Farm Notes - August 2017
Art on the Farm in the Arboretum  
Saturday August 12 from 10am to 4pm
Rain Date: Sunday Aug 13


Friends of the Farm's premier summer event Art on the Farm showcases local and regional artists. There isn't a more beautiful and peaceful setting in Ottawa than under the luxurious canopy of the Arboretum next to Building 72 on the Central Experimental Farm. A wide range of original media is featured including watercolour, acrylic and oil paintings, glass fusion and jewelry, wire works and stained glass, wood and leather, pottery and scroll saw art, and more.

The event is FREE to the public and runs from 10am to 4pm Saturday August 12 with a rain date on Sunday August 13 (10am to 4pm). A silent auction, food, and beverages will also be part of the event. 

If this natural setting is the place for your artwork, please visit information and registration material. For more information, call 613-230-3276 or email

Garden Team Volunteers Needed
Help us make a difference

Friends of the Farm need volunteer gardeners throughout the Ornamental Gardens, Arboretum and Merivale Shelterbelt mornings, Monday through Friday. Students are welcome.

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?

To find out more information go to our Volunteer activities page and check out our enrollment and waiver form to find out what each garden teams does and which days of the week they work.

Forms can be mailed directly to our office or dropped off at Building 72, Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa, ON, K1A 0C6.

Guided Tree Tour of the Arboretum
Explore this urban gem with tour leaders

Sunday August 27 at 10am 
Wood is a miracle material!  It is flexible, strong, light in weight, beautiful in colour and figure, easy to cut or nail or glue, bendable, renewable, biodegradable.  It is useful for building large and long-lasting structures, or for making paper or shopping bags, or car parts or household products.  It can even be burned for energy and is readily available.  But most of all, and beyond all these other qualities, wood comes from trees!  Join us to learn about wood as we take a guided tour in the Arboretum. The tour leaders are Eric Jones and Owen Clarkin .

Trees are well-known for their green leaves that create food and oxygen and turn beautiful colours in the Fall. But what do we know about the other parts of the trees? The bark is furrowed and cracked, the branches dart off in different directions, and the roots are mostly hidden from sight? Come and see how they complete the story of the tree. The tour leader is Roman Popadiouk.

Sunday October 15 at 5pm - new time!
In this workshop we will be exploring how light tells a story in photography of a landscape environment such as the Farm. The leader will help us discover the magic of colour at the peak of Autumn in the Arboretum. Bring along your cameras! The tour leader is Ramin Izadpanah, an award-winning photographer in Ottawa, specializing in landscape and nature pictures. Among other prizes, he has won the Canadian geographic's 2015 Landscape Category prize and the 2016 Flora-and-Fauna Category prize (photo above). He also teaches photography at the Ottawa School of Art. View some of his photography here and on his Facebook page.

All tours start at Building 72 in the Arboretum Although the tours are free and open to the public, please register in advance at 613-230-3276 or Donations to the Friends of the Farm are gratefully accepted during the tour.

Celebrate Canada's 150th with a Good Book
Blooms, For the Love of Trees, and Ottawa's Farm 
Did you know the CEF Ornamental Gardens were selected as one of Canada 150 Garden Experiences and they are a Destination Garden in the Ottawa Garden Promenade?

Want to learn more about Canadian Heritage right right here in the heart of Canada's capital?  Look no further than Ottawa's Central Experimental Farm for inspiration, historical insight, and a profound love of our natural environment. From the enduring blossoms of the Ornamental Gardens, to  the majestic trees of the Arboretum and  rich evolution of research on the Farm, there is something for everyone!

Ottawa's Farm: A History of the Central Experimental Farm, written by Helen Smith, photography by Mary Bramley - $25 + GST

How do you get a copy? Blooms book signing 12-3pm on Sat Aug12 at Indigo Barrhaven
OHS-FCEF Joint Project Update
QR codes now on plaques in the Ornamental Gardens

Celebrating the Role of the Central Experimental Farm
The Ottawa Horticultural Society (OHS) has joined with the Friends of the Farm on a special project to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Confederation and the 125th Anniversary of the OHS.   The project recognizes the importance of hybridization in the development of plants for the Canadian climate and how the Central Experimental Farm played an important part in promoting horticulture in the last hundred years
The first phase of the project recognizes significant achievements in hybridization, and specifically the work of three hybridizers: Isabella Preston (lilacs), Felicitas Svejda (Explorer roses), and A.P. Saunders (peonies).  Plaques recognizing the work of each of them, as well as the importance of hybridization in Canada, have been installed at the pergola in the Ornamental Garden at the Central Experimental Farm. Scan the QR codes with your smartphone for all the details.
A second phase of the project will see a new planting of historical perennials in parts of the Macoun Memorial Garden. Located at the north end of the Ornamental Gardens, this garden was opened in 1936 to commemorate William T. Macoun, Dominion Horticulturist from 1910 until 1933, on the site of his former house. He was also President of the OHS in 1899. This project will be updated later this summer. 
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  Karen Walker 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!

Fall Frenzy 'Wish List'
Donate gift cards, certificates, and baskets

The Friends of the Farm are having their 3 rd  annual  Fall Frenzy Online Silent Auction  this coming November.  This event is gaining popularity and the Friends are seeking your help with donations to this year's auction.

Popular items include many types of  gift cards for grocery stores and restaurants or  gift certificates for services like car cleaning, yoga studio or book purchases. We've also had great success with  gift baskets of any kind as our auction happens in time for gift giving at Christmas.  Due to our membership and associated work with the Ornamental Gardens, anything related to  gardening has also captured the interest of our bidders.
Please visit our Wish List if you are interested in providing a  gift card, gift certificate and/or gift basket  to this event. If you require additional details, please contact us at
Canada 150 Lectures at the CEF
Free monthly lectures by ORDC scientists 

The Ottawa Research and Development Centre  (ORDC) is celebrating Canada 150 with a free monthly lecture series. The ORDC was formerly known as the Eastern Cereal and Oilseed Research Centre (ECORC) on the Central Experimental Farm. Here are the ORDC Canada 150 lecture listings.

The public is invited to attend the free lectures at  K.W. Neatby Building , Salons A/B,  starting at  7:00pm.  Each lecture is about 45 minutes with a question/answer period following the presentation. Free parking is available in the lot beside and spaces around the building. For more information please contact Christine.Poirier@AGR.GC.CA.

Research Open House and Bug Day
Saturday September 9 from 9am to 4pm

Friends of the Farm volunteers will assist AAFC scientists in greeting the public at the Research Open House on the Central Experimental Farm. This is a free educational event open to the public, all ages are welcome. View research displays, scientific instruments and materials, talk to scientists about their research, visit the Vascular Plant Collection, take a greenhouse tour or horse-drawn wagon ride, watch horse-drawn ploughing contests, speak with experts and view specimens from Canada's world famous National Collection of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes, enjoy the specially planted wild pollinator garden and get tips for attracting them to your home garden, and see the beautifully restored Tropical Greenhouse. 

Bug Day 2017 is also happening in the K.W. Neatby Building on the Central Experimental Farm. I nteract with creepy crawlies in the live insect zoo, e njoy aquatic insects displays, g et tips on how to start your own bug collection, g o on a bug collecting expedition, bet on your favourite to win in the always unpredictable cockroach races.   Visitors are encouraged to bring in interesting insects and let the knowledgeable team of bug experts identify them. The  Entomological Society of Ontario, the Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada are sponsoring Bug Day 2017. 

Parking is free in the lots around the Research Greenhouses and the Neatby Building.