Folk Farm

Imagine a world where all children are cared for, inspired by the natural world and comfortable in their own skin.

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Folk Farm Educational Program

Due to the emerging need in our community for holistic young childhood education, especially one that encourages the inherent individuality, beauty and the irreplaceable experience of childhood in the natural world, we offer Folk Farm: an educational program for ages 2.5-6 years at Elk Run Farm, our homestead and demonstration site. 

Education in Nature

Marissa Pulaski, the lead teacher and founder of Folk Farm, believes that education is a key component in the evolution of humanity, and is most impactful through the modality of nature based learning. As we build a healthy relationship to the Earth, we innately build qualities of resilience.

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The Model

This model of education is inspired by the Waldkindergartens and Forest Schools of Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Finland, where children spend the early years of their education in entirely outdoor settings. All of Folk Farm classes are held outside, rain or shine. Encouraging an understanding of leadership, the students lead with their desires to spend time with farm animals, collect eggs, hike, harvest and cook from the gardens, sing, and create imaginative worlds for their minds to ignite. Practicing embodiment, clear speech and consistent responsibilities are pillars within this system.

Educators

Marissa Pulaski
Founder and Program Director

As a graduate of Environmental Studies and the Psychology of Health and Healing at Naropa University, Marissa is passionate about igniting the innate human-earth connection within herself and others. A teacher with many hats, she runs the Folk Farm Educational Program at Elk Run, encouraging play and the importance of intuition for our youth. A trained Doula, folk herbalist, and cultural advocate, Marissa is driven to curate systemic change through the lens of environmental justice.  She believes that recharging traditional culture begins with uplifting women and our right to be in relationship with earth based practices inside of equitable economic systems. 

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Jessica Walters

Assistant Director & Lead Educator

 

Certified as an Early Childhood Educator with Colorado Office of Early Childhood, Jessica has been teaching children ages 1-8 for seven years and has been a part of the Folk Farm Family since 2021. She received her B.S. in Human Development from the University of California San Diego and is a lifelong student of regenerative child raising practices.

 

She is most passionate about social emotional development and critical thinking, which is perfectly complemented by the Forest School model at Folk Farm in our authentic relationships building, open exploration of the land, ability to recognize and follow curiosity, and the resiliency that comes with being in relationship with the earth.

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Philana Hutchison

Assistant Educator

Philana attended Waldorf education from Kindergarten through High School, and continues to embrace the philosophies, woven with cycles and celebrations. 

She began working in childcare at age 12, with lifetime service including being a Kindergarten teacher’s helper, working as a camp counselor for the Colorado Youth Program (outdoor education program), holding the position of Handwork and Arts teacher at the Trinity Waldorf School in Idaho, and volunteering as an English teacher at Casa Xalteva in Granada, Nicaragua. 

She has studied at Front Range Community College, Sunrise Ranch, the Institute of Integrated Nutrition and the School of Ecstatic Awakening, with a consistent focus on holistic health, earth tending and creative expression. She studies Violin and Flute, and has enjoyed bringing her love of music to the students of Elk Run Farm School.

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Rachael Scala

Assistant Educator

 

Rachael is an up-cycling artist, locavore chef, social permaculturalist, homesteader, and mountain athlete. Growing up in the high desert of Reno, NV, water sanctity, food security, and art for empowerment were at the forefront of her community and family values. She cultivates her lifelong mission of fostering a deeper connection to nature and all of its creatures through education, food, and expression. Drawing from a diverse collective of knowledge, she seeks to embody and support a framework for humanity to coexist harmoniously and restore our role as stewards of nature. She is active in the community as a freelance landscape gardener, Colorado licensed substitute teacher, Boulder Permaculture instructor, and mixed media artist.