Farm Notes - October 2017
Fall Newsletter 2017
Now available on website or by mail

Celebrating Canada 150, Eric Jones and Zoe Panchen describe in the Fall newsletter each of the provincial and territorial trees that can be seen in the Arboretum. Judy Dodds, President of the Friends, reviews our projects for Canada 150, and we learn about a century-old tomato that was bred at the Farm.

The health benefits to Ottawa residents from the Farm, in the form of lower air pollution, for example, are presented in a summary of a research project at Carleton University, and the newsletter introduces us to the work at the Farm of environmental research scientist Naveen Patni.

Are the heritage buildings at the Farm that are adjacent to the new hospital site at risk? The Genetics Building is one such building. Richard Hinchcliff describes the building, its place in the heritage landscape and the important poultry research done there.

These are just a few reasons to check out the Fall Newsletter. 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).

150 Trees Dedicated at Shelterbelt
Minister MacAuley and students plant the 150th tree 

The Merivale Shelterbelt was started in 2005 to protect the research fields from salt and soil erosion and to recreate the boundary forest that once included thousands of trees. It is a mix of deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs, and includes a recreation path. Friends' Shelterbelt Team have tended the trees and shrubs for the past 12 years. 

Agriculture Minister MacAulay invited Hawthorne Public School Grade 8 student Thomas Davidson and his classmates to join him in planting a red oak - the official tree of MacAulay's home province of PEI.

MacAulay said he received a letter from Thomas expressing how much he likes trees and thanking the agriculture ministry for operating the Dominion Arboretum, located adjacent to the CEF across Prince of Wales Drive. MacAuley also dedicated a plaque with the names of all Ministers of Agriculture and Prime Ministers in the past 150 years on the Shelterbelt pavilion wall.

With the planting of the 150th tree, the Shelterbelt project is almost complete. This will be the last year the public has the opportunity to contribute. Until July 31, 2018, anyone can donate to this beautification project in the name of someone or something with an inscription on a plaque acknowledging the contribution. For more information, email

Bebb's Oak Status Update
Beloved arboretum oak suffers damage Sept 27

On the same afternoon as the Shelterbelt tree and plaque ceremony, a fierce downburst stormed through Ottawa leaving many without power and damaging over 1400 trees. Among them was the much loved 132 year old Bebb's Oak in the CEF Arboretum along Prince of Wales Drive. It is also known as Ardeth's Tree, named for Ardeth Wood, the 27-year-old Ottawa graduate student who was murdered while riding her bike in the city in 2003.

Damage assessment by Agriculture Canada is ongoing. With one third of the tree's limbs severed from the main trunk, consultations with experts need to investigate if the tree can be saved, how to make it safe for the public to visit, and what to do with wood from the damaged branches. 

The Friends are in contact with arboretum staff on a daily basis and will post updates on our website, Facebook @FCEFOttawa and on Twitter @FCEFOttawa. Login and 'Follow' Friends of the Farm for updates as they happen. We are confident that if the Bebb's Oak can be saved, we will do everything we can to safeguard this iconic and beloved tree for future generations. We plan to offer several options to Agriculture Canada on saving and using the wood to celebrate this magnificent tree and its impact on those who cherish it. Stay tuned.

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

Sunday October 15 at 4:30pm (NOTE 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. Please bring your camera and tripod! 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.

Used Book Drop-off 
Saturday October 22 from 10am to 3pm 

De-cluttering? Re-gifting? Moving? It's time to box up and pass along your used books for a good cause. Many of you have been doing this all year long. Thanks for saving your used books - now mark your calendar! 

The Friends' Used Book Drop-off takes place Saturday October 21 from 10am to 3pm. Our eager volunteers will happily unload your boxes and bags of books.  Please note we do not accept magazines, textbooks or encyclopedias. 

The drive up and drop-off location is  Building 72 just east of the Prince of Wales roundabout. Used books collected will be sold at our annual Used Book Sale in June 2017. Check our 2017 calendar after January 1 for exact dates.

Please be respectful of AAFC property and resist dropping off books at any other time of year.  Thanks for your support!

Annual Non-dinner Event
Popular annual fundraiser is back - until December 31

Please join the Friends for our Annual Non-dinner Event happening right now. 
Not a single person will show up and we will be delighted!
You can help the Friends of the Farm just by staying at home.

By purchasing tickets to this fundraising event that will never take place, you will help the Friends sponsor numerous activities in support of the Ornamental Gardens and the Arboretum on the Central Experimental Farm. 
Individual seats $25.. Couples $50.. Family $100.. Table of Six $150.. Community $500
Your support is greatly appreciated and your donation is tax deductible. 
You can contribute by downloading Annual Non-dinner invitation Non-souper annuel 
and then following the mailing instructions.
Or use PayPal on our website  Donations page.
The fundraiser ends December 31, 2017.

Step into fall and 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 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!

Upcoming Blooms events: October 11 talk at Barrhaven Garden Club

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? 
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  Janet Stephenson 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!

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. 
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.