Vinegar Flats Farm School
Vinegar Flats Farm School is reopening for the 2021-2022 school year!
To learn more, visit our General Enrollment Information page.
We are privileged to partner with Vinegar Flats Farm (formerly Urban Eden Farm) to provide a unique learning experience for children ages 3-6. Vinegar Flats Farm sits on 40 acres above Latah Creek in the Vinegar Flats neighborhood, only 5 minutes from downtown Spokane. Their mission is to grow sustainable, tasty, and beautiful food that is truly local and provide produce for local restaurants, farmers markets, and CSA customers. It is a lovely quiet setting that includes wild spots for exploring native flora and fauna as well as the large cultivated vegetable beds, running stream and more. Tarawyn Waters manages the farm and has been wonderfully welcoming and engaging with our children. We can’t wait to see how next year’s Farm School class engages with the farmers, the land, and rhythms of the growing seasons.
Farm school was developed out of the forest kindergarten model, where free play outdoors forms the basis for children’s learning experiences and makes up the largest part of their day. There are limited options for play and nature based early learning in Spokane and we seek to be a part of changing that by helping children develop a deeper awareness of the growing seasons and their food sources.
Children who attend our program experience:
– Small, inclusive circles with a 1:5 teacher to child ratio
– An approach to education that honors the whole child
– Loving guidance and support from our teachers
– An awareness and appreciation for the natural world
– The creation of a childhood landscape that is rich and memorable
– Freedom to create and direct their own learning and interests
– Ample time for play in a safe and loving environment
– A sense of belonging and community
Program Details (2021-2022)
AGES: 3-6. Children must be age 3 by September 1st (2021) of the school year. Children who turn 7 before June 1st (2022) of the school year are not eligible to enroll.
STUDENT-TO-TEACHER RATIO: 5:1
CLASS SIZE: 10 children
PROGRAM OPTIONS: Tuesday/Thursday
REGISTRATION FEE: $100 per child
Our mixed ages approach benefits children in many ways and helps us build a community that models the love and care which is more naturally in sync with how children learn.
Our program includes two snacks; a warm and hearty, organic snack and in-season fruits and vegetables.
We follow the Spokane Public School District’s calendar for closures, holidays, and vacation schedules.
We know that providing the best quality education for your child represents a financial commitment. We also believe that every child and family, regardless of economic status or circumstance, should have equal access to our programs and services. If you would like to apply for financial assistance, please contact our board treasurer at Treasurer@greenplaynw.org. All information we receive will be completely confidential.
Q & A
Q: What curriculum does our farm school use?
A: We play-based early childhood program committed to helping families raise happy, healthy, and capable children. We use an emergent curriculum to support individual and group learning processes, allowing for our activities and agenda to be interest-led and child-driven. We are equally inspired by the traditions of Waldorf and Reggio Emilia; protecting the senses, promoting beauty and reverence, using the environment as our 3rd teacher, and viewing children as competent, capable, and creative learners.
Q: Will my child be outside the whole time?
A: Yes! We are a full nature-immersion program so we will be spending all of our time outside, rain or shine. In the winter months, we will have access to a fire-pit for warmth and cooking.
Q: Is snack/lunch provided?
A: We provide a snack each day and invite children to participate. Examples of our snack include organic steamed brown rice with sesame seeds and soy sauce, cinnamon oatmeal, or vegetable soup along with an herbal tea. Throughout the year, we may also prepare baked potatoes, warm apple sauce, homemade bread and muffins, and eat local berries, fruits, and veggies when they are available. Snack is served family style, and all children have a chance to participate in the set-up, clean-up, and washing of dishes.
Q: What kind of equipment/clothing must my child bring?
A: All registered families will be given a seasonal gear list. It is imperative that children come to school prepared for the weather so that they are able to spend all of their energy on playing and learning, and less on trying to stay warm and dry.
Q: What does a mixed age group look like?
A: Mixed age groupings provide unique opportunities for children to learn and grow as part of a home-like community. We engage 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds according to their age and abilities, while they imitate the mood, gestures and work of our teachers (and their older friends). Our 5 and 6-year-olds develop the independence and sense of responsibility necessary to become leaders in the class, while also working on extended projects and goals.
Q: Is before and after school care provided?
A: At this time, we are unable to offer extended care to children in our program. However, we realize there is a great need for full-day care, especially for our working families, and hope to add this service as our program grows.
Q: Can parents participate and/or volunteer?
A: Yes! We welcome parents and community volunteers to participate in all aspects of our programming. We appreciate the talent, enthusiasm, and loving presence of parents in our community who are willing to share their work and wisdom with us. Volunteering can take on many forms – helping us reach out to new families, staffing our school booth at community events, sharing musical and artistic talents with our students, providing leadership for special events.
Q: Does your program incorporate religious teachings?
A: No. However, we do believe that all humans (and all living things) exist as part of a spiritual dimension and are deeply connected. Our program emphasizes peace, thankfulness, and respect for self, others, and the natural world.