Life Lab

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

Programs of Life Lab

Life Lab Programs At-a-Glance

Garden Classroom Workshops

Every year, formal and informal educators from across the country come together in our Garden Classroom to see the magic for themselves. Come and join us for a workshop and learn new garden-based lessons and activities for children; network with other educators in the field; and enjoy a farm fresh meal in our lovely 2-acre Garden Classroom.

Off-Site Workshops

Life Lab has trained tens of thousands of educators in over 2,500 schools across the country. A kindergarten teacher recently wrote us, "Since bringing Life Lab to our school, my students are showing an improved respect toward the plants and animals on campus, an enthusiasm and curiosity to visit and learn from the garden, and expanded healthy eating practices." Bring Life Lab to your school or community and see what grows!

Pajaro Valley Project

Through community and school partnerships Life Lab is supporting school garden development and offering on-farm field trips at our Blooming Classroom site.

Field Trips

"This was the best field trip I have taken my class on in 17 years!" a teacher recently wrote us. Whether they're harvesting vegetables and cooking soup, tasting honey from the beehive, or feeding the chickens, kids and adults alike have a blast while learning about science, nutrition, natural cycles, and food systems during our field trip programs for preschool through middle school.


At Life Lab camps, kids spend whole days getting muddy, singing songs, making new friends, exploring the garden and woods, creating garden crafts, and cooking farm fresh food. Adventure awaits for our campers, ages 4-14!


From garden-based science curriculum to whimsical books for parents, Life Lab's award-winning publications are the go-to resource for educators and families interested in engaging children in gardens. We have something for everyone!

Web-Based School Garden Resources

Which lessons from The Growing Classroom are aligned with the third grade science standards? How do I host a bug race? Where can I find grants to support my school garden? Visit our website to find just about anything you might need to support your work in educational gardens.


Life Lab staff is available year-round to consult with individuals, schools, and community organizations interested in establishing or enriching farm- and garden-based learning programs for all ages.

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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
... See MoreSee Less

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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.


#beapartofit, #startingstrong, #changinglives, #isupportlifelab
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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.
#beapartofit, #changinglives, #optoutside, #gardenbasededucation, #happynewyear
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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