Our goal is to build a strong community where compassion, health, and an authentic connection to Mother Earth and each other is valued.
Blessing Farm and Forest is located on a residential property in the lower South Hill. Our moving-parts farm play yard is on a 3/4 acre parcel of land with beautiful gardens, fruit trees, wild areas and a permaculture food forest. We have a small flock of friendly chickens, cute, fluffy bunnies, domesticated quail, cats and two adorable miniature fainting goats we care for everyday. The unique, magical Ben Burr forest is only a stone’s throw away where the children spend time hiking, exploring and playing.
Blessing Farm and Forest is an outdoor, mixed-age program that carries a strong focus of rhythm, repetition and reverence. Our goal is to give children the gift of ample unstructured time playing freely outdoors. We want children to develop grit, confidence and independence while at the same time connecting deeply to nature and each other. Through warm, loving relationships between the teachers, students and animals, we strive to foster a strong sense of connection, empathy and compassion for others, including our animal and plant friends.
How do we express this mission in the structure of our program?
- Daily nurturing care of animals, land and gardens
- Ample time and space for children to run, climb and be active. Children build confidence, strength and grace through having enough time to move freely and take risks with their peers.
- Children are supported in their growing independence and competence through daily activities that include real work with real tools. Shovels and rakes are available for digging in the mud pit, raking leaves, shoveling mulch, etc. Seasonal work includes planting seeds, caring for the garden, harvesting from our fruit trees, preparing food, spreading mulch, pulling weeds, moving compost, etc.
- Social relationships are given time and space to grow authentically and organically. With warm, loving guidance from the teachers, children are supported in navigating the complicated work of working together within a group of peers.
- Teacher and children come together each morning in a dynamic and fun circle during which they sing seasonal songs, practice finger plays, play games and experience seasonal movement journeys.
- At Blessing Farm and Forest we value the ancient wisdom of oral story telling as a way to instruct and teach the children through an age-appropriate and organic way. Teachers tell culturally diverse fairy tales and folk tales, nature stories and will often use pedagogical stories to address specific circumstances arising in the class. Often children will hear the story first, watch a puppet story and then act it out after they have learned it by heart.
At Blessing Farm and Forest, we hope to offer our families an opportunity to form a strong community of people who hold similar values. We need connection and community now more than ever!
Meet our teachers
Sommer Blessing, Lead Teacher
Sommer has a unique and wholesome philosophy of education resulting from her diverse life experience. She has gained a broad perspective by traveling the world through WWOOF (Willing Workers On Organic Farms) and also learning from and studying indigenous cultures and indigenous wisdom. Sommer earned a BA in educational and cultural studies through Evergreen State College, and a certificate in Waldorf Teaching from Sound Circle in Seattle. She also holds a certificate in Permaculture Design from Lost Valley in Oregon. Sommer engaged in field work in wildlife biology in Mexico with a focus on ornithology and botany. Sommer has over 10 years of experience caring for and educating children of all ages in a variety of environments including Seattle Tilth Children’s Garden, an urban farm preschool in Seattle, and teaching in the grades program at Windsong Waldorf School in Spokane.
Sommer is a strong believer in the wisdom of Waldorf education and the healing magic of nature and animals. Through her heart-felt connection with plants and animals, she imbues her pedagogy with the magic of her favorite teacher – Mother Nature of course!
Eve Costello, Assistant Teacher
Eve Costello is a writer and crafter drawn into Waldorf education through an assistantship in the Huckleberry Kindergarten classroom at Windsong School in Spokane, WA. Yoga, gardening, and a natural love of seasonal rhythms have informed the continual learning she now engages in with the all-outdoor classes at Blessing Farm and Forest.
Melissa Cotter, Administrative Assistant
Melissa Cotter is an adventure seeker, outdoor lover and mother of a spirited little one. Having an 8 year career as an orthodontic assistant doing bill paying and ordering, Melissa decided to slow down life and become a stay at home mom. It was then she found Blessing Farm and Forest, a beautiful outdoor school for her son. Soon after, an administrative position opened up and it was a perfect fit with her passion for organization, personal finance, and still being connected with her son’s learning experience.