Brightheart Farm is a small, worker-owned, cooperative farm. This means that the people who do the work all share equal ownership of the business. We think that’s pretty cool! And we think our “farm family” is pretty cool too, though, we’ll admit — we’re a little biased. Together, we possess a wide range of skills, talent, perspectives, and life experiences that we use to guide Brightheart toward success.
Michael Paul Barry
Since early childhood, Michael has had a deep interest in the natural world and the connections that tie communities and their environments together. He’s also an avid DIY enthusiast and is on a quest to gain all of the myriad skills that the world has to offer.
When he’s not being a homebody at the farm, Michael works at the local food bank, where he’s committed to issues surrounding resource access. He can also be found occasionally exploring Winston-Salem and surrounding areas trying to make mental maps and discover magical places.
He moved down from the mountain to Brightheart Farm with Tyler in the Summer of 2016, when they vowed to pursue a path that would, above all, be enjoyable. He looks forward to cultivating a relationship with this land and its surrounding community.
Pat is a licensed massage and bodywork therapist who is branching out to work with the body of the Earth herself. He is passionate about veganic agriculture, deep ecology, and designing resilient spaces with people, planet, and wildlife in mind.
A wild bee advocate, Pat’s homemade bee hotels can be found at our farmers’ market booth each week.
Pat first joined the Brightheart family as an economics intern in 2017, and he is constantly learning more about the agricultural side of things since then.
Amy Elizabeth Fitzgerald
Amy Fitzgerald is an artist and educator who has called Winston-Salem home for the past decade.
Born in Charlotte, North Carolina, she received her Masters in Education at Wake Forest University and spent nine years teaching English and creative writing at Reynolds High School. She has now moved on to work part time in elementary after school programs in order to free up her schedule for other creative endeavors.
She serves as a communications coordinator and creative partner at Brightheart Farm, and is preparing to release an album for her current music and design project, Damiyana.
Tyler Davis Sparks
Tyler grew up at Brightheart Farm, before it was called Brightheart and his family called it, simply, “the farm.” And his Dad grew up here too, leading him and his siblings on long walks in the woods, camping, and teaching them about gardening and how to care for chickens. The farm is an incredibly special place for Tyler and he’s deeply grateful to be back here, helping to give this family treasure new life.
Tyler’s professional background is at the intersection of design, technology, and communications, having had the job titles of designer, writer, web master, brand strategist, creative director, self-employed human, and most recently, communications director of Forsyth Futures, a local nonprofit. Tyler loves spending time with friends, hiking, cuddling animals, and making lists.
A part of his heart will always be in Boone. He believes that true love is perfect kindness and that we all deserve it. He believes the world can be whatever we imagine.
My name is Greg Gunter, and I work here at Brightheart Farm. I’ve grown up pretty much my whole life here in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where I’ve also developed a love of agriculture and sustainable development.
I was born in Winston-Salem in 1988 and developed a simple affection for nature just by playing in it my whole life. I would disappear into the woods surrounding my neighborhood nearly everyday in the summers off from school, and catch frogs, build forts, climb trees. A large part of my identity was developed in a relaxed free-form relationship to nature, and once I began to understand the implications of climate change, top soil loss, biodiversity loss and other issues facing modern society, I knew I needed to get involved with changing things.
I’m excited to be part of Brightheart because I believe in our efforts to be an example of a more sustainable and healthy lifestyle on this land.