Farm Notes - April 2018
Spring Newsletter 2018
Now available on our website or by mail

The Friends' Spring 2018 Newsletter is now available on our  website. Hard copies will soon be delivered to those who indicated on their membership form they wish to receive them by mail (another great reason to become a member).

 Rosybloom crabapples at the Farm.
The spring newsletter issue is all about crabapples - the collection in the Arboretum, the fabulous Rosyblooms along Prince of Wales, the varieties chosen for Canada centennial, and about tips for selecting, growing and cooking with them - recipes included.

There are tributes to Trevor Cole, the last curator of the Arboretum and Ornamental Gardens. We are introduced to the story behind the giant mural now at the K.W. Neatby building. And we meet a volunteer whose behind-the-scenes contribution is essential to the Friends of the Farm.

As usual, there is information on upcoming events such as the Master Gardener lectures and the Arboretum tree tours. 
Volunteer Orientation: Gardens and Events
Saturday April 7 at 9:30am

Help us make a difference! It's time to think about the glorious days of spring and getting out into the garden. What better way to enjoy nature, fresh air, exercise, plant life and contribute to the beauty of the Farm than to join one of the Friends' Garden Teams (such as the Macoun Memorial Garden Team in the photo). Go to our Volunteer activities page for more info on garden team days, times and tasks. 

For those interested in volunteering for gardens and events, join us for a free Volunteer Recruitment Orientation  on Saturday April 7 at 9:30am in Bldg 72 on the Arboretum. For those who are unable to attend the orientation, our 2018 enrolment and waiver Volunteer forms are available to download .

The Friends are also firing up their 2018 Event schedule. If you have the time and are able to help, we would greatly appreciate any assistance you can give with these event activities. W e are specifically looking for an Event Coordinator for our Used Book Sale Please contact us at for more event information. 

Master Gardener Lectures
The tradition
expands with new fall lectures!

Every year the Friends partner with the Master Gardeners of Ottawa Carleton to offer timely and informative presentations. This year's Tuesday night lectures include:

with Rebecca Last

with Judith Cox (photo)

with Julianne Labreche

All presentations are from 7pm to 9pm in Building 72 just east of the Prince of Wales roundabout with free parking.  Lectures can be purchased individually $12 members and $15 non-members.  For more information, email or call 613-230-3276.

NEW this fall - two added lectures!
October 16 Bulbs for Year Round Enjoyment with Mary Reid

November 6  History of English Country House Gardens with Heather Clemenson

2018 Annual General Meeting
Wednesday April 18  from 7pm to 9pm
This year's Annual General Meeting will be held on Wednesday April 18 from 7pm to 9pm. The AGM will begin with a short business meeting including proposed by-law changes, see AGM 2018 letter. This is followed by a guest presentation and refreshments, please register if you plan to attend.

The meeting and presentation will take place in the K.W. Neatby Building at 960 Carling Avenue and Maple Drive on the Central Experimental Farm. Free parking is available in the lot east of the building. Register online now for this free event or call 613-230-3276.
Our speaker will be  Dr. Paul Villeneuve, an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Sciences at Carleton University. His topic is "Environmental Impacts of the Farm." Dr. Villeneuve is an environmental epidemiologist, and his research programs include how access to nature and green space impacts human health.

He will describe research activities relevant to the Central Experimental Farm which include a sampling campaign done by his graduate students (see photo)  who mapped concentrations of air pollution, urban noise and temperature both within the CEF and nearby residential neighbourhoods. Other planned projects include impact of Farm vegetation on these concentrations.

Friends' Plant Sale
Sunday May 13 from 9am to 1pm

Get everything you need for your garden at our spectacular Friends' Plant Sale (formerly known as Rare and Unusual Plant Sale). N ew and returning specialty growers and nursery vendors offer hundreds of beautiful plants. Garden accessory vendors will add that touch of inspiration.

Master Gardeners are once again on hand to answer any gardening questions. The 'plant coat check' service under the Friends' canopy keep you 'hands free'. Drop off your plants at the canopy and when you're done shopping, our volunteers help carry the new treasures to your vehicle.

The sale is located in the K.W. Neatby Building  parking lot  at Maple and Carling Ave. Free admission however any donations to Friends of the Farm are gratefully accepted. A refreshment table with Bridgehead coffee and delicious baked goods will keep you nourished while shopping.  Don't miss this chance to add an unusual plant to your collection, purchase a stunning hanging basket, discover the perfect garden accessory or find the right perennial for your hard-to-grow area.

If you are a plant vendor who would like to participate in this unique event experience, please download the Participant Agreement or ENTENTE DU PARTICIPANT.  

Guided Arboretum Tree Tours
Explore this urban gem with tour leaders

Sunday May 13 at 2pm Tree Identification 101
Our guides help you get started with identification and knowing how to find out more about the trees.  The emerging flowers and leaves of Spring are an added bonus for this tour.  Although the tours are free and open to the public, please register in advance.
Sunday June 10 at 10am  Trees and Damaging Agents

Why do trees usually not live much more than 2 or 3 human lifespans, if lucky? Our guides will explore many damaging agents and other causes of tree mortality via a tour of the Dominion Arboretum. Although the tours are free and open to the public, please register in advance.


