Shadow Shadow

The Fundamentals of L.I.F.E.

The Lopez Island Farm Education (L.I.F.E.) Farm and Garden Program encourages K- 12 students to learn appreciation for nature, nutrition, community, land stewardship and the environment. Founded on S&S Homestead Farm in 2002, the L.I.F.E. Program has exceeded all expectations, maturing to become a fully integrated, inspiring model for schools nationwide. The program has three focus areas:

The Classroom

Students sow seeds for the garden using indoor lights towers before planting the seedlings outside. Using food as a unifying principle, students engage in experiential learning to gain knowledge in geography, history, literature, math, social studies, art and music. A favorite lesson involves taking the produce students have grown & harvested to prepare healthy recipes using the mobile cooking cart. View the classroom in action.

The Garden and Farm

In the Rishi Environmental Learning Garden, fruit orchard, homeroom and cafeteria beds, and hoop houses, students develop observation skills, engage in applied sciences & mathematics & grow food for the school. The garden inspires and informs studies in music, literature & art. At S&S Homestead Farm, a nearby biodynamic farm that serves as an outdoor classroom, high school students experience theory put into practice. Look at a garden Map or view the garden slideshow.

The Kitchen & Cafeteria

Using produce they have grown and harvested, students prepare meals for the school cafeteria in culinary arts classes. Elementary students eat food they have grown, enjoying healthy snacks such as carrots and broccoli while they wait their turn to eat. All students enjoy healthy, fresh meals every day. View the fruits of our harvest. 

Becoming a model for success

The L.I.F.E. Garden Program is showcased in Smart by Nature – Schooling for Sustainability (University of California Press, 2009), a book by Michael Stone and The Center for Ecoliteracy. Highlighting innovative schools and programs across the country that prepare students for a sustainable future, the book provides strategies for greening campuses, rethinking school food, and transforming schools into model sustainable communities. Smart by Nature is available through bookstores and at

Download a brochure on L.I.F.E. to see how you can get involved.

Programs for Change

Cultivating Change

The L.I.F.E. Garden Program teaches K-12 students how to grow and eat organic, healthy food...

Nourishing Change

Evening Meals at School serve up organic, affordable communal dinners for the whole community...

Demonstrating Change

S&S Homestead Farm demonstrates principles of sustainability and takes a leadership role in educating youth...

Inspiring Change

The Vita Parcours Lopez Island Fitness and Ecology Trail offers a scenic fitness experience for all abilities and ages...

Promoting Change

Local initiatives support cultural diversity, a connected community, and healthy, well-informed individuals...

Healthy Change

Collaborating with a local effort to bring clean water to a village in Ethiopia with the Water for Anasi project...