Notes of our most recent meeting

Hello Friends of the Farm. Please find below the minutes from the most recent meeting of the Board. 


Friends of the Farm Meeting January 25, 2024

Present: Sharon Larter, President, Valerie Beer, Nora Jenkins, Stephen Knechtel, Deborah Gross, Connie Carr, Frank Morrison, Lily Gillespie, Sylvia Poirier

Future of the Farm

Sharon, Nora and Sylvia met with Sean Casey MP to discuss the possibility that the Experimental Farm might be used to assist the housing situation in Charlottetown. Sean indicated that no movement to develop the Farm could be made without  agreement of First Nations. He indicated that the Federal Government has no intention at this point of making any changes to this 88 acre parcel of land.

Farmers’ Market

Steve indicated that the Farmers Market has been on the Farm property since 1986.The Farmers Market owns their building but they do not own the land the building sits on. As a result, their hands are tied with respect to any expansion.

Crown Garden

The Friends have been planting a Crown garden made up of annuals for several decades. This has meant considerable expense and labor. It was agreed that the Friends should plant an environmentally friendly perennial garden which would eventually require less labor and less water. The City will be approached to ask for funding support for this project as they have in the past. Ron Richard will be consulted for input as to the plantings.


This historic building dates back to the 1820’s and is presently unoccupied. Friends expressed concern for the upkeep and future of the building. A meeting with Lawrence MacAulay MP will be requested to determine what the Federal Government plans are for this building.


Friends has a website which we pay to maintain. Deborah posts letters and pictures and other related information which she also sends out to the membership. Deborah agreed to add individuals and like minded groups to our email list so all can be kept up to date with the activities of the Friends.


It was suggested that Friends might want to consider having the AGM in the spring rather than in November. It was agreed that this timing would be timely for the cleaning up of the Farm as well as the maintenance of the garden. Several names were suggested as possible guest speakers. No decision was made.

Agriculture Canada contact

The current contact is Gary Williamson 902 365 8499

Deborah Gross

Janice Simmonds Award

The Janice Simmonds Award is given annually by the Friends of the Farm to an individual or group in recognition of significant contribution to the creation, protection, preservation, or management of public green spaces on Prince Edward Island.

The Award was named for Janice Simmonds who was chair of the Friends of the Farm and who led with passion to keep the Experimental Farm in Charlottetown as a green space for all to enjoy.

The Award was first given in 2013 to Dr Lloyd MacLeod.  Other recipients were Gary Schneider, Jackie Waddell, Bert Christie, Shirley MacNaughton, Bruce MacNaughton, PEI Women’s Institute, Catherine Hennessey, Dan MacAskill, Island Trails.

The Award will be presented in 2023 at the Friends of the Farm Annual Meeting on November 27 at the Haviland Club.  Everyone is welcome to attend.

The Janice Simmonds Award may be viewed in a display case in the foyer of the Farm Centre.

It was designed by Henry Purdy and crafted by McAskill Woodworking.

Experimental Farm in the News

Valued  Membership, 


The Experimental Farm is back in the news. Page 3 of today’s Guardian, in an article entitled Back and Forth on Options, Mayor Philip Brown suggests working with the Federal Government and First Nations to develop a planned neighborhood at the former experimental farm property in the centre of the city. 

Kate MacQuarrie, our guest speaker and
the Janice Simmonds Award recipient, will be speaking next month on the importance of green space in an urban setting. Given that the Experimental Farm is such an important green space in a densifying Charlottetown, Kate’s presentation is timely indeed. 

We invite you to read the Guardian article, and come to hear Kate MacQuarrie on November 27 at 7pmat the Haviland Club. We encourage you, as well, to stay for the Annual General Meeting. Your input is important 

Friends of the Farm Board