Life Lab

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

Plant It, Grow It, Eat It!

Garden-Enhanced Nutrition Education Workshop

AudienceGraduate Education Credit

Anyone interested in or involved in using gardening and cooking to encourage healthy eating for students in grades K-8

Location and Cost Options

Life Lab's Garden Classroom on the UC Santa Cruz Campus: $150/$180 per participant – See dates and registration deadlines for upcoming workshops


At your school site – See pricing details

Workshop Description

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. We offer a Fall and Spring version of this workshop. 1 semester unit of graduate education credit available.

Sample Workshop Agenda

Learn …
  • How to lead highly engaging, hands-on nutrition lessons and activities in a garden setting.
  • How to link gardening and cooking activities to Common Core Math and Language Arts standards.
  • Management strategies for harvesting, preparing, and enjoying fresh fruits and vegetables with students.
Take home …
  • An activity packet with lessons, recipes, garden kitchen resources, and links to Common Core academic standards.
  • Inspiration to use a garden as an instructional tool for nutrition education.
  • Strategies for success from Life Lab and from a variety of other educators engaged in this exciting work.
  • Optional: unit of education credit from the University of the Pacific ($60/unit)


View recipes we use in our Garden Classroom.

View Taste The Difference Activity

Participant Comments

One of the best organized days of hands-on activities and philosophical underpinnings I've ever seen.

Plant It! Grow It! Eat It! has been very beneficial to my teaching practice. It has allowed me to validate the amount of time and activities my class spends on nutrition/garden lessons. I have been able to expand my repertoire of teaching activities. I have become more knowledgeable about nutrition and therefore have been able to connect the families a lot more easily to our goals. I have noticed that my students are taking pride in eating healthy and therefore seem more likely to continue to do so!

I feel a healthier relationship to my class when I get to teach them about what I believe in: healthy lifestyle choices.

My participation in Life Lab has … made nutrition instruction doable and fun.  As I slowly "snuck" the lessons in, I realized how much fun the children were having, and how much they needed it.  Now I hope to be "caught" teaching Life Lab activities.  Our kids are bringing sliced cucumbers and other healthy snacks to share with their friends.  This leaves me with a smile on my face.

I feel much more comfortable planting in the garden because of the support and training provided to me by your staff.

Thank you for the invaluable contribution you are making to education!


View all scheduled upcoming Garden Classroom workshops

All workshops require advanced registration and deposit.

To set up a workshop for your school site, please call Life Lab Science Program at (831) 459-3833 or email us at

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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