Life Lab

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

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Newsletter Archives

November 2017
Garden Educator Resources
School Garden Design Elements Video Lab
Tips on Making Garden Signs
NGSS Science and Engineering Posters
Spanish Language Resources
School Garden Support Organizations Unite!

( No, you are not missing any issues, we have been busy, but are glad to have gotten the November 2017 Educator Resource Blast out. 1/4ly blasts will continue).

Winter 2015
Program Updates
2014 Organizational Highlights
We Did It!
Top 10 Webinars
Become a FoodCorps Service Member
Garden Tips and Educator Resources
Recipe: Curry Winter Squash Soup
Lesson: Lighthouse – Communication Skills
Garden Tip: Outdoor Classroom Management
Upcoming Events
Life Lab Spring Benefit Brunch – Save the Date
Upcoming Workshops and Webinars

Fall 2014
Program Updates
New Edition of the Growing Classroom
Summer Camp Highlights
Food What Summer Program Celebration Dinner
Garden Tips and Educator Resources
Recipe: Apple Salsa
Lesson: Seed Ya Later from New TGC
Garden Project: Running an Effective Garden Workday
The Ultimate School Compost Resource
Upcoming Events
Life Lab Fall Gathering –  Saturday, October 11th
Upcoming Workshops and Webinars

July 2014
We’re Changing the Nature of Education

April 2014
Program Updates
Life Lab Garden Classroom Brunch 5/18/14 – A Feel Good Meal
edWeb Growing School Gardens Partnership – Common Core in the Garden
“Food,What?!” Youth Engage in Job Training and Land Jobs
Take 1 Minute and Vote for Life Lab
Garden Tips and Educator Resources
Lesson: Catch the Sun
Garden Project: Plastic Bottle Greenhouse
Recipe: Veggie Stone Soup
One Garden Serves Many Schools: A Unique Approach to Garden Programming
Upcoming Events
Workshops and Webinars
Friends of the UCSC Farm and Garden Events

December 2013
Program Updates
Training Others – Our Impact Defined
Our Year in Review
Common Core and Next Generation Standards in the Garden
Announcing the California School Garden Survey
School Garden Support Organizations Unite!
End of Year Sale – Take 10% off Everything at our Online Store
Garden Tips and Educator Resources
Lesson: Day at the Races: Soil Erosion and Conservation
Garden Tip and New Garden Sign Design: Saving Water in the Garden
Recipe: Pumpkin Tea Cake
Upcoming Events
Workshops and Webinars
Friends of the UCSC Farm and Garden Events

September 2013
Program Updates
Meet Faith – Support our Work
Summer Accomplishments
Announcing the National School Garden Network
The Top Ten of Farm- and Garden-Based Education
Garden Tips and Educator Resources
Root View Cups
Detergent Bottle Watering Cans
Recipe: Sunny Green Bean Pate
Coming Soon: Common Core Standards Database
Upcoming Events
Workshops and Webinar
Friends of the UCSC Farm and Garden Events

May 2013
Program Updates
What We Have Been Up To Since Our Last Newsletter
Meet our Senior Program Associate – Amber Turpin and her baby Hazel
Update on the California School Garden Training Program
California FoodCorps Update
Vote on the Top Ten of Garden-based Learning
FoodWhat Teens Bring Learning to the Farmers’ Market
Life Lab in the Press
End of the School Year Sale 10% Off
Garden Tips and Educator Resources
School Garden Summer Care
Farm and Garden Jokes
Recipe: Nasturtium Pesto

