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 … [Read More →]
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 →]
September 25th, 2014
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 →]
June 26th, 2014
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.
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 →]
June 22nd, 2014
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.
April 30th, 2014
What 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.
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 →]
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 →]
April 9th, 2014
Shop 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 →]
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 →]
January 13th, 2014
Life Lab's Education Director Whitney Cohen presented a webinar on Common Core in the Garden on February 18, 2014.
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 … [Read More →]
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 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 →]
December 12th, 2013
May 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 →]
December 11th, 2013
View our Common Core in the Garden Webinar
Here at Life Lab, we have been hard at work connecting 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.
See examples of how we bring content standards to life at the Life Lab Garden Classroom.
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 →]
December 10th, 2013
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 →]
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
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 →]
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 →]
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 →]
September 11th, 2013
Life 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.
August 19th, 2013
Have 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 →]
July 18th, 2013
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 →]
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 →]
June 9th, 2013
Summer Two-Day Offering July 27-28
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
Sample Workshop Agenda
View two day agenda
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 →]
April 30th, 2013
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 →]
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 →]
April 10th, 2013
- 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 →]
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 →]
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 →]
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.
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 →]
December 16th, 2012
Model Policies and Organizations from Across the Country
Written by Whitney Cohen. Life Lab Education Director
School gardens are fantastic! (To be convinced, view The Garden, A Master Teacher) But that's not what this article's about, so let me start over. School gardens are fantastic, and they require a tremendous amount of work. Which begs the question: Who can do all the work involved in growing a school garden?
… [Read More →]