Life Lab

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

Field Trip Confirmation

Greetings Field Trip Teachers!

We're looking forward to spending this time with your class in the Garden Classroom.

Please read this information thoroughly and pass the relevant details on to all adults who will be accompanying your group on your scheduled field trip.

For all field trips:

Where to Park: Please park in the dirt lot outside the Farm Back Gate.   Click here to download a parking map, and please print a copy for each driver. GPS and map services don't work here; please be sure drivers follow the map.

Parking Permits: We have sent you (by mail) the parking permits you ordered (if any) for your drivers to display on their cars. Make sure to fill out the date on the parking passes, in black felt pen (such as a Sharpie). UCSC parking enforcement is quite strict. If you need more passes, please call Life Lab at 459-4035. If you have extras, don't write on the extra passes and they can be refunded by Life Lab staff on the day of your field trip. 

Please plan on arriving 20 minutes early and having snack before the program. It always seems to take a little longer than planned to get here and walking from the parking area to the farm can take up to ten minutes with a group of children. Also, it’s a good idea to allow a few minutes for the students to have snack before the field trip begins. 

Role of Chaperones: We invite all accompanying parents/chaperones to join in on the field trips and encourage them to help shepherd the students in their group. Also, keep in mind that the field trip is oriented towards children, so please ask chaperones to refrain from asking "adult" questions during the program. We would be happy to answer more technical garden questions and provide gardening literature after the program.

Groups: Please divide the children into small groups ahead of time, so that after our introduction we can efficiently split up.  For 1st grade and up, we split into three groups; for the pre & K program we split into four groups.

Nametags are a great help to us, especially if they are color-coded for the groups (the red group, the blue group, etc.).

Dress appropriately, with closed-toed shoes. Make sure students are prepared for the weather and keep in mind that this is a hands-on experience — they may get dirty.

Weather: If it looks like there will be light rain during your visit please encourage your students to bring rainwear and boots if they have them. Light rain is no problem, but heavy rain will cancel a field trip and we will call the morning of the field trip if the rain is too heavy. (Exception: our winter field trip program runs rain or shine and we have plenty of rain cover and ponchoes if needed).

Cancellations: Please call us (459-4035) as much in advance as possible if you need to cancel your field trip. If you cancel your field trip less than two weeks prior to the field trip date, the field trip fee will not be refunded or credited to later field trips. Payment for parking passes will be refunded if parking passes are returned unmarked.

For 1st grade and up field trips (scroll down for pre & K):

Lunches: Please have students bring a lunch to eat at our 11:40 lunchtime. Please challenge yourselves to bring low-waste lunches (packed in reusable containers). Due to limited garbage facilities, we ask that you pack out your garbage; recycling is available for cans and bottles.

Lesson Packet: Included in this field trip is a unit including pre- and post-visit activities for you to do with your class. We have also included the lessons that your students will do during their visit. Consider your visit to the Garden Classroom just one part of a whole unit you can share with your class. Download your lesson packet: 

Field Trip Agenda:

Winter & Spring 1st & up Schedule
10:00 Introduction
10:20 Garden Classroom Lessons (based on the theme of the field trip) — We will rotate through 3 stations in 3 small groups
11:40 Lunch
12:00 Farm Exploration
12:55 Wrap-up

Fall Farm to Fork Schedule
10:00 Introduction (Six Plant Parts)
10:20 Break into three groups and explore the farm, harvesting and tasting examples of the six plant parts and visiting the apple orchard and corn fields
11:40 Lunch
12:00 Garden Classroom Rotations: Apple Pressing, Tortilla Making, and Chickens
1:10 Wrap-up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Seeds of Wonder pre & K field trips:

Field Trip Agenda (field trips run 9:00-10:15 or 11:00-12:15):
Large Group Introduction, then split into small groups
Activity Stations — We will rotate through 4 stations, 15 min/station.
Large Group Wrap-up

Allergies: This program may include tasting of seeds, including walnuts. Please let us know if your class includes children who are allergic to tree nuts.

 

General Information

Life Lab is an independent nonprofit based on the UCSC campus. The Life Lab Garden Classroom is located on the 25-acre CASFS Farm near the base of campus. The Garden Classroom is an outdoor discovery laboratory.In the Garden Classroom you will find composting demonstrations, chickens, educational displays, a children’s vegetable garden, a pond and much more.

The farm is managed by the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems and serves as a training and research center for sustainable agriculture activities and produces an array of mixed fruits and vegetables.

On Tuesdays and Fridays from Noon – 6:00 (early June – October) produce is sold at the base of the campus at the Farm’s market cart. You are welcome to visit the produce cart after your field trip to make the connection from the farm to the consumer.

Life Lab offers a variety of field trips fall, winter, and spring. Click here for more information on our field trip programs.

Thanks for your interest in the Life Lab Garden Classroom & the CASFS Farm. We’re looking forward to your visit!

Amy Carlson, Garden Education Director
Life Lab
amy@lifelab.org
(831) 459-4035

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LIFE LAB on MAUI! so AnB stopped sugar production on Maui this year, there is tons of land available to lease and they are now taking offers. If farmers or farm educators won't get to it, it will turn into development, there are not enough offers from farmers and we need more, so please pass this on to those that are interested. To speak to An B need to look them up and make an offer. They are taking offers now! ... See MoreSee Less

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Rachel PringleSenior Director of ProgramsEducation Outside

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.

Erica CurryTraining and Professional Development ManagerFoodCorps

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.

Sheila BrickenKindergarten TeacherSan Lorenzo Valley Elementary

Thank you for such a wonderful field trip experience! Your leaders did such a great job at keeping our kids engaged.

Tara NeierCamp ParentSummer camp mom

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.