The Senior Organic Gardeners Team

We’d like to introduce you to the leadership team for Senior Organic Gardeners.

Margaret Tourond-Townson, Emeritus Chair of COG OSO and lead SOG
Volunteer. Margaret is a dedicated organic herb gardener and educator in her own right, formerly a school principal and for many years a developer of creative tools for teaching children. She developed the concept for the Senior Organic Gardeners program knowing that these activities can significantly contribute to quality of life for everyone, including seniors. Margaret can be contacted at

Adèle McKay is our SOG Project Manager. She comes to SOG with a B.Sc. in Agriculture from McGill University specializing in environmental biology and the ecological aspects of agriculture. Through the years, she also followed several post baccalaureate courses, including “Horticulture Therapy”, a masters course at Kansas State University ; “Herbal
Medicine”, a certificate program from London, Ontario ; and “Alternative Land-Use Practices”, a course in sustainable agriculture, from the University of Guelph. As a practicing certified medical herbalist, she is impassioned with herbs and all that the Plant Kingdom has to offer. She grows many herbs in her own garden, and has special niches created, such as a “medieval herb garden”, and a “forest herb garden”.

For many years, Adèle worked in plant molecular genetics research at the Eastern Cereal and Oilseeds Research Center, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. More recently, Adèle led a 4 year initiative in heritage agriculture in the region of the Outaouais, carrying out the restoration of heritage farmsteads. She enjoys growing many organic vegetables, fruits, herbs, edible flowers, and antique roses in her garden. She continues to work with seniors, as in the past years she has brought her therapy dog for visits with the elders, at a long-term care residence. For over 8 years, she was primary care-giver for her father, who was in a serious motor vehicle accident, and suffered permanent disabling injuries. In her home, she built an adjoining greenhouse / solarium for her father to be able to re-kindle his
passion for gardening once again. They spent hours sowing seeds, gardening, or just sitting amongst the beautiful plants. Not only were the plants, vegetables, and flowers therapy for her father, she believes that activity gave him the will to live again.

David Townson, COG OSO Steering Committee member and Coordinator of the Organic Gardening in the City Seminars. David is an avid gardener, with extensive home gardens and an allotment where he produces fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers.

Sara Holzman is a ‘distance’ part of the SOG volunteer team. Whether in Ottawa or Nunavut, she is invaluable helping out with SOG activities.

Debbie Holzman is a web designer and created the first SOG website (precursor to this one), and helps with all things “IT”.