L.I.F.E. Garden Program

L.I.F.E Garden Program

Sowing Seeds of Hope and Possibility

The L.I.F.E. (Lopez Island Farm Education) Garden Program helps K- 12 students build an appreciation for nature, nutrition, community, land stewardship, and the environment. Founded six years ago, L.I.F.E. has exceeded all expectations, maturing to become a fully integrated, inspiring model for schools nationwide. See the brochure

We are proud of our district's being featured in the Association of Washington School Principals  magazine:
Cover-Life on Lopez

Life on Lopez!

Elementary School Program

In the elementary school, our garden teacher uses experiential,students digging in garden garden-based curriculum to teach literacy, social studies, math, and science. Kids regularly head outdoors to plant, hoe, dig, water and weed their vegetable beds, and collect the harvest. Back in the classroom, they prepare a fresh-from-the-garden snack on a mobile cooking cart. Learning the basics of good nutrition and healthy eating come naturally in this class.

Middle School Program

middle school students in gardenStudents in the 6–12 Farm-to-School class grow fresh, organic produce for the school cafeteria from January through June. With the addition of three high tower greenhouse tunnels in 2009, their organic tomatoes, broccoli, beets, turnips, squash, romaine, leaf lettuces, arugula, Asian greens, and bok choy have become a staple of the school lunch menu. Our campus orchard provides apples, cherries, and pears. 

High School Program

High schoolers experience the whole "seed-to-plate" cycle in an student in hoop houseelective class at a nearby fifty-acre biodynamic farm where they prepare soil, plant and transplant crops, and care for the farm's cows, sheep, pigs, and chickens. They learn to make butter, cheese, yogurt, bread, vinegar, and sausage in the farm's kitchen. Additional culinary classes, held in the newly remodeled school kitchen, are popular skill and confidence builders that often lead to careers in food service and the culinary arts.

The Power of L.I.F.E.

From kindergarten through high school, students once accustomed to a regular diet of processed food are learning healthy choices and eating delicious, organic lunches from their own garden beds.

In a companion program called Evening Meals at School, students, families, neighbors, and friends are invited to campus quarterly to enjoy communal, organic, locally grown dinners in the spiffed-up cafeteria. The meals, offered by donation only, are extending the benefits of L.I.F.E. to the whole community. Lopez Locavores sponsor the community meal every quarter. Click here for the latest information.

Lopez Island School's L.I.F.E. Garden Program is also showcased in The Center for Ecoliteracy's new book Smart by Nature as one of twenty innovative K-12 programs across the country that prepares students for a sustainable future. 

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