Life Lab

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

Santa Cruz Weekly ~ “Food, What?!” Strawberry Blast Serves Hundreds of Teens

The Life Lab Garden Classroom and UCSC Farm played host to hundreds of Santa Cruz Teens during the "Food, What?!" Strawberry Blast. The local press was there to cover the event:

Santa Cruz Weekly Strawberry Blast An Eye-Opener for Students had this to say:

Hosted by Life Lab’s youth empowerment group, Food, What?!, the fourth annual Strawberry Blast took 300 middle and high school students from Santa Cruz County on a food education free-for-all on May 12, exposing surprising realities behind the food we eat and the equally surprising need for such outings…“Every time you spend a dollar, you vote. Every time you buy a Coke or a Rockstar or a Monster, you’re showing the world you believe in that product,” says C.C. Parsons, a Food, What?! staff member. His demonstration asked kids to guess how many tablespoons of sugar were in a Vitamin Water (12.5 tablespoons) and a Rockstar (15.5 tablespoons), but it was the visual representation of sugar in a cup that really seemed to stick. “When they hear these things and actually see the volume of sugar, they flip,” says Parsons. read more…

The Patch Teens Learn by Mouth at the Strawberry Blast shared the following:

“This event lets students see how nutritious food can be delicious,” said Abby Bell, coordinator of FoodWhat?! since the program began five years ago, an offshoot of Life Lab. "We don't necessarily expect them to go home and start composting with worms, but we want to show them high-quality food."

Driscoll's of Watsonville donated organic strawberries by the cartload. Strauss graciously provided the many gallons of yogurt. Amber Turpin, Allison O'Sullivan and Jessica Hoffmann encouraged students to make their own at the Strawberry Blast tart table. Shells were baked ahead of time, then set out with yogurt and strawberries for students to assemble into a tasty treat.

The smoothie station was always crowded, as students whirled strawberries with orange juice, milk and yogurt into a refreshing drink. Bell asked students how they liked the smoothies.

“They're awesome,” said one student. “Red fruits and vegetables are good for your heart.” Students found out that eating foods from the whole color spectrum is a sign they're getting all the nutrients for vigorous health. read more…

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Teaching a Growing Classroom Workshop at @OakSpringGardenFoundation in collaboration with I feel like I’ve fallen into a small French village. This is the former estate of Paul and Rachel “Bunny” Mellon in Virginia. Mrs. Mellon was an avid horticulturalist who designed the White House Rose Garden! I am staying in the room where Jackie Kennedy stayed when she visited here!! Sharing a weekend in this space with teachers who love kids and gardens is a truly unforgettable experience. ... See MoreSee Less

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Just when I thought we’d seen it all ... this is an agrophotovoltaic school garden underneath massive solar panels at @Manzo.Ecology in Tucson. The elementary school students here gather and analyze data on how the shade from the panels helps the plants grow and how the plants help cool the panels and increase their efficiency. What?!?! It’s amazing and gives me hope. Oh, and also they have a desert tortoise in their courtyard. ... See MoreSee Less

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Have you heard?! Life Lab is one of New Leaf Community Markets' recipients of their EnviroToken program at their Westside Santa Cruz store! So get your shopping on, bring your reusable bags, and donate 10¢ to Life Lab with every bag you use! Thank you, New Leaf!
#thankyou, #grateful, #ReduceReuseRecycle, #isupportlifelab
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What happens when Whole Kids Foundation partners with you to bring 50+ leaders from School Garden Support Organizations from across the country together to get to talk shop, inspire each other, problem-solve around shared challenges, and eat amazing food prepared and served by happy 5th graders? MAGIC. That's what happens. #sgso2018 ... See MoreSee Less

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Have you heard?! Life Lab is one of New Leaf Community Markets' recipients of their EnviroToken program for their Westside Santa Cruz store! So get your shopping on, bring your reusable bags, and donate 10¢ to Life Lab with every bag you use! Thank you, New Leaf!
#thankyou, #grateful, #ReduceReuseRecycle, #isupportlifelab
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We are so grateful to be starting 2018 with such strong support! Because of so many generous gifts from our supporters like you, we surpassed our 2017 fundraising goal of $124,000, with all campaign donations totaling $125,835.

These funds will help make Life Lab field trip and summer camp programs possible for children from families and schools that could otherwise not afford them. We believe that ALL children deserve the chance to love learning, healthy food, and nature. Thanks to your support, this year we will serve even more children in Santa Cruz County and across the nation.


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Happy almost 2018, Life Lab fans! We are only $809 dollars away from reaching our $124,000 year-end fundraising goal! Before you ring in the new year, will you help us ensure a promising 2018? 100% of the funds necessary to do this important work come from grants and from individuals like you. Will you join us in ensuring that we can continue to deepen and expand our reach, so that even more children can experience the joy of loving learning, healthy food, and nature? Your tax-deductible gift made by midnight tonight will go directly to supporting our programs.
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Life Lab has been the most innovative and relevant organization in this field. From providing the best curriculum to their cutting edge professional development, we have relied on Life Lab as our go to organization for support, ideas, and collaboration.
Rachel PringleSenior Director of ProgramsEducation Outside
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