This series of feature stories highlights those in the Trafalgar community during this time of isolation. We discuss what they’re currently up to, what their isolation experience has been and how they’re getting through.
In Conversation with Nida Kartavicius, Parent to Ieva, Class of 2025
Looking for more land and a more peaceful lifestyle, Nida and her husband, Tadas, left their Mississauga home three years ago and went to look at a property in Newtonville, Ontario. They both immediately fell in love with it – Tadas, who wanted to start his own farm, saw potential to grow vegetables and produce, so without much hesitation they purchased it!
With two children at the time in their 20s and Ieva who was 10, the decision to move also came with a decision to change schools for Ieva. Similar to their experience purchasing the farm, Trafalgar was the only school they looked at and it was a great fit right from the start. While Ieva misses her friends from her old town, she loves living on the farm and has loved her first two years at Traf.
During the first year of farm life, Nida and Tadas experimented with a small kitchen garden to see how the soil would do. In the second year they upscaled their planting, crops and farm plans to launch Sunset Hills Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). The summer of 2019 they delivered weekly subscription boxes filled with their locally-grown produce all over the GTA. This will be their second summer in business and they’re hopeful to start delivering to customers by late May, early June (weather dependent!).
“It’s funny,” says Nida. “COVID-19 really hasn’t affected us yet.” That’s because their day-to-day operations are already socially distanced by living on a small farm. Nida’s also doing her day job for the Clarington Library from home and Ieva is home doing Distance Learning, which have been the biggest changes.
“We’re very lucky in that way, we can go outside without thinking about running into people, it’s been really nice,” says Nida.
Another positive in this situation has been an increase in inquiries around their service. “People are much more attuned to where their food is coming from,” says Nida. “They want to know where it’s grown and how it’s getting to their homes. Being a local grower and a business that is based on delivering to doorsteps, I think people are more interested in our service now.”
While Tadas has a grasp on the farming aspect of their CSA, owning and marketing a business is all new to Nida, who is a teacher by trade. She’s been enjoying living in her new city, transitioning her daughter to a new school and learning a brand new set of skills to make the business successful. As a member of our Trafalgar community, it’s amazing to see such a wonderful business begin here in the Durham Region and we look forward to seeing it grow, alongside Ieva, as she makes her way through school!
Interested in being featured?
If you would like to share your story, highlight your business, share your isolation experience or some words of wisdom with our students, please reach out any time to our Alumnae Relations Officer, Sarah Harries-Taylor.
Support Trafalgar businesses:
If you want to explore and support some amazing businesses owned and operated by members of the Trafalgar community, check out our Business Directory where you’ll find Nida and Tadas’ contact information and so many more successful operations worthy of all of our support!