Life Lab

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

Greetings Santa Cruz County Area Garden Educators!


Garden Classroom Workshops – Substantial Discounts for County Educators
Since the early 1980’s Life Lab has inspired tens of thousands of educators through garden-based training. Each year we offer 10 or more days of training at our Garden Classroom on the UCSC Farm and another 25 days across the state and nation

Santa Cruz County public school teachers, instructional aides, and after-school staff are eligible to attend Life Lab Garden Classroom Workshops at the following rates:

  • $60 for one-day workshops (normally early reg $180/ late reg $200)
  • $90 for two-day workshops (normally early reg $360/ late reg $400)

Workshops include a Life Lab publication, a tasty lunch by our Healthy School Partner Charlie Hong Kong, and the opportunity to learn with garden-educators from across the nation.  Continual education credit is available for $80 per unit per day.

Find registration discount codes here.


Santa Cruz County Area Garden Educator Gathering – Fall 2019 TBA

Last gathering Wednesday March 20th, 2019 2:45-4:45


Join our Santa Cruz County School Gardeners Google Group
A place to share resources, ask questions and hear about announcements like jobs, grants and plant donations.


Free Seeds and Plants 
Renee’s Garden Seeds provides Life Lab with loads of end of season seeds to give away to garden educators. Come to a networking meeting or visit our office on the UCSC Farm to grab a bunch.

For years the UCSC Farm gives away thousands of annual (and sometimes perennial) plants at the end of their annual spring plant sales. Come on Sunday of the plant sale at 1:30 with a donation appreciation letter from your school. Plants are given away at the end of the plant sale at 2:00. NOTE: IN 2019 THERE IS NO PLANT SALE nor OPPORTUNITY FOR DONATIONS

The UCSC Farm has an adoption table next to the greenhouse where “extra” annual veggies are given away.

Join our forum to receive announcements about free plants.


1979 – 2019 40th Anniversary

This fall we will celebrate 40 years of garden-based learning through the following events:

  • Birthday Party at the UCSC Harvest Festival – Sunday, September 29, 2019
  • School Gardens Day – Saturday, October 12th
  • Celebration Dinner – Sunday, October 13th

Learn more



More to Come…

In the months to come we be creating a Santa Cruz County School Gardens needs assessment survey and a school gardener educator “office hours” peer to peer networking.


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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
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