December 2012
Program Updates
What We Have Been Up To Since Our Last Newsletter
Welcome New Staff – Audries and Alex
Update on the California School Garden Training Program
Life Lab’s “Food, What?!” Youth Maya Receives National Brower Youth Award
Life Lab Selected as FoodCorps State Co-Host
Garden Tips and Educator Resources
Planting Fruits Trees and Vines in School Gardens
Sustaining School Gardens – Funding Garden Coordinators
Book Review: Our School Garden!
Recipe: Honey Seed Snacks
10% Off All Life Lab Publications
Summer 2012
Program Updates
What We Have Been Up To Since Our Last Newsletter
Thank You, Gail!
Update on the California School Garden Training Program
Meet Our Garden Educator – Emily
“Food, What?!” Receives Harry Chapin Self Reliance Award
“Food, What?!” is Hiring an Associate Director
Garden Tips and Educator Resources
Seed Saving Resources and Video
Growing Questions – Inquiry in the Garden
Teaching at a Farmer’s Market
Recipes: Zucchini Baba Ganoush and More
Discount on K-12 Sustainability Education Certificate – Citizen Science

Spring 2012
Garden Tips and Recipe
Make a Human Sundial
Edible Crop Planning
Recipe – Kale Salad
Program Updates
The Book of Garden Projects for Kids
Update on the California School Garden Training Program
In the Community Spotlight
Youth Food Bill of Rights
What We Have Been Doing Since Our Last Newsletter
Meet Our Garden Educator – Amy Carlson

Winter 2012
Garden Tips and Lessons
Lesson – Six Seed Trail Mix
Making Garden Signs – Tips and Photos
Lesson Packet – Feeling Fine With Fresh Foods
Recipe – Winter Squash Teacakes
Program Updates
2011 Program Highlights
Announcing the California School Garden Training Program
Sharing Adventures With Others
“Food, What?!” Photo-of-the-Month – Sign Up
Meet Our Outreach Director – John Fisher


Fall/Winter 2011
Life Lab Auction
Online Resources Summary
Essay – The Garden: A Master Teacher
Where We Have Been
Meet Our Education Director
Intern Spotlight
“Food, What?!” Harvest Festival
Worm Bin Bingo
Meet Our Chickens
Recipe – Winter Squash Pasta
Resources We Like
Upcoming Events

Summer 2011
Working with Interns
Spanish Language Garden Education Resources
Garden Scavenger Hunts
Meet Don, our Associate Director
Top Ten Contest
“Food, What?!” Photo-of-the-Month
Food Justice Defined in the Words of our Youth
Our Online Auction
Camp in Review
Make your Schoolyard Green
Websites we Like
Upcoming Events

Spring 2011
Top Ten Contest
Cooking with Kids
My Edible Garden – Edible Art Activity
Garden Education Songs
The New Life
CA School Garden Survey Results
Websites we Like
Meet Allison our Garden Educator
Register for Day Camps
Life Lab in the News
Upcoming Events

December 2010
The Wonders of Chard
Reuse in the Garden
Chive Hairdos and Stone Paperweights – Reuse Activities
What our Peeps are Saying
Workshops and Field Trips
Websites We Like
Life Lab on GTv
California School Garden Survey

Fall 2010
Life Lab Benefit
Life Lab spanning the globe
10 Garden Activities
Sunflower Green Bean Pate Recipe
Farm and Garden News – Food What update
School Gardenings 100 plus years ago

Summer 2010
Save the Date – Life Lab Benefit
Life Lab wins Gold
Chive Heads and Root View Cups
Fritata Recipe
Farm and Garden News – Food What, Green Schools, Oral History Project

Spring 2010
New Publications for Families and Pre-school Educators
Download Science Exploration Units for 1st-4th Grade
Green Garden Smoothies
Farm and Garden News – Food What update

Summer 2009
Life Lab Celebrates 30 Years – Birthday Party Video
Annual Benefit Event
Lessons for Educators
Rhubarb Soda Recipe
Farm & Garden News – Video Contest winner, Food What update

Spring 2009
Life Lab Celebrates 30 Years – Birthday Party, Video Contest, History Timeline
The Garden, A Master Teacher
Rhubarb Bran Muffins Recipe
“Food, What?!” Is a Blast

Winter 2007
Food Scraps for Waste Free Schools
Roasted Roots Recipe
Worms, Worms, Worms
Activty: “Bringing in the Clean-up Crew”

