Back Then - A Quick Look Back

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Since 1998, our Upside of Downs non-profit 501(c)3 charitable organization has been working, growing, gathering, and sharing the Upside of life! Much like farmers do when they share the bounty from their bit of earth.

Back in 1998 a small group of parents just beginning their journey with their young babies born with Down syndrome found each other. The parents along with their babies gathered in each others' homes to share their ups and their downs in taking care of their little ones. The small group called itself the Upside of Downs.

From its humble beginnings to present day, the Upside of Downs has held fast to its mission:

“Be of service to those we love who happen to have special needs and be of service to others who are on a similar journey”.

The inaugural project of the Upside of Downs was the production and distribution of a small paperback guide and resource book, "Bright Horizons - the Upside of Down Syndrome." Presented in it, in a real-parent-to-real-parent, easily digested way, were up-to-date facts and general information about babies with Down syndrome along with useful, easily accessed resources the little group had corralled. Back then in the 1990's those things were a bit hard to find. The information and support were out there, somewhere, finding them though was a haphazard, time-consuming ordeal. Our little group felt that information, support, and help should be easy to come by, easy to find; parents of newborns simply don't have time to do research. We felt all parents, all families, facing Down syndrome should have the upside, the hope, and the bright future of what they were facing in hand and in mind from the very start.

And so the little book, "Bright Horizons," was born! And distributed free of charge. The Upside of Downs' inaugural project resulted in thousands of these little paperback books in the hands of new parents, in their "new parent packets," as the little families were being discharged from the hospital to begin their journey on a road less traveled.

AND NOW - Rooted and blooming on a little farm with a big mission

And now, over two decades later, the Upside of Downs, still committed to its mission of sharing first-hand-hands-on, bright horizon experiences, has moved its headquarters and operations to a farm in Southern California, our farm.

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The move to the farm was made at the very beginning of the worldwide pandemic - in the spring of that most unusual of years - 2020. Getting underway in the everything-was-closed-down era proved challenging, but somehow someway the horizon remained bright. Like the farm itself, the name Mulberry Lane Farm just bloomed and blossomed right before our very eyes!

Ron and Karen Meier and their two youngest sons Steve and Tom, in their 20s now, invite you all on a virtual tour of Mulberry Lane Farm. A place where vegetables, fruit, and spirits are raised; a place where peace and purpose are harvested daily; a place where "uh uh no way" turns into "I GOT THIS!"

UP ON THE FARM - hands-on, on-site agricultural education experiences for local special needs adults enrolled in various Ventura County Adult Day Programs. See details of the Up on the Farm program here.

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Bright Horizon Seeds

BRIGHT HORIZON SEEDS - from harvesting to gleaning to cleaning to counting and measuring, our special seed crew works hard to offer you various seeds from fruits, flowers, and vegetables grown on Mulberry Lane Farm.

FARMER'S MARKET FARM STAND The Mulberry Lane Farm made its very first appearance at a local Farmers' Market on the 4th July of 2020! Our stand can usually be found at the Farmers' Market at The Oaks Mall in Thousand Oaks, CA on Thursdays from 12pm - 5pm. We are also at the Camarillo Farmers' Market at 2220 Ventura Blvd., Camarillo, CA, on Saturdays from 8 AM - Noon. Bananas, apples, papaya, finger limes, lemons, cucumbers, oranges, quince, carob, capers, basil, bay leaves, lemon verbena, and more!

Mulberry Lane Farm.

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