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The Garden Times - Spring 2011 E-Update from Life Lab
The earth laughs in flowers.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

In this Issue
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

Top Ten Contest
Add to our top ten listAs part of the tenth anniversary of the Garden Classroom, we are asking you to help create the Top Ten of Farm- or Garden-based education.  If your contribution is selected for our top ten list, you will win a copy of our award-winning Kids' Garden Activity Cards.

Win a set of Kids' Garden CardsContest Directions: Tell us one reason why you think farm- or garden-based education is important. Don't be afraid to tell us a silly quote from your child or student. e creative!
More contest information

Cooking with Kids
Whether at home or in the classroom teaching kids to cook provides life skills that last a lifetime. Cooking healthy foods along with providing nutrition education has shown to be a great combination for creating healthy eaters. Our recent blog post summarizes some current articles that demonstrate the positive effects of school-based nutrition education. Additionally we share a great list of cookbooks for cooking with kids, as well as resources for educators looking for garden-enhanced nutrition education resources. Share the gift of cooking. Read more

My Edible Garden - Edible Art Activity
Create edible art on a cracker with hummus "soil" and veggie piece "plants". We have used this lesson as an edible art activity, to teach about plant parts, and to eat the rainbow of colors in the garden. Download the lesson and see video of this lesson being taught in the classroom at

Farm and Garden Education Songs
While on a school garden bus tour in Los Angeles, Life Lab staff John Fisher shared a song about compost. Tour goers asked for the words, and that gave John the idea to share our favorite songs on our YouTube Channel. Listen to 15 of them on our song playlist, including Bugs, Poop, and Little Gross Things, the song that John sung.


The New Life
You might have noticed that has a new look. Our new website allows us to share information more easily. We will be continuing to add great content. If you like what we have to offer, there are many ways to connect to our site. Learn the various ways to stay in touch with Life Lab.

Visit our site for:
  • school garden lessons and activities
  • videos of school garden lessons
  • school garden resources and photos
  • program information on field trips, camps, and teacher trainings
  • educational garden sign designs and award-winning publications

We also have content for you to share on your site. Our widgets allow you to share our blog updates or videos on your website.
Share a Life Lab Widget on your website!

Our site was designed by Graphic Design Jane Bolling and engineered by past UCSC super brain student and current NASA Scientist Demitri Morgan. Thanks to you both for making our new site.

California School Garden Survey Results
Life Lab, in collaboration with the California School Garden Network, conducted a 2010 survey of California School Gardens. The information gathered from this survey will help those that are creating and supporting school garden projects across the state and nation.

Thanks to the 599 respondents of this survey and to UC Santa Cruz Senior Intern Gamai Gregory for taking on this project.
View the survey results at

Websites Worth Visiting
Annie's Organic Root 4 Kids is giving away a farm to school program or garden. Share your story of how your program inspires kids to dig veggies.

Farm Based Education Association supports the work of educators and administrators providing public access to their productive working farms. Californians join the CA Network!

Cornell's Garden-Based Learning provides educators with inspiring, research-based gardening resources. Lots of great lesson ideas and assessment tools.

Promise of Place a center for Place-based learning and community engagement.

Food Safety Music Videos cute, corny, and witty - these music videos by Dr. Carl Winter of UC Davis make teaching about food safety fun. The Sneeze is another great video to teach about how germs spread.

Meet Allison O'Sullivan - Life Lab Garden Educator
We like Allison so much we thought you might liked to get to know her too. Read Allison's staff bio.

Register for Day Camps
Come join us at Life Lab for an exciting season of all-new Garden Day Camps for 4-14 year olds at the Life Lab Garden Classroom.

New this year at camp:

  • Early-care and after-care!
  • Expanded Garden Sprouts Camp!

Visit our camp page to learn more.

Life Lab in the News
Since our last newsletter in December 2010, Life Lab has been publically recognized in the following ways:
  • “Food, What?!” Strawberry Blast Serves Hundreds of Teens, covered by Santa Cruz Weekly, The Patch and others
  • City of Santa Cruz declares May 1 as Garden Classroom Day
  • "Food, What?!" received the Wellness Award from the Santa Cruz Education Foundation and a certificate of recognition from two California State Legislators
  • Santa Cruz NEXT awarded "Food, What?!" director Doron Comechero a Nextie Award for people who put big ideas into action
  • The GoodTimes highlighted "Food,What?!" youth Able John in a cover story of 5 inspiring youth.
View these and thirty more years of press and accolades for Life Lab - Life Lab in the News

Support Life Lab
Donate if you can. Learn other ways to support us, like our wish list:

Donate to Life Lab
Life Lab's Wish list
  • Passenger van
  • Irrigation supplies
  • Large pump coffee thermos
  • Shovels, garden forks, digging spades, hula hoes
  • Easy-up shade structures
  • Picnic tables
  • Firewood
  • Wild bird seed
  • Piezo start propane range (like the kind in RV's)
  • Lap top computer (2007 or newer)
  • Digital SLR camera
  • Digital Video camera
  • Chicken feed
  • Frequent flier miles
  • Wood box fruit crate
  • Caste iron griddle
  • Caste iron pans

Vote for Life Lab
Help Life Lab be a recipient of New Leaf Community Market's EnviroToken Program. Vote online it takes less than a minute! If we are selected shoppers with reusable grocery bags receive 10 cent tokens to donate to organizations. We have been an EnviroToken organization in the past and it was great. Help us get back on the list!

Events and Workshops
Summer Day Camps - Register for camp before it is too late.

Educator Workshop - The Growing Classroom: An Introduction to Garden-Based Learning. New summer date added August 13-14, 2011.

Have a Beer for Life Lab at the Santa Cruz Mountain Brewerey - Mark your calendar for June 16th. View and share this refreshing announcement

Check Us Out!

Find us on Facebook
Find Us on Facebook
See what we are sharing, you don't have to be a member.

We've got a lot of videos to show you!

Have you seen our
Chicken Cam?

Grants for Garden Projects
The California School Garden Network has a great list of grants and resources for rasing funds.

 Thanks For Your Support at our May Day
Benefit Brunch
For the hundred plus folks who attended our May Day Benefit Brunch we extend a big THANK YOU! It was great to share the magic the Life Lab Programs create and receive your support.

May Day Brunch 2011
Click to view event photos
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