Life Lab

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

The California School Garden Training Program (CSGT) trained over 1,700 educators from 2012 – June, 2014. It included workshops on Creating and Sustaining Your School Garden (CSYSG) and Garden-Enhanced Nutrition Education (GENE). CSGT conducted Train-the-Trainer Workshops, where new leaders were trained to replicate the CSYSG and GENE workshops.

View these extensive resources for school garden educators and trainers

Creating and Sustaining Your School Garden

Garden-Enhanced Nutrition Education

View GENE and CSYSG Trainer Materials

 

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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

GENE

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

CSYSG

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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3 days ago

Life Lab

As we all navigate the dynamics of distance learning education, Life Lab would like to offer support.

Check out our website Lifelab.org/Covid-19/ for resources outlining the potential for outdoor learning spaces to provide "extra “classroom” space; allow for social distancing; and provide strategic and cost-effective tools for improving academic, mental and physical well being. #outdoorlearningspaces #outdooreducation #schoolgardens #lifelab #notallclassroomshavefourwalls #livinglaboratory #socialemotionallearning See MoreSee Less

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2 weeks ago

Life Lab

Today’s Thankful Thursday shout out goes to our @pajarovalleyusd Partner Schools: Hall District Elementary, H. A. Hyde Elementary, Starlight Elementary, Amesti Elementary, Ohlone Elementary, Ann Soldo Elementary, & McQuiddy Elementary🌱We look forward to another school year of bringing learning to life through nature based education🌻#schoolgardens #lifelab #thankfulthursday #nature #education See MoreSee Less

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2 weeks ago

Life Lab

Change is good and delicious #Blackberry #schoolgardens #outdoorlearning #LifeLab #gardeneducation See MoreSee Less

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4 weeks ago

Life Lab

We are grateful for the continued support from @newleafcmarket Life Lab is honored to have been chosen as a community non-profit benefactor of their Bloom Wellness products that are all organic, non-GMO, & gluten free. Our partnership reflects New Leaf Community Markets’ core values of education, environmental stewardship, and nutrition. #thankyouthursday #schoolgardens #lifelab #newleafcommunitymarket #gardensofgratitude See MoreSee Less

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1 month 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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1 month 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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1 month 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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1 month ago

Life Lab

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

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2 months 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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2 months ago

Life Lab

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Stock up your Garden Classroom

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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