Our Ohana Story
In 2015 we realized, in order to support our son with autism, as he transitioned in to adulthood, we had to make a change. A farm nearby became available and we thought some land, space, and a few farm animals would help him thrive. We moved there and named it "Ohana Farm". Our son, the Disney fan, will tell you "Ohana means family, and family means no one is left behind or forgotten."
On the farm, there happened to be an heirloom apple orchard which wasn't producing fruit. Farm living was a great change for our whole family, and over time, we began to take better care of our orchard. Then, "applemaggeden" began to arrive each fall. There were more apples then we could pick, enjoy, and give away!
We wondered if we could parlay our orchard in to something more meaningful, so a partnership was struck with our son's school, Melmark. Each week in the fall, a number of students and adults with intellectual disabilities come to pick, sort, wash, and assist with the production, and delivery, of our Apple Butter and Apple Cider. They are very proud of their hard work and products! Later we added the business talents of students with Autism from the Hill Top School. They help with researching resources for the supplies we need, helping create business and marketing plans, financial accounting, and selling our products.
There is a meaningful job for every ability!
Odds are you have opportunities in your life and work to include people with intellectual differences/disabilities. Please see our Home Page for resources to help you.