Michael Buffett

CHEF FOUNDER / culinary insructor

I was born and raised out east, where my grandfather put me to work in our backyard garden. Covered in mosquito bites at the resilient age of five, I pulled dandelions and other weeds to make room for zucchini, tomatoes, summer squash, and sugar snap peas. I have fond memories of ice tea brewing in the sun on the picnic table and thanks to my grandfather's garden, the house smelled of fresh baking zucchini bread. I suppose growing and cooking have been in my blood as long as I can remember.

 
 
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Blake Bjornson

CULINARY Engineer

Blake has a big family, one who values food and the way it brings people together. Any excuse his family can come up with to enjoy good food, good wine and good company, they will. Dinners were eaten at the table and Sundays were reserved for a big family dinner. His father's love for cooking is what initially sparked his interest in food. Blake has worked at some of the best restaurants in town and recently finished his culinary schooling to become a Red Seal certified professional cook. 

 
 
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Brenda Paterson

Farm Education facilitator

Brenda is our instructor and farm manager of Wise Earth Farm.  She's in charge of eduction development, sales and marketing, quality control, and overseeing all farm production. Originally from North Vancouver, she has been living in the Okanagan Valley for over twenty years.  Brendas' background is in the field of natural medicine and holistic nutrition. A lover of nature and playing in the dirt, farming was a natural fit for her to fall into. Brenda is passionate about regenerative agriculture and has completed her studies in soil microbiology and is in the process of becoming a consultant with Soil Foodweb.  As a consultant, Brenda plans to work with other farmers around the world to improve soil health, system biodiversity, crops' nutrition and yields, and farmers' incomes.

 
 
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Lucie Bardos

Project Coordinator

I fell in love with growing gardens and eating healthy when I started studying permaculture about 6 years ago. Through travelling, meeting people from all walks of life, and studying the human dimensions of sustainability, I have also developed a keen interest in building community. I aim to use my background in research and permaculture to help bring our Start Fresh Project to life.