Meet Jessica Kavanaugh and John Pattison
- Co-founders, Bright Farm
- Expertise: Vegetable & bedding plant productions, composting system, orchard management, poultry production, market garden sales
Jessica and John's Story
Jessica and John met in Calgary while practicing yoga at the Bodhi Tree yoga centre. Through their study of yoga, they strive to learn ways to be and act with their bodies and minds. Wanting to add to that a way of being and acting beyond themselves, with other people and the earth, they became drawn to permaculture, and specifically the growing community forming around Verge.
Jessica and John decided to take their Verge PDC’s along with a composting course with Doug Weatherbee (The Soil Doctor). John apprenticed with Verge for a season and they both attended as many informal courses on community and networking as they could (cob oven pizza nights!) From their gained experiences, Jessica and John found that yoga and meditation practices truly shine when one comes to them well-nourished and grounded. This naturally connected to good food and good community. Exploring that linkage, Jessica and John decided to try small scale farming as a way of getting back to the basics and embedding into a community. Jumping into the deep end, Jessica and John quit their jobs and found an apprenticeship for a full season at an established organic farm on the West Coast, and from there they found land that was prime for leasing. Currently, they are coming up on their fourth year of being their own bosses, working outside, and growing healthy food for their local community.
About Bright Farm
Bright Farm is a ten-acre farm located on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. The land was used by some of the first homesteads on the island and has a rich history of agricultural production, containing a two-acre fruit tree orchard and over 300 varieties of rare and heritage apples, pears, plums, and cherries. Jessica and John met Charlie Eagle, the farm’s current owner, as he was moving into retirement. Choosing to lease the land (currently a much more accessible option than buying), Jessica and John’s vision for Bright Farm was quickly realized. The land was already home to a well-established market garden, complete with three hoop houses, a covered washing station with stainless steel counters and sinks, plus a walk-in cooler. Bright Farm was able to hit the ground running and Jessica and John haven’t looked back since.
Bright Farm emphasizes effective water management and the building of soil fertility. Jessica and John employ mulches, drip irrigation, and low or no tillage practices and tools, including tarps and broadforks. Most crops are transplanted to reduce additional tilling. Bright Farm produces their own worm castings to ensure transplant health and has a flock of 50-100 chickens throughout the year to provide sufficient manure for John’s thermophilic composting system, the main source of fertility input for the farm. While the piles are primarily created from materials on-site, Bright Farm does occasional tap into local waste streams to include materials like spent coffee grounds and wood chips.
Bright Farm strives to create a balance, diverse, and abundant garden that nourishes nature, self, and community.
Interested in Jessica and John's work on Salt Spring?
Phone Number: 250-538-8893
Email: farmerjessica84(at)gmail.com or john.pattison(at)gmail.com