Farm Notes - July 2017
Summer Newsletter 2017
Now available on our website or by mail 

Our Summer 2017 issue of the Friends of the Farm newsletter is now available on the Friends' 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). 

Many visitors came to the Ornamental Gardens for June Blooms, the Friends' celebration of Canada 150. Mary Ann Smythe reports on the event in this issue.  President Judy Dodds thanks the staff of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for their help and support, especially during the build up to Canada 150. She gives special thanks to Michel Falardeau, at his retirement, for all the work he has done for the Farm and the Friends. The ceremonial planting for his project to plant 150 trees at the Shelterbelt is also highlighted in the newsletter.

What about a green roof for the new hospital? Edythe Falconer poses this question as she introduces us to the benefits of this building feature and its popularity in Ottawa and elsewhere.  Also in this newsletter you can go back 150 years and meet the first Minister and Deputy Minister of Agriculture. And you will meet Shari Haas, the Friends' active and successful director of events.  (Photo:  Peony team members in red t-shirts are Kathy McDougall (left), Bill Wegman (centre), Nancy Irving (right) with visitors to the peonies. Photo by Mary Ann Smythe.)

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.

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

Sunday July 9 at 10am - Tree Growth and Pruning

To cut or not to cut: that is the question.
Pruning can be a helpful technique to improve the appearance and extend the life of trees and shrubs.  Timing is important too: both in terms of the age and vigour of the tree and the time of year.  Knowing a bit about how plants grow goes a long way in helping to decide how-and whether-to prune them.  Join us to learn about it as we look at some examples in the Arboretum. The tour leader is Jacob Sheppard.

Sunday July 30 at 10am - What does it mean to be a Native Tree?

Much time and energy is spent trying to control invasive plants, including some trees introduced to eastern Canada. In contrast, populations of a number of "Native" tree species have steadily declined for decades, with long-term conservation an emerging concern. What does it mean when we say a tree is indigenous to a particular region? What about non-native, naturalized, and invasive trees? We will explore these subjects, and the history of tree planting in the Ottawa area, via an interpretive tour of the magnificent and historical tree collection at the Dominion Arboretum. The tour leader is Owen Clarkin

Both tours start at 10am Building 72 in the Arboretum Visit  Arboretum Tree Tours 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.

Victorian Tea in the Arboretum
Sunday July 30 from 2pm to 4pm
(will be cancelled in event of rain)

Classic Tea is served in 'the tea room under the trees' at the Arboretum! This annual event brings out the Victorian flair in all of us. Dress in period garb and enter the Best Hat and Best Costume Contest (Men and Women). Bring a patio chair and listen to live music on the lawn. The Victorian Tea is $13 per person and includes handmade finger sandwiches, scones, and piping hot tea in fine china cups on outdoor tables and chairs beside Building 72 at the CEF Arboretum, just east of the Prince of Wales roundabout. 

Reservations are not required. For more information call 613-230-3276 or email at 

Merivale Shelterbelt
An opportunity to be part of the Farm

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

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 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 are planting new trees and shrubs each year but we need more. 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, 2017, to be included in this year's annual September celebration. For more information please visit the Shelterbelt page.

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

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  Jim Odell 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!

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.