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Meristem Farm

Mercer Island, Washington

SCOPE: Programming, Design

STATUS:
Plan completed 2013

CLIENT:
Seattle Waldorf School

Nature, gardening and farming play an important role in Waldorf education. Preschoolers and Kindergarteners spend hours exploring and playing in nature every day. As children get older they use the farm and garden for nature based crafts and to learn where things come from (grains on the stalk into bread) and to learn the many lessons of math, geography, biology, and botany that are available in a garden, as well as to learn how to garden and make food. Waldorf Schools traditionally have a farm as part of their campus. Johnson+Southerland worked with Seattle Waldorf School to evaluate a piece of property adjacent to their campus for its potential as a working urban farm for the school and a learning farm for the surrounding community. The plan envisions a wide range of experimental and productive gardens: a permaculture food and fungi forest; guilds of willows, dogwoods and bamboos for crafts; berry guilds; terraced growing beds; a greenhouse; goats, chickens and ducks; a greenhouse, community gathering and sharing spaces; capture, reuse and infiltration of rainwater; and indoor and outdoor classrooms; and a library. The school is using the vision plan for discussions with the community and the City officials to develop support for the plan.