Star Garden: Together We Grow


The Star of the North continues to develop a cooperative urban garden focused on increasing access to fresh produce for those in need within our community. We are networking with local organizations such as the St. Albert Food Bank, Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society, and others, to help address issues of food security among indigenous people, newcomer immigrants and others. We are