Atypical Place, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is dedicated to providing farm-based learning for adults and children with cognitive and other developmental disabilities. Our goal is to provide educational and vocational training for our clients that will lead to job opportunities, build self-confidence, and increase independence. While gaining skills, our program participants create products that allow them to give back to their communities.
Learning and working takes place in a fun, relaxed, safe, and nurturing environment for our participants, their families and caregivers. Atypical Place runs its programs at a private working farm, Trabia Farms, near Templeton, on California's Central Coast. Using organic and biodynamic practices, Trabia Farms grows olive trees to produce award-winning extra virgin olive oils. Fruits and vegetables, flowers and herbs grow in and around a Rainbow Garden. All of these areas serve Atypical Place programs, which donate products to county food banks and others in need. Trabia Farms is not open to the public, but only to those participating in programs through Atypical Place.
Trabia Farms is also home to our barnyard animals, who are colorful members of our animal therapy programs. Enjoy sharing in the lives of our miniature donkeys, Honey, Sicily, Arby and Kory, who pull carts around the farm. Kachina and Moorea, our therapy horses, happily give rides around the arena in exchange for a carrot or a good brushing. Our flock of free range chickens will cluck to anyone who will spread their scratch, clean their nesting boxes, or collect their eggs.
At the outdoor Exploratorium, program clients can develop sensory skills as they hide in the playhouse, create music on our FreeNote instruments, discover buried treasures at our Fossil Whale dig site, sit quietly watching over the butterfly garden, listen to birds singing, play on the swings, navigate our plant maze, or just enjoy the views while strolling along the ADA nature trails winding amongst the rocks and ruins we've recreated to echo ancient landscapes.
Participants in our programs learn how to care for the animals, plants, and land. They gain basic agricultural skills, social skills and self confidence through sensory and motor development and relationship building. They give back to their communities by donating the products they create--vegetables to local food banks, along with herb sachets and flower bouquets to local hospitals, convalescent homes, or to fundraise for other nonprofits.
We work with volunteers from local school districts, agencies, local colleges, and community organizations to create mutually beneficial partnerships to serve our participants. For more information, visit our Volunteer page.