Summer 2007
School Lunch Program Overview
Fresh Fruit Crepes Recipe
“Food, What?!”
The Growing Classroom New Edition
Activity: “Hear Us, Hear Us”

Winter 2006-2007
The California School Garden Network
Curried Winter Squash Soup
15 Million for California School Gardens

Summer 2006
Life Lab Worldwide
Summer Salsa Recipe
The Kindergarten Initiative in Philadelphia
New CDE Regional Training Center
Beeswax Candle Garden Activity
Gardens for Learning: Creating and Sustaining Your School Garden

Winter 2005
Garden Classroom Update
AVANCE Program at Life Lab
Rainbow Chard Rolls Recipe
“Rainbow Chip” Garden Activity

Fall-Winter 2005
How to Teach Stewardship to Children
Recipe for Winter Soup
Children’s Books Reviews
Ways to Use Recycled Materials in the Garden

Summer 2004
Life Lab Celebrates 25 Years
Student Project: Making Fruit Leather
The Importance of Environmental Education
Benefits and Maintenance of Chickens in the Garden
A National Initiative in Plant-Based Learning

Spring 2003
Managing an Effective Outdoor Classroom
Garden Maintenance in the Summer
Garden Grants
“Wheat Heads” Kids Activity

Winter 2003
Teaching Nutrition Through a School Garden
Making the Consumer Connection
Student Project: Herb Tea Bags

Fall 2002
Garden Classroom Update
Educational Resources
Field-to-Market-to-You Update
Reducing Trash in the Classroom

Spring 2002
Sustaining Your School Garden
Good Bugs for the Garden


From Last Century

Fall 1996
A Garden in Every School
Harvest Hotline – What can my class do in the winter?
CD Review – North American Birds (what is a CD?)
Nutty Bird Treats
Life Lab’s New Web Page Announced
Call for Presentations: Education in Blossom: The School Garden-Community Partnership
Book Review – The Geography of Chilhood by Gary Paul Nabhan and Stephen Trimble


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6 days ago

Life Lab

🌱Moment of the Month🌱

Life Lab Summer Camps are always a beautiful and nurturing way to share the interconnections of nature with children. Although our campers could not join us in the Life Lab Garden Classroom this summer, we wanted to make it possible for them to have fun at home! So our camp team assembled Summer Activity Care Packages full of materials, recipes, and advice for 225 children who had already registered for camp. They then carefully and lovingly hand delivered them to each family, occasionally getting to say Hi! from a safe distance, too.

"Thank you so much!! I have tears in my eyes. Thank you for pooling your ideas together for non-screen fun and learning opportunities. We can’t wait to dive in!
With much gratitude,"

We are grateful to each and every camp family for their kindness, generosity, and patience as we all navigated the new realities of this year. As a community, the camp families even donated more than $12,000 of their camp fees towards ensuring that Life Lab will continue cultivating children’s love of learning, healthy food, and nature through garden-based education during this challenging time.

While we cannot deliver care packages to everyone in our broader Life Lab community, we hope that our growing website will help families seeking simple, fun, nature based activities and healthy family recipes to enjoy together at home this summer!🌈🐝🌻🌞

#lifelabmomentofthemonth #mylifelab #lifelab #summercamp #summerfun #gardenbasededucation #gardenlife #garden See MoreSee Less

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2 weeks ago

Life Lab

Our “Share Your Garden Saturday” video series continues with a sweet share from Emma Christie in the Life Lab garden at Starlight Elementary School in Watsonville🌸#shareyourgaredLL #school gardens PVUSD Food & Nutrition Services #LifeLab AmeriCorps See MoreSee Less

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2 weeks ago

Life Lab

In love with our @reneesgardenseeds flowers❤️thank you Renee for years of support & providing seeds for Life Lab gardens. We appreciate you! #reneesgardenseeds #lifelab #outdooreducation #gardensofgratitude #schoolgardens See MoreSee Less

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3 weeks ago

Life Lab

“Education is a practice of Freedom” #emancipation #juneteenth #americanhistory #blackhistory #teachablemoments See MoreSee Less

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3 weeks ago

Life Lab

Happy National Eat Your Veggies Day!😋🥕

To celebrate today we wanted to share some of our impacts this past school year. In our seven PVUSD Partner Elementary Schools, 98% of kindergarten, 1st and 2nd teachers reported that the Fall 2019 NGSS in the Garden programs improved their 1,900 students’ attitudes towards fresh fruits and vegetables, their emotional well-being, and their connection with nature.

