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

Memberships and Donations

Memberships and donations are necessary for the Friends of the Farm to continue and to do projects.

Donations may be mailed to:
Friends of the Farm,
PO Box 265,
Stn Central,
C1A 7K4

New Friend and Renewal Memberships are welcome and appreiciated.
These funds go directly to supporting the Farm!

$10 – Single
$15 – Family

Mail a cheque made out to “Friends of the Farm(PEI)” to

Friends of the Farm PEI c/o LL Howard
16 Barrymore Court
Charlottetown, PEI
C1A 8C6

Please include your mailing address, phone number and email address:


Use Interact E-transfer to:

Should you choose e-transfer, please contact Laura Lee Howard, Chair Membership, with your mailing address, telephone number and email address at

Thank you for your support.

Clean Up the Farm Day 2022

Saturday, May 14, 2022 am

Please gather behind Ravenwood.

Come and enjoy a walk around the Experimental Farm and as we gather the litter from the winter.  

This is an annual project of the Friends of the Farm and all help is appreciated.  

We coincide the date with the WI Roadside Clean Up Day.

2021 Crown Garden

Our Crown Garden is beautiful.

Thanks to Agriculture Canada for their help and support with planting the Garden, and the City of Charlottetown for the Grant that assisted with obtaining with the plants for the Garden.

Awesome Volunteers

Recently two student groups were spotted cleaning up The Farm!

In this photo, Birchwood Junior High School students are cleaning up in memory of their late teacher, Josh Underhay.

The next day, students from The Mount Academy also did some cleanup.

Thank you to these schools and classes!

Building Partnerships: Exploring Nature On PEI

The Friends of the Farm recently held a special evening with guest speaker Dan McAskill.

Dan’s presentation was titled “Building Partnerships: Exploring Nature On PEI.” He began his talk by giving thanks to his many mentors, including Diane Griffin, Kathy Martin, Dr. Ian MacQuarrie, Professor Darryl Guignon, Rev Charlie Cheverie, Dr. Ed Johnson, Dr. Louis Hanic, Dr. Lawson Drake, JP Arsenault, Dr. Stephen Manley, Dr. Doug Sobey and Bill Glen, Geoff Hogan, Scott Makepeace, Dwayne Sabine, David Seeler, Dwaine, Oakley, Ray Cooke, Rosemary Curley, Joy and Cam Finlay and Harry Baglole.

He further outlined several decades of cooperative projects undertaken with Nature PEI, Island Nature Trust, Nature Canada, Hillsborough River Association, Hunters for Conservation, Bald Eagle Festival, Birds Canada and the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation.

Following his presentation, Dan was presented with the Janice Simmonds Award. This award is given annually by the Friends of the Farm, in memory of Janice Simmonds, to an individual or group who have made a significant contribution to the creation, protection, preservation or management of public green spaces. Dan was thanked for his many years of outstanding work.

Nora Jenkins, President, gave the annual report.

The Friends of the Farm continue to be advocates to keep the land known as the Experimental Farm green. This land is owned by Agriculture Canada and is used for crop experimental purposes. The Board communicates with the local Agriculture Canada Manager who is responsible for the Farm. Permissions for requests however, come from Ottawa.

Projects that have been established are :

The Premier’s Grove,
Clean Up the Farm Day,
The Royal Crown Garden,
Public education and,
The Janice Simmonds Award.

The Friends of the Farm ( ) is a group of volunteers who work on behalf of a large membership who wish to see the lands known as “The Experimental Farm” kept green in perpetuity

The members of the Board for 2020-2021

Nora Jenkins, Co-Chair,
Sharon Larter Co-Chair,
Libby Martin, Secretary,
Connie MacKay Carr, Treasurer,
Lane MacLaren,
Laura Lee Howard,
Catherine Hennessey,
Sylvia Poirier,
Linda Thomas,
Valerie Beer,
Lily Gillespie,
Frank Morrison and,
Steve Knechtel.

The New Crown Garden

The Crown Garden is planted with big thanks to Lane and Ron Richard of the Farm for their labour!

The Crown was made possible through funds provided by the City of Charlottetown and Friends of the Farm donors Bert Christie and Ardyth Smith.