graduate education credit available per day for an additional $60 fee per day. Please register by: February 6, 2015

Thursday-Friday, March 12-13, 2015 – 9:00AM-3:30PM
The Growing Classroom: 2-Day Intensive on Garden-Based Learning (Grades 2-6) – Cost: $300/person. 1 semester unit of graduate education [Read More →]


Outdoor Classroom Management Webinar – January 15th, 2015

October 28th, 2014

Join Life Lab and EdWeb's Growing School Garden Community for a webinar on Outdoor Classroom Management

Thursday, January 15, 2015 – 1pm / Pacific Time, 4pm / Eastern Time 

Register for the free webinar here!

View all our webinars.

Presenters: Whitney Cohen, Education Director at Life Lab.

Along with abundant opportunities for learning and fun, outdoor classrooms come with a unique set of challenges, particularly in relation to classroom management. How do I … [Read More →]


Steps to a Successful Garden Workday

September 25th, 2014

-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 obvious goal of getting garden tasks accomplished, another big goal of a workday is to make volunteers feel that they are contributing to a worthy … [Read More →]


2014 Summer Camp Highlights!

September 25th, 2014

P1050135

View Photos from the 2014 Camp Season

Aahhh, summer….  The season of summer day camp; when Life Lab rings with the sound of children’s laughter, the sun shines down on the heads of kids playing games in the meadow, and every child lifts up a cup of a delicious green garden smoothie and gives thanks to the bees and the chickens.  I think the camp staff says this every single [Read More →]


We’re Changing the Nature of Education

June 26th, 2014

Hear Education Director Whitney Cohen share how our work is 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 those who prefer words, here are some highlights of Whitney's talk:

"There's a real difference between knowing about something and knowing something. A child could know everything there is to know about carrots; [Read More →]


1,700+ Educators Trained in California School Garden Training Program

June 22nd, 2014

California School Garden Training Program Final Numbers

The California School Garden Training Program (CSGT) trained 1,729 educators from 2012- June, 2014. It includes workshops on Creating and Sustaining Your School Garden (CSYSG) and Garden-Enhanced Nutrition Education (GENE). CSGT also conducts Train-the-Trainer Workshops, in which new leaders are trained to replicate the CSYSG and GENE workshops. 

 

View GENE and CSYSG Trainer Materials.

Learn more about the California School Garden Training Program.


Plastic Bottle Greenhouse

April 30th, 2014

Ana WhiteWhat a great example of repurposing, but do they work? I have researched a bit and asked school gardeners that use these greenhouses if they do work.

They do:)!

 

 

The following sites are the best resources I have found on building plastic bottle greenhouses:

Andru Lensmaster has been blogging about his greenhouse since 2009. He provides loads of design ideas, links, and data on how effective his greenhouse works in … [Read More →]


One Garden, Many Schools: Multi-Use School Garden Models

April 22nd, 2014

Life Lab sprouted at Green Acres Elementary School in 1979. Most of the gardens that we have worked with over the past 35 years are located on, and serve one school site. While visiting school gardens in Denmark and Norway I was impressed by their model of one large garden serving multiple school sites. The reality of challenges related to creating and sustaining a school garden at an individual school [Read More →]


Shop New Leaf to Support Life Lab Thursday, April 24, 2014

April 9th, 2014

Shop New Leaf to Support Life LabShop New Leaf Community Markets on the Westside of Santa Cruz on Thursday, April 24th, 2014 from 9am to 9pm. New Leaf will donate 5% of their daily profits to Life Lab.

Have a great day shopping and supporting Life Lab!… [Read More →]


How Do Schools Compost?

March 15th, 2014

A senior intern at Life Lab, Savannah Rugg, created a composting in schools survey (still open!) to better understand how composting functions in schools and school-districts. The survey asks questions regarding types of composting, compost materials, compost management, and compost curriculum. The results to the school compost survey are summarized in the charts below. It appears that most schools are either using compost as an educational tool in the school garden or … [Read More →]


Common Core in the Garden Webinar February 18th

January 13th, 2014

Life Lab's Education Director Whitney Cohen presented a webinar on Common Core in the Garden on February 18, 2014.

