Farm Notes - February 2018
February Office Hours
Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 9am-2pm

Office volunteer, Betty-Jean, hard at work.
The Friends of the Farm are exploring new hours of operation at Building 72 in the Arboretum of the Central Experimental Farm.  

As a result we will be temporarily changing our office hours during the month of February. 

We will now be open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9am to 2pm, starting Monday Feb 5 through Friday March 2.

Learn more about the Friends' eventsvolunteering 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 via phone at 613-230-3276, email or stop by in person for a visit during our new office hours. 

Photography Lecture: Beauty on the Farm
Tuesday, March 27 from 7-9pm

Join the Friends of the Farm and award-winning Ottawa photographer 
Ramin Izadpanah on Tuesday, March 27 from 7pm to 9pm
for this exclusive  Beauty on the Farm 
photography lecture.  

Mr. Izadpanah's PowerPoint presentation will include many of his stunning images, sure to amaze and delight, which were captured at the Central Experimental Farm.  Specializing in landscape and nature photography, he has won the Canadian Geographic's 2015 Landscape Category prize and the 2016 Flora-and-Fauna Category prize. He has previously provided a guided photographic tour of the Arboretum.

Lecture takes place at the K.W. Neatby Building, Salons A & B, at 960 Carling Avenue. 
Free admission  but registration is required,  donations gratefully accepted. 

To register email or call (613) 230-3276.

Event Coordinators Needed
Join our team of volunteers

Plant Sale Coordinator Wanted:

The Friends of the Farm requires an event coordinator for their annual  Friends' Plant Sale  which takes place on Sunday, May 13, 2018 from 9am to 1pm.

The coordinator is responsible for the organizing the plant sale, which includes the oversight of vendor registration (January to May), ongoing communications with both the vendors and other plant sale participants, identifying and determining the number of volunteers required, and identifying/assigning the vendor space for the plant sale.  The Plant Sale coordinator will work closely with the experienced plant sale committee   and the volunteer coordinator in determining team needs for the event and scheduling of volunteers. .

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

If you are interested, please send your resume to

Used Book Sale Coordinator Wanted:

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, 2018, from 10 am 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 

'The Foundation for Tomorrow' 
Friends' letter to Minister McKenna

In December of last year, a House of Commons Standing Committee released a Report on Historical Buildings and Sites, Preserving Canada's Heritage: The Foundation for Tomorrow. It recommends the federal government introduce legislation to ensure the government does not take actions that impact on the integrity of national historic sites of Canada and respects the heritage values of Canada's national historic places.

T he Central Experimental Farm (CEF) was designated a National Historic Site in 1997 by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Parks Canada. An Advisory Council was established in 1999 to ensure public participation in the CEF's management and to safeguard the historic site. Despite these, the federal, provincial and municipal governments have made decisions that have given parcels of land of the CEF away for other uses.

The Friends of the Farm have once again  written to the Honourable Catherine McKenna , Minister responsible for heritage sites, following the release of the above mentioned report urging her and the government to strengthen the National Historic Site Act so that the remaining acreage of the CEF is protected from further intrusion. 

Volunteer for 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 Iris 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 enrollment and waiver Volunteer form will soon be 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 Event Coordinators for our Plant and Used Book Sales.  Please contact us at for more event information. 

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 followed by a guest speaker and refreshments. 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.
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 that 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.

To register for this free event, email or call 613-230-3276.

Master Gardener Lectures
The tradition continues

Photo by Judith Cox
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

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 or as a series: $40 Member or $50 Non-Member. 

For more information email or  call 613-230-3276

Volunteer Spotlight  
Over 10,000 hours donated each year
Photo by Polly McColl

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  Christine Banfill 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.

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

Blooming Peonies in Ornamental Gardens
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

Merivale Shelterbelt
 Last opportunity for plaque inscriptions

Pedestrians enjoying the Shelterbelt
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.