All tours start at Building 72 in the Arboretum. Although the tours are free and open to the public, please register in advance on each tree tour website page. Donations to the Friends of the Farm are gratefully accepted during the tour.

WANTED: Used Book Sale Coordinator
Join our team of volunteers

The Friends of the Farm is seeking an event coordinator for their annual   Used Book Sale  which takes place at the Central  
Experimental Farm on Saturday, June 16th and Sunday, June 17th from 10am to 4 pm.

The coordinator will be the main point of contact in organizing the two-day event which includes set-up and take down of the event, identifying the tasks and number of volunteers required and wrap-up activities following the sale. The coordinator will work with an experienced group of volunteers (book sorters and team leaders) to assist in organizing the event.

The position requires good communication and organizational skills, and the ability to work well in a group setting.  Previous volunteer work would be an asset.

If you are interested, please send your resume to 

Call for Plants and Baked Goods
Drop donated materials on Sat May 12

Take stock of your garden this spring and share your extra plant material. The Friends will have a table with donated perennials as part of the Friends' Plant Sale. Plants should be potted (not in bags) and labelled. No house plants please.

We are also looking for "snack size" treats that can be sold to our vendors and visitors. Squares, muffins, cookies, tarts, fudge or any other sweet treat would be perfect for this event.  If possible, it would be appreciated if your goodies are ready to sell in  plastic wrap or sealable baggies.

Please bring your donated plant material and baked goods on Saturday, May 12 from 9am to 11am at Building 72 in the Arboretum just east of the Prince of Wales roundabout.  Thank you all for your continued support in our fundraising efforts!
Volunteer Spotlight  
Over 10,000 hours donated each year

Did you know that Friends' volunteers donate over 10,000 hours every year  to support its mission and activities? Every month a different volunteer is highlighted on the Friends website. We invite you to read the stories of our volunteers such as  Jeannine Lewis our Volunteer of the Month

Previous spotlights are also listed.  Each volunteer has an interesting story to tell and a unique connection and commitment to the Farm. Your efforts are greatly appreciated by the entire community! Thank you.

Merivale Shelterbelt
 Last opportunity for plaque inscriptions

Thousands of trees once marked the northern and western boundaries of the Central Experimental Farm. The Friends of the Farm have been working diligently on the Merivale Shelterbelt to recreate a boundary forest at the western edge of this National Historic Site. It beautifies the surroundings, provides a recreational path, protects the fields from salt and soil erosion, and helps clean the air at the Farm and neighbourhoods nearby.

The project is almost finished, thanks to a major contribution by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, so this year will be the last opportunity to help complete this important project.

Until July 31, 2018 you can donate to this beautification project in the name of someone or something you care about. An inscription on a plaque will acknowledge your contribution. Plaques are on a commemorative wall in the plaza or rest area on the pathway. The wall acknowledges the official opening of the Shelterbelt and pavilion by the Governor-General of Canada in 2005.

Thanks to many generous donors, the Friends' volunteers have planted new trees and shrubs each year.  We have room for one more year's donations. Help us build this beautiful green space and place a personalized inscription to a loved one or a special cause. Donations must be made by July 31, 2018, to be included in the final annual celebration in September 2018. For more information please visit the Shelterbelt page.

Are You a Member? 
Join our mission to protect and preserve the Farm 

Join the Friends of the Farm to influence decision-makers to preserve the integrity of this cherished National Historic Site and its exceptional setting in the heart of Ottawa.

The future of the Farm as we know it is more important than ever. Over the past number of years, there has been continued pressure on research projects and jobs from budgetary constraints. While the core research areas remain, the Farm lands, Dominion Arboretum, Ornamental Gardens and historical buildings still need constant care and protection. If lost, this jewel can never be replaced.

Become a member today and support the Friends' mission  to bring the Arboretum and Ornamental Gardens to their full potential. Membership benefits include  free admission to the  Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, a quarterly newsletter, discounted events, and more

Blooms for your Garden
 For the Love of Trees Companion Book  

Friends of the Farm presents ' Blooms', a book about the Central Experimental Farm's Ornamental Gardens, introducing these heritage plants and the fascinating stories behind their creation. 

Localize your garden this year with made-in-Ottawa flowers, shrubs. By local author, Richard Hinchcliff, this book makes a great gift all year, and is the perfect read to prepare for spring. Cost is $35 plus GST. Take a peek inside for a preview. 

How do you get a copy?  Come to the Friends office in Building 72 weekdays Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays from 9am to 2pm and purchase with cash, cheque, or credit and take it home!  Or purchase it online on our website with a credit card and pick up at the Friends' office in Building 72 or have it shipped to a location of your choice . For local booksellers, please see Blooms.

This set of important works is also available for purchase in the Boutique for $25 each plus GST: For the Love of Trees and also Ottawa's Farm. Need more information? Call 613-230-3276 or  e mail

New Office Hours
Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 9am-2pm

We are open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am to 2pm, until further notice.
Learn more about the Friends' eventsvolunteer and membership opportunities, or check out our assortment of greeting cards and  books by local authors featuring the history of the Farm, Arboretum and Ornamental Gardens.

You can reach us by phone at 613-230-3276, email
or stop by in person for a visit during office hours.