Life Lab

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

California School Garden Training Program

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The California School Garden Training Program (CSGT) is a series of free garden-based education workshops being presented across the state 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

California School Garden Training Program Final Numbers

Additionally the CSGT training model and resources were shared at 6 statewide conferences reaching 229 people.


Workshop Participant Final Survey Highlights


77% of final survey respondents stated that they increased the amount of fruits and vegetables they tasted/ate with students

67% said they increased time spent using the garden to teach nutrition education

97% noted some (56%) or significant (41%) marked improvement in their effectiveness in implementing garden-enhanced nutrition education

75% noted some (59%) or significant (16%) marked improvement in student's families' consumption of fruits and vegetables


27% installed a school garden

76% improved an existing school garden

73% shared what they learned from the Creating and Sustaining Your School Garden workshop with colleagues

93% noted some (45%) or significant (48%) marked improvement in their abilities to access resources to support their garden program


Quotes from Final Survey

“I never ate a snow pea pod before, now I will eat millions!” – Student

"Can we have some MORE kale chips?" – Student

"[My favorite thing I learned about in the garden was] drinking strawberry water. It tastes good and it's good for you." 4th grader, after making strawberry lemonade on a hot day and talking about the vitamins in strawberries.” – Student

“After my kindergarten students experienced "eating a rainbow" and the rainbow body… while eating their mid-morning snack at the snack table, they would hold up vegetables and fruits and bring them to the part of the body that the vegetable or fruit made healthy and say things like "my carrot is eye food" or "my grapes are brain food" – Teacher

“One of my high school students is on the football team. One day when we were working on our school garden I saw him staring at the football field. When I asked him what he was doing, he said, "I was just thinking about how much food we could grow if we converted this football field." – Teacher

“I am a community partner working in an elementary school that has a majority of youth in the free and reduced lunch program. They often get vegetables they do not like in the packaged meals and have a bad association with eating their vegetables. We grew fresh carrots in the garden and the kids came out of the garden so happy to be carrying their harvest! In fact, it has made them more adventurous to try new items that the school district is implementing. Some kids I never expected to be trying new items are eating and enjoying raw sweet potatoes! Just like me, when you invest time into something and care for it, you are that much more likely to try it and be empowered to grow more!” – Student

“I didn't know worms and bugs were so much fun to play with! I didn't know I liked Kale! Now I know I like 3 different kinds of kale!” – Student







California School Garden Training Program Summary:

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Rachel Pringle

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 Curry

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 Bricken

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 Neier

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.