Rhodora Palomar-Fresnedi has twin passions. One is helping people with disabilities (PWDs). She has helped PWDs find jobs in the past, and she wants to continue doing so. She has plenty of ideas, but she wasn’t sure which one to start with.
Her other passion is flowers, growing and arranging them. As luck would have it, she bumped into Mike Caballes, a horticulturist and sunflower expert. Right there she connected the dots: How about a sunflower farm that PWDs can take care of?
Two weeks after meeting Mike, Rhodora started planting seeds in our vacant lot in Lalig, Tiaong, Quezon. She hired two PWDs. Oh, boy, these plants grow fast. 45 days later, the blooms started appearing. What a gorgeous sight! Butterflies and bees came and, at night, fireflies visited, too. People stopped by the farm and bought flowers. Rhodora had more orders than she could fill. She did very well on the first harvest!
Some of you may remember the Kevin Costner movie “Field of Dreams” and its famous line, “If you build it, they will come.” That’s what’s happening …
Now the farm has to be commercially viable, so Rhodora can sustain the employment of the PWDs. She's gearing up for the next phase: a bigger coverage, and even more blooms. People have heard about it; they can’t wait to visit. Mid-February is the best time.
Meanwhile, Rhodora has now 8 PWD employees. Bear in mind: she's not hiring PWDs to grow & sell sunflowers. She's growing & selling sunflowers to hire PWDs.
This is the purpose of Sunshine Farm Philippines: to plant seeds of hope. For PWDs, hope is a job.