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Young couple making farming success at Lightbourn Family Farm
  
Sunday, 23 January 2011 15:16

Green Thumb: Michael and Jennifer Lightbourn (right) with their faithful dogs Bailey and Cain amidst some conventionally-grown broccoli. (Tribune photo)You'd swear you were in Barbados or Trinidad instead of The Bahamas. The entrance to the farm was a track road with twelve-foot high sugar cane growing on both sides, an echo of the past splendor of a failed venture.

We are at the Lightbourn Family Farm in Abaco, a few miles south of Marsh Harbour. Members of the Abaco branch of the Horticultural Society of The Bahamas, led by President Anita Knowles, were on a field trip to visit the Lightbourn farm and were particularly interested in intensive vegetable farming techniques.

Our hosts are Michael and Jennifer Lightbourn, young, idealistic and committed. Michael left The Bahamas with his father when he was six years old to live in New York but his love of growing plants was engendered by summer visits to his grandmother, Barbara Lightbourn-Brennan, who had a 5.5-acre spread in British Columbia.

Michael had seven years in the Information Technology business that took him to Florida. There he met and worked with Dean Dekker of Dekker Farms, Fort Pierce, and learned all about intensive farming techniques. It was also there he met and fell in love with his wife Jennifer, who hails from New Jersey.

They started the Lightbourn Family Farm in June 2009 with assistance from Michael's father and uncle, and already four of their ten acres are producing from seven fields. Part of the farm is laid out with vegetable towers but there are conventional tilled areas where the soil looked rich and black in the raised beds.

Photo: Green Thumb: Michael and Jennifer Lightbourn (right) with their faithful dogs Bailey and Cain amidst some conventionally-grown broccoli. (Tribune photo)

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