Our Kids Cook presentation brought exciting hands-on cooking and healthy eating to more than 1,500 3rd, 4th and 5th graders at these schools, too, in January, February and March. In tastings surveys 72% of the children reported liking or loving the fresh, healthful foods they ate, with 63% said they were trying a new fresh produce item for the first time.

278 second-graders from our partner schools enjoyed hands-on learning in field trips to our Blooming Classroom this school year. 59% reported tasting new healthy food items for the first time in lesson-based tastings, and 70% said they loved or liked what they tasted.

We would also like to remind you to eat a rainbow 🌈🥗

A diverse and colorful diet nourishes a strong and healthy body. All fruits and vegetables contain different combinations of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. In addition, they contain phytonutrients, which give fruits and vegetables their vibrant colors and also play a wide range of roles in keeping our bodies healthy.

Thank you to our partners and sponsors for making this work possible. @sagegardenproject @pvhealth @pajarovalleyusd
@unfi @foodcorps

#eatyourveggies #EatYourVegetablesDay #mylifelab #vegetables See MoreSee Less

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3 weeks ago

Life Lab

Timeline Photos See MoreSee Less

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3 weeks ago

Life Lab

Life Lab Stands With Black Lives.

The injustice of systemic racism must end. Our work at Life Lab to foster empathy, love and inclusion with the children who are the next generation will continue, and it is no longer enough. This painful moment is an opportunity and a catalyst for us to take the next steps to more purposefully weave antiracist learning into all that we do.

This is a time of active learning for us, as we listen and dig deeper into Life Lab’s part in historical and present-day oppression. We see opportunities to provide foundational antiracist lessons and experiences more intentionally throughout our curriculum and programs, joining with others who are on this path.

There are seeds of hope in this moment that we can nurture in garden classrooms. Our work with children, educators and schools can motivate actions, large and small, individual and collective, to help create real change for a more just society.

Black lives matter, and Life Lab commits to countering racism through education and love.

We know this process will include learning, unlearning and relearning. We welcome this collaborative work, and we will report back to you on our progress.

~ The Life Lab Team See MoreSee Less

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1 month ago

Life Lab

🥕Meet Cara, our Garden Programs Manager!🥕

Cara began her current position at Life Lab in 2014, but has worked with Life Lab in a variety of roles since 2007. While going to school at the University of California Santa Cruz, she found her calling to be an outdoor educator while interning at Life Lab in the field trip teaching program. Graduating from UCSC with a B.A in Environmental Studies and a minor in Anthropology, Cara brings 12 years of education experience to her position, specializing in environmental education and professional development for beginning educators. Growing up in Chicago, she jumped on opportunities to volunteer and work at learning institutions, such as the Evanston Ecology Center and the Field Museum of Chicago. Cara moved to Santa Cruz in 2003 and loves living in a community that appreciates healthy living, eating well, and the natural world. When she is not hard at work, she is hard at play, hiking, dancing, cooking, traveling and doing yoga.🥘🌎😁 See MoreSee Less

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2 months ago

Life Lab

Our “Share Your Garden Saturday” video series continues with a sweet share from Abby Hauth at the Life Lab garden at MacQuiddy Elementary🌸 #shareyourgardenLL #schoolgardens #lifelab @foodcorps @pvusdschoolfood See MoreSee Less

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2 months ago

Life Lab

Eat a Rainbow this Memorial weekend! Fruits & veggies provide nutrients essential for good health 🌈🥗💪🏽 #chard #carrots #schoolgardens #lifelab #eatarainbow #nutrition #gardeneducation #teachtheyouth See MoreSee Less

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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
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