Our People

Nathan Klassen, Farmer

Nathan grew up near Rochester, NY, and took every chance he could to be on a farm. In 2010, he graduated from the University of Guelph with a B.Sc. in organic agriculture. In addition to farming, he enjoys competitive square dancing, bicycle touring, and spending time with his family. Starting this farm in 2011 was the fulfilment of a life-long dream.

Victor Klassen, VP, Research

Victor spent several of his teenage years living on a farm, and also worked on a farm for a summer before university. In fact, when he headed to the University of Waterloo for Physics, he was intending to become a farmer after he finished his degree. Instead, he continued on to a Master’s and Ph.D. in Computer Graphics, and was hired by Xerox in Webster, NY upon his graduation. After 22 years, he returned to the Kitchener-Waterloo region, to again live on a farm — this time it’s owned by his son, not leased by his parents. With Nathan recently married, Victor and his wife have moved into town, where they are hosting the Homewood CSA box pickup site.

Victor heads up the farm’s research activities, which at this point are mostly focused on gathering data to help us better understand when to plant different varieties of vegetables if we want them to be ready for market at a certain time. He takes primary responsibility for determining what gets planted when and where - in 2016 there were over 600 plantings, where one planting is a specific quantity of a specific variety planted on a specified date. Victor also handles much of the farm’s accounting. You’ll likely see him at the Uptown Waterloo Market on Thursdays throughout the summer. In 2017, for the first time, that market begins the Thursday before the Victoria Day long weekend.

Jason Vistoli, Assistant Farm Manager

Jason brings to the farm a background in the restaurant industry, in addition to his previous work with other organic gardening projects. He is in his second season at the farm.

Sylvia Hook, Website Design and Communications

Sylvia was born and raised near Rochester, NY. While her brother spent every spare moment on farms, Sylvia was drawn to graphic design and website design. She studied visual art and communications part time at Monroe Community College while still in highschool, and later moved on to the University of Waterloo, where she is studying part-time in her fourth year of the Knowledge Integration program, which focuses on using interdisciplinary collaboration to solve new and challenging problems. In addition to her studies, Sylvia is busy starting Elucidation Design, a freelance graphic design business. In her spare time, Sylvia enjoys cooking, bicycling, and spending time with her husband.

The Farm

Located in Plattsville, Nith Valley Organics is within a half hour drive from Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Guleph and only a block from the scenic Nith River. We are situated on a beautiful 75 acre property including cropland, pasture, hardwood bush, and a stream. In addition to the cropland, there is a 2400 square foot greenhouse for transplant production and season extension. In 2011 we began the process to transition some of the land to Organic, a process which takes three years. While not all of our crops are certified yet, we do use organic production methods and regularly refer to the standards for guidance on all our crops. In 2016, all of our crops except strawberries, carrots, and beets will be certified. We are finally catching up with the farm expansion by transitioning more land and in 2017 we expect to have all our crops certified. If you have a question about how our produce is grown, please do not hesitate to ask.

Last modified: May 12, 2017