Life Lab

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

A nice article from The GoodTimes 11.2.2010

The Youth Crew at Food, What?! mixes farming-based curriculum with personal, business, community and networking skills

Since 1979 Santa Cruz’s nonprofit Life Lab organization has built a fine boutique of garden-based curricula. Children around the country learn hands-on science in the fresh air of their school gardens. At the Garden Classroom at UC Santa Cruz, kids learn about nature, weather, and decomposition, while teacher-training classes offer graduate credits. And three years ago Food, What?! was born as a high school youth empowerment program.

Each fall and spring, students begin a 12-week internship on the UCSC farm employing organic and sustainable methods. They plant flowers and learn to grow and cook potatoes, vegetables, and even grain, which they harvest, thresh, winnow and grind into flour. In the summer program they work for a paycheck on their own farm as well as others such as Freewheelin’ Farm, sometimes making bicycle deliveries to CSA drop-offs. They also perform volunteer gardening at local schools. See the whole article

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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