Helping seniors enhance their quality of life through participation in organic gardening

Senior Organic Gardeners (SOG) helps seniors develop their own organic gardens in community housing, apartment buildings, community centres and in their own home gardens. The SOG Story began in 2012!

We aim to help seniors to learn and practise gardening skills, to enjoy the harvest at home and with other senior gardeners, to encourage more nutritious diets with more fresh organic produce, to get gentle exercise, and to enjoy the company of other senior gardeners thus avoiding social isolation!

Nora from Clementine Towers loves her garden!
Nora from Clementine Towers loves her garden!
Squirrel-proof wires installed!
Squirrel-proof wires installed!
Syed Hassan with his beautiful tomato!
Syed Hassan with his beautiful tomato!

Our SOG Manager-Organic Gardening Coach works with each location for a 3-year-cycle, offering gardening guidance through workshops and helping gardening committees to sustain the gardening program long term. SOG offers our community partners capacity building workshops (Train-the-Trainer Workshops). SOG is able to assist in finding or buying organic seeds and/or seedlings for the seniors to start planting and caring for gardens. We offer workshops on watering and weeding and other topics as needed and then we all celebrate the harvest season everyone enjoying the fruits of their labours.

Areas where the program assists:
* Train-the-trainer Workshop
* Developing Gardening Committees
* Nutrition workshops
* Information on composting, transplantation and plant care and harvesting
* Horticultural Therapy experiences during the non-growing season

We organize gardening committees so that the gardeners learn to make their own decisions about gardening issues that concern them most and to implement those decisions.

We make every effort to encourage participants of SOG to become involved in COG OSO’s programs such as the Urban Organic Gardening Seminars every spring, the COG OSO Demonstration Garden at the Experimental Farm, organic garden and farm tours during the summer, children’s and family gardening activities – the intergenerational component and the events of Organic Week in September.

In locations where SOG gardens with seniors in community housing or community centres, we offer ‘Train-the-Trainer’ workshops to the leaders in community locations so there is always local help available.

We call programs in the community our Model 1 and programs on private property Model 2.

SOG is a program of Canadian Organic Growers –  the local chapter Ottawa St Lawrence Outaouais. COG National is the headquarters of our national charity located in Ottawa. Senior Organic Gardeners is led by a Leadership Team made up of a Lead Volunteer (Chair), Financials Coordinator, Coordinator of Grants Fundraiser and Administrator. If you are interested in more information and opportunities, please see the following pages, Volunteer Opportunities with Senior Organic Gardeners and Paid Opportunities with Senior Organic Gardeners.

Organic Gardening Resources

  1. Down to Earth E-news – Canadian Organic Growers- Ottawa St Lawrence Outaouais Chapter
  2. The DTE Notebook for the Urban Organic Vegetable and Herb Gardener
  3. The Organic Backyard – COG National
  4. Greta’s Organic Seeds- Greta’s Organic Gardens, 399 River Road, Gloucester, On K1V 1C9 Tel: 613-521-8648  Email: 
  5. Organic Gardening Tips on Youtube from our Garden Coaches.
Senior Organic Gardener

We also believe that effective communication is important for long term sustainability of the gardens. To enable this, we offer a series of brief workshops on various aspects of gardening and also offer language interpretation if needed.

Get in touch if you would like a garden in your backyard today!