Life Lab

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

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 info along to all adults who will be accompanying your class.

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 our map.

Parking Permits: We will meet you at the parking area before your field trip and will bring parking passes ($4 each).

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 at the garden 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.

Groups: Please divide the children into 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 ponchos 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: Some of our field trips include pre- and post-visit activities for you to do with your class. We also include the lessons that your students 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 below.  

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 9:00-10:30 or 11:00-12:30):
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, 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.

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!

Cara Sundell, Garden Programs Manager
Life Lab
cara@lifelab.org
(831) 459-4035

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7 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,"
Ellie

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 BackPocketLearning.org 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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