View an archive of this webinar at www.edweb.net

View all our webinars.

Learn to use a garden to bring learning to life! A school garden (however large or small) provides a meaningful context in which students can apply new academic concepts and skills. Whether they are graphing the temperature of their [Read More →]


Regional Support Models for Sustaining School Gardens Webinar – March 4th

January 12th, 2014

Join Life Lab and EdWeb's Growing School Garden Community for a webinar on Regional Support Models for Sustaining School Gardens.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 – 4pm / Eastern Time

View the archived version here.

Read our article on One Garden, Many Schools.
 

View all our webinars.

Presenters: John Fisher, Director of Programs and Partnerships at Life Lab, with Park Guthrie, Garden Education Specialist for the Oakland Unified School District in California.[Read More →]


2014 California School Garden Survey

December 12th, 2013

Take the California School Garden SurveyMay 28, 2014 Press Release – Survey Says… School Gardens Thriving in California – Results from the California School Garden Survey.

Life Lab, in collaboration with the California School Garden Network, conducted the California School Garden Survey to gain insights into the factors that help school gardens to function effectively, the resources that are needed to sustain them, and how they are utilized. The 2014 California School Garden Survey received 552 completed responses from schools … [Read More →]


Common Core in the Garden

December 11th, 2013

Here at Life Lab, we have cross-mapped every lesson in The Growing Classroom with the new Common Core Math and Language Arts standards and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) being rolled out in schools across the country! We've also cross-mapped every lesson in Sowing the Seeds of Wonder with California's Preschool Learning Foundations.

 

 

 

More

[Read More →]

Support our Work

December 11th, 2013
Happy new year from all of us at Life Lab! We welcome your support for the coming year.
Life Lab programs include field trips and day camps for kids, youth empowerment through food justice for teens, undergraduate internships, and educator trainings. All focus on the power of one: reach one, teach one, change a life, change the world.

[Read More →]

Saving Water in the Garden

December 10th, 2013

Saving Water in the Garden Sign Design

The newest sign in our Garden Sign collection is designed by National Geographic Scientific Illustrator Jose Miguel Mayo and demonstrates tips and tools for saving water. 

View all our Garden Sign Designs.

Tips for Saving Water in the Garden

Plant native and drought-tolerant plants. Learn more at native plant organizations like California Native Plant Society.

For newly planted seeds and seedlings, water less deep and more frequently to … [Read More →]


Pumpkin Tea Cake

December 8th, 2013
Pumpkin Tea Cake  (makes one loaf)
 
1 ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cloves
1 tsp ginger
¼ tsp black pepper

1 Cup + 2 Tbs pumpkin puree
1 Cup vegetable/canola oil
1 cup sugar
¾ tsp salt
3 eggs


1.    Preheat oven to 325. Grease loaf pans[Read More →]

California FoodCorps State Training at the Garden Classroom

October 15th, 2013

This past week, 11 California FoodCorps service members gathered in Santa Cruz at the Life Lab Garden Classroom to engage in a three day training to learn how to connect kids to real food and see first-hand some of the best school garden and Farm to School models in action.

Now in its third year, FoodCorps, a national organization that addresses childhood obesity and food insecurity, has 125 service … [Read More →]


The Danes Are Here

September 24th, 2013

We have been having a great time showing visitors from Denmark some of the best farm to school and school garden programs in the region. The Danish study tour group, organized by Life Lab, is composed of eighteen government ministers, university faculty and graduate students, school gardeners and chefs, and farm to school support professionals.

Day one started with breakfast at a UCSC dining hall and a discussion with Tim … [Read More →]


EdWeb’s Growing School Gardens Online Community and Webinars

September 19th, 2013


LIfe Lab is a proud partner of EdWeb's online community and a contributor to their school garden webinars.

