Mutual support: Farmers and Ola Brew work together to create local products

Hala Tree Farm strips and bags the leaves from their pruned branches for delivery to Ola for tea. (Courtesy Photo/
Jesse Rosenthal delighted Jean Trueman when he served her the tangelo cider from her farm at the Ola tap room. (Scott Mandel/Courtesy Photo)
Derek Pittman has been involved with Ola since the beginning and was a willing participant in the tangelo harvest. (Chris Widden/Special to West Hawaii Today)
The loaded tangelo tree at Jean and Scott’s farm was ripe for picking before Ola came to harvest. (Chris Widden/Special to West Hawaii Today)
Some of Doug Pittman’s turmeric is used by Ola for their healthy and tasty beverages. (Sabina Pittman/Special to West Hawaii Today)
Jean Orlowski walks his organic coffee farm regularly to check on the health of his trees. (Courtesy Photo)
Doug Pittman sells a lot of his red dragon fruit to Ola Brew. (Courtesy Photo/
Ola CEO Brett Jacobson participated in the tangelo harvest at Jean and Scott’s farm. (Chris Widden/Special to West Hawaii Today)

I first heard about Hawaiian Ola when my friend Doug Pittman, from Kona Hawk Farm, told me about his son Derek’s involvement in a new company that was buying local noni fruit to use in an energy drink. When Derek’s California school buddy, Brett Jacobson visited Kona and Doug’s farm in 2010, Brett decided to buy 8 acres down Milolii Road in the Hoopuloa Farm Lots.