About Wardwell Farm

Our Story

Founded in 2021 by teacher, mother, farmer and community-gatherer Erin Combs, the Wardwell Farm effort began as a concept to offer lightly structured nature, garden, art and farm-inspired education for kids on Bainbridge Island, Washington. As the Wardwell network grew, the partnerships and beautiful connections blossomed;  bringing Rachel Knudson and Scrappy Art Lab onto the farm. Soon, a coalition of like-minded educators, families, farmers, chefs, and artists joined the effort, working closely with our community to create a comfortable and welcoming environment on our 7.5 acre property. 

Today, Wardwell Farm serves as a beautiful and creative space to host workshops and special seasonal events for all ages; to play with kids in the forest, garden and art studio during our youth-focussed camps; to explore with young children during our Montessori-inspired programming; or to simply gather eggs from our hens or stroll through the trails alongside our playful goats.  Our light-hearted curriculum offers our community experiential learning opportunities that deepen their relationship with nature, gardening, art and animals, and develop their agency to affect change in their own lives and in their communities.

Our Mission

Wardwell Farm is a non-profit organization designed to build and share a local garden, farm and nature-inspired curriculum that connects our community of all ages and abilities to a creative coalition of committed educators, families, farmers, cooks, and artists all working towards promoting a healthful life, rooted in nature.

Community Outreach

Goals for Wardwell Farm include community outreach via the local schools systems on Bainbridge Island in the form of field trips, after school programs and Special Education focused workshops and programming.

Currently, Wardwell is a weekly host to the members of the Bainbridge Island Special Need Foundation, Stephen’s House.  It is a wonderful opportunity for the members to get their hands in the dirt, interact with the animals, walk in nature and spend time in our re-use art studio space on colder days.  

Wardwell is also host to our local Bainbridge Island School District Adult Living Program friends who are finding their way in the employment world as a piece of their High School careers.  Members are welcome to try their skills in the garden, in the forest, and helping out around the farm each week as they build upon their resumes.  

Meet The Wardwell Team

Farm Owner / Co-Director / Program Facilitator & Administrator

Erin began her work as a gardener in 1995 at her alma mater in the Mount Holyoke greenhouse and then continued expanding her garden knowledge and career in New York City when she began her own Design/Build gardening company in Brooklyn. Her love of gardening and teaching transformed a rundown gardening space in Fairfield County, CT to create an educational hub for the community; The Potting Shed continues to offer extensive programming, events and workshops for the town of Rowayton and beyond.

Erin is new to the Pacific Northwest and recently had the opportunity to work in the Special Education space in both Blakely and Ordway Elementary Schools, offering her the chance to connect with a wonderful team of teachers and community members. 

Her dreams for the farm include the building out of multi-use spaces to gather around music and homegrown food and make the farm available for the island’s diverse community groups, school field trips, health-minded events and wellness workshops. 

Co-Director / Creative Re-use Educator / Program Facilitator & Administrator

Rachel Knudson has been an arts educator and reuse activist for most of her adult life. She has lived in the Midwest, Oregon, California and now Washington since 2015. She trained as a preschool caregiver under the Reggio Emilia approach in Berkeley, CA. Rachel is the founder of Sticky Art Lab in Berkeley (2011), and Scrappy Art Lab on Bainbridge Island (2019) which is now located on Wardwell Farm.

Rachel’s work is rooted in creating programs for reusing everyday materials as a way of staying playful, being open to new outcomes, building confidence, and keeping usable items out of the landfill. She has worked with infants, toddlers, school-aged children and adult participants. She also has a background in translating Spanish literature, theater, design, illustration and writing. She has two adult children, loves to hike, bike, dance, garden, and make and eat healthy food. Rachel is thrilled to have found a new home for Scrappy Art Lab and to be collaborating with Wardwell Farm!

Lauren Griffin

Montessori Guide

I am excited to be a part of this epic team, children included. I have Montessori international certification as a guide for ages 2 1/2- 6. I also have a background in theater, I love animals and also spending time outdoors.

Calvin Conard

Teen Guide

I am a 7th grader at Woodward Middle School. I love soccer and basketball and playing with kids! I have been a part of the Wardwell Family for quite a while and I love it! Can't wait for summer camp!

Cait Gee

Teen Guide

I am a junior at Bainbridge High School. I have been a part of the Wardwell Farm family since the beginning. I have made so many friends here at the Farm. Looking forward to this next year of camp.

Talia Esarey

Teen Guide

I’m a senior at Bainbridge High School. I love hiking, skiing, sailing, and ceramics. I plan to eventually become a social studies teacher. I enjoy the sense of curiosity and small delights I get from working with kids!

Meet The Herd

above: Diego; below: Thor

above: Ziggy; below: Harvey

above: Dusty; below: Lavender

above: the flock; below: chicks!

Experience the farm

Explore the site! We look forward to seeing you on the farm soon!