Join the community and online forum at Ed Web

View archives of webinars by Life Lab

  • Inquiry in the Garden: Facilitating Student-Led Investigations for Grades K-8 in an Outdoor, Living Laboratory – Whitney Cohen, Life Lab Education Director
  • Design Ideas for a Fun, Successful Instructional School Garden – John Fisher, Life Lab
[Read More →]

Fall 2013 Newsletter

September 18th, 2013

View our September 2013 Newsletter
View newsletter archives

Program Updates
Meet Faith – Support our Work 
Summer Accomplishments
Announcing the National School Garden Network
The Top Ten of Farm- and Garden-Based Education

Garden Tips and Educator Resources

Root View Cups
Detergent Bottle Watering Cans
Recipe: Sunny Green Bean Pate
Coming Soon: Common Core Standards Database
Upcoming Events
Workshops and Webinar
Friends of the UCSC Farm and Garden Events… [Read More →]


Inquiry in the Garden Webinar

September 11th, 2013

Inquiry in the GardenLife Lab's Education Director Whitney Cohen led an enthusiastic webinar on Inquiry in the Garden as part of EdWeb's Growing School Gardens Community

Inquiry in the Garden: Facilitating Student-Led Investigations for Grades K-8 Webinar covers how to create the "Ahh-ha" moment for students, how to form investigable questions, and many other facets of inquiry-based education. 

View the archive of this very engaging webinar.

View more webinars by Life

[Read More →]

“Love Us” on Monday at Discretion Brewery

August 19th, 2013

Join us Monday 8/26/13 for a Fun-raiser at Discretion BrewingHave a Beer to
Support Life Lab

Monday, August 26th
Discretion Brewery in Soquel
Join the fun anytime from 
11:30 am-9:00 pm.

Come for dinner or lunch at this family friendly brewery.

During Discretion Brewing's Love Monday, 20% of all beer sales will go towards funding Life Lab's farm- and garden-based education programs.

Discretion Brewery is located at 2703 41st Avenue, Soquel, 95073.[Read More →]


Branching Out for Food Justice – FoodWhat Benefit Dinner

August 16th, 2013

Please Join Us! Learn more and register at www.foodwhat.org

[Read More →]


School Garden Support Organizations Unite!

July 18th, 2013

National School Garden Network

We are glad to announce our latest endeavor to support school garden program development. Join the forum.

The National School Garden Network connects organizations and individuals supporting multiple school gardens across district, regional, or state levels. The network's forum provides a space for school garden professionals to connect and share resources, while its events and workshops carry the conversation to national gatherings. Learn more about the National School Garden Network[Read More →]


Detergent Bottle Watering Can

July 12th, 2013

Watering is an activity that kids can do by themselves, with little or no instruction. Having kids water their garden instills a care taking ethic.

Kids love to water and having a watering can for every kid makes it even more fun! By collecting the right types of bottles you will soon have a bottle for every kid in your group.

There are many types of bottles that can be … [Read More →]


The Fine Art of Flower Pounding – Making Floral Prints Video

July 9th, 2013

Here's a great art activity to do with flower petals. Download this lesson and some others from The Book of Gardening Projects for Kids: 101 Activities to Get Outside, Dirty and Having Fun!

View more activities in our easy garden activity video playlist.

[Read More →]


Summer Workshop: Plant It, Grow It, Eat It – Garden-Enhanced Nutrition Education Workshop

June 9th, 2013

Summer Two-Day Offering July 27-28

Workshop Description

Make the connection from seed to table in this fun and delicious workshop. Using tried-and-true Life Lab lessons and recipes for grades K-8, participants explore effective ways to teach nutrition  and encourage kids to eat more fruits and vegetables through gardening, harvesting and meal preparation. $300

Learn More and Register Here

Sample Workshop Agenda

View two day agenda

Learn …
  • How to lead
[Read More →]

Think Globally, Learn Locally: Using local environments to engage young minds

June 8th, 2013

Teacher Professional Development for Teachers Grades K-8

What: Bring science learning to life! Our local environment can provide rich science learning experiences for students. Learn about the resources available, including the recently published K-12 California Education and the Environment Initiative Curriculum, student field experiences, and laboratory lessons at Elkhorn Slough Estuarine Reserve. We will introduce the Next Generation Science Standards and the California Common Core for Science Standards.

When: [Read More →]


Spring 2013 Newsletter

May 17th, 2013

View The May 2013 Garden Times – Life Lab's Newsletter

Program Updates
What We Have Been Up To Since Our Last Newsletter
Meet our Senior Program Associate – Amber Turpin and her baby Hazel
Update on the California School Garden Training Program
California FoodCorps Update
Vote on the Top Ten of Garden-based Learning
FoodWhat Teens Bring Learning to the Farmers' Market
Life Lab in the Press
End of the School … [Read More →]


Farm and Garden Jokes

April 30th, 2013

Laugh

Knock, Knock…

Have a joke or riddle of your own? Share it in the comments below.

  • What did the doctor remove from her salad? Kidney beans!
  • Why do worms act so frightened? They have no backbone.
  • What is an ant? A hard-working bug that still finds time to go to lots of picnics.
  • Why do you have to be careful about telling a secret in a cornfield? Because the corn
[Read More →]

Small Hands, Big Garden

April 19th, 2013

Have you seen this insert in your local press? 

Small Hands, Big Garden  highlights Life Lab's Book of Gardening Projects for Kids.

A story created by national syndicator Content That Works for their Homestyle Magazine.… [Read More →]


May 19th Benefit Brunch in the Garden Classroom

April 12th, 2013

Join us Sunday, May 19th, 2013 for the Life Lab Garden Classroom Benefit Brunch.

Register

Benefit Brunch in the Life Lab Garden Classroom


Please consider supporting Life Lab. Go to www.lifelab.org/donate.

[Read More →]

Day Camp Registration Open

April 10th, 2013

Register for Garden Classroom Day Camps

  • Spring Break Camp for 4-6 year olds
  • Wildlands & Watering Cans Summer Day Camp for 7-10 year olds 
  • Garden Sprouts Camp Summer Day Camp for 4-6 year olds 
  • Farm & Wilderness Summer Day Camp for 11-14 year olds

More info. at www.lifelab.org/camp[Read More →]


The Garden, A Master Teacher Talk – April 18th Portland Garden Club

April 3rd, 2013

The public is invited to an upcoming Portland Garden Club talk presented by Life Lab's Outreach Director John Fisher.

The Garden: A Master Teacher

Thursday, April 18 Social: 9:30 Program/Meeting: 10:15
Optional box lunch and workshop to follow program

Register at The Portland Garden Club
 

Taken from the Portland Garden Club….

We know that gardeners aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty, and our May speaker, John Fisher, is going to … [Read More →]


Turning Teachers into Gardeners in Washington D.C.

March 26th, 2013

Life Lab has been delighted to work with a very forward-thinking organization in the nation's capital, DC Greens, to train garden coordinators through their Growing Garden Teachers program. DC Greens' innovative approach to regional school garden support was recently highlighted in the Washington Post article Helping Turn Teachers into Gardeners. DC's Healthy Schools Act is one of the main forces behind the area's broad school wellness efforts. This … [Read More →]


School Garden Design Webinar

February 6th, 2013

Life Lab's Outreach Director John Fisher led a photo filled webinar on School Garden Design as part of EdWeb's Growing School Gardens Community

Design Ideas for a Fun, Successful Instructional School Garden Webinar shares school garden design elements from school garden across the nation. John shares "smart design" tips which facilitate learning and are easy to maintain.

View the archive of this fast paced webinar.

View more webinars

[Read More →]

School Garden Design Webinar

February 4th, 2013
 
Join us for a free, photo-filled webinar
with EdWeb on 
Wednesday, February 6th at 1:00 PST
Register Now
View hundreds of school garden photos and an archive of the webinar link at
www.lifelab.org/gardenphotos

Google Hangout: Training Garden-Based Educators

January 22nd, 2013

Life Lab participated in an Edible Schoolyard Google Hangout on the topic of training garden-based educators. We were one of five programs to share different training models and strategies for creating and sustaining school garden programs.

Featured Participants and Programs:
John Fisher, Outreach Director, Life Lab and California School Garden Training Program
Whitney Cohen, Education Director, Life Lab
Ellen Robinson, Programs and Services Manager, REAL School Gardens
Jane Hirschi, Executive … [Read More →]