Greetings John, Upcoming events, program updates, educational garden tips and lessons in this issue of the Life Lab Garden Times.
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The Garden Times - Life Lab's Newsletter December 2013
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The Garden Times - December 2013   
In This Issue:

Program Updates

Garden Tips and Educator Resources

Upcoming Events

Happy outdoor teacher

Training Others - Our Impact Defined

We asked the people we've trained this year to describe the impact of our workshops. We were thrilled with the responses.

After attending a Life Lab Workshop...

96% of participants experienced a marked improvement in their motivation to engage students in hands-on, experiential education.
82% of participants installed a new or improved an existing school garden.
96% of participants experienced a marked improvement in their effectiveness in implementing garden-based activities.

Life Lab Workshop participants observed the following in their students...

86% noted marked improvement in their enthusiasm for learning.
84% noted marked improvement in their connection to the environment.
78% noted marked improvement in healthy eating choices.

2013 Adult Education Participants

  • 116 educators attended Garden Classroom Workshops
  • 30 attended a Santa Cruz Area School Food and Garden Tour
  • 627 educators were trained in 17 offsite workshops and presentations
  • Life Lab directly instructed 80 educators at part of the California School Garden Training Program and 617 more were trained via program partners
  • 574 attended our EdWeb Inquiry and Garden Design Webinars and 764 more people viewed them later
  • 157 educators attended onsite custom trainings or tour
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Our Year in Review

In addition to our work with educators, we've also been directly changing the lives of children and youth:

Camps, Field Trips and Environmental Education Interns

186 day campers and 2,800 field trip students learned about caring for the environment, garden-based science, healthy eating, and where food comes from.
45 undergraduate interns became skilled outdoor educators

"Food,What?!" Youth Empowerment Program

60 local at-risk teens participated in our FoodWhat Spring Internship. 24 of the youth were hired into our Summer Job Program, growing food for their community and providing service to local school gardens. 10 of them continued on to the Fall Program to run farm based micro-enterprises
600+ youth participated in one of three community education days (springsummerfall) where they learned about healthy eating and food justice.
400 high school students were part of our new peer-to-peer classroom workshops.

Recipe, Garden Tip and Activity

Pumpkin Bread

Recipe: Pumpkin Tea Cake

Soil Conservation Lesson

Lesson: Soil Erosion and Conservation

Saving Water in the Garden
See how we connect common core in the garden with The Growing Classroom

Common Core and Next Generation Standards Database

Searchable Common Core and Next Generation Standards database for Life Lab's The Growing Classroom activity guide.

View our resources for connecting effective garden lessons with academic standards.
Take the CA School Garden Survey

Take the California School Garden Survey

In collaboration with the California School Garden Network, we are hosting the California School Garden Survey.
Please help to spread the word of this survey via your school garden team and larger networks. Our goal is for every school in California to respond. 
If your school does not have a garden, the survey will take approximately 5 minutes to complete. If your school does have a garden the survey will take approximately 20 minutes to complete.
National School Garden Organization Forum

School Garden Support Organizations Unite -
Join the Forum

Life Lab is a proud founder of the the National School Garden Network which connects organizations and individuals supporting multiple school gardens across district, regional, or state levels.

The network's forum provides a space for school garden professionals to connect and share resources, while its events and workshops carry the conversation to national gatherings. Learn more at

Upcoming Events, Workshops, and Webinars

Garden Classroom Workshops

Discovering the Garden in Early Childhood Education Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Growing Classroom: An Introduction to Garden-Based Learning Thursday-Friday, March 20-21, 2014

Plant It, Grow It, Eat It!: Garden-Enhanced Nutrition Education Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Garden Classroom Camp Registration Opens in February

EdWeb Webinars

Tools to Create Social Change Through Youth Farming and Gardening Presented by Grow Dat Youth Farm and The Food Project - Tuesday, January 7th, 2014 - 1pm
Common Core in the Garden Presented by Life Lab - Tuesday, February 18th, 2014 - 1pm
Regional Support Models for Sustaining School Gardens Presented by Life Lab - Tuesday, March 4th, 2014 - 1pm

Friends of the UCSC Farm and Garden Horticultural Workshops Learn More

Fruit Tree Q&A Session - Saturday, January 4 & 11, 2014
Fruit Trees 101: Basic Fruit Tree Care - Saturday, January 18 & 25, 2014

Basic Pome Fruit Pruning (Apple and Pears) - Saturday, February 1, 2014
Intensive Pome Fruit Pruning (Apple and Pears) - February 8 & 9, 2014
Stone Fruit Pruning Workshop - Saturday, February 15, 2014
Blueberries for the Home Gardener - Saturday, February 22, 2014

Volunteer Workday - Help us rebuild our Kitchen Garden!
Saturday, December 14th, 10am-2pm

Join us at the Garden Classroom to prepare new model garden beds, fill in compost and soil, and most of all have fun!
Bring layers, a hat, sunscreen, gloves, and water! Lunch will be provided.  RSVP Here
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Life Lab is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located at the UC Santa Cruz Farm.

Our federal charitable tax identification number is 94-2778848.