September 2020 Susan Kehoe


The last person who ever expected to become a volunteer at the Friends of the Central Experimental Farm is Susan Kehoe. In fact, the retired accountant fully expected to spend the first decade of her post retirement at her newly built home deep in cottage country with her husband and grandkids. Fast forward to a cold and sunny winter morning in early 2019 and Susan is scanning for volunteer opportunities in order to stay busy. The call for volunteers for Friends of the Farm catches her eye. It hits all of the right marks and her passions in life—plants, high tea, books, an artisan event AND gardening. She meets with Donna Pape, the Director of Volunteers at Friends of the Farm, and agrees to become a member of their team. Now that is serendipity!

Susan is the event coordinator for the Art on the Farm event, an annual fundraising event held on the grounds of the Central Experimental Farm at the Arboretum. She, along with a number of volunteers, work the fundraising events (Mother’s Day Plant Sale, the Used Book Sale, the Victorian Tea, and Art on the Farm) all in the name of helping the Friends of the Farm raise funds and public awareness of the importance of the Central Experiment Farm to the Ottawa community.

Susan is also a member (at large) of the Board of Directors for the Friends of the Farm, and helps out on the administrative side where she can. She finds it a rewarding experience to work with the other team volunteers who come from diverse backgrounds and yet all share a common passion and give freely of their time and talents.

“I love to see people passionate about something in life. The fact that I get to spend time with people who are passionate about the same things that I am is the bonus here.”

While the current Covid-19 pandemic has forced the Friends of the Farm to cancel its 2020 fundraising events, Susan is looking forward to getting back to business next year. “Event planning is not unlike organized chaos, and engaging with the many artisans who make our Art on the Farm event successful is a lovely way for me to give back as a volunteer.”

Text and photo provided by Susan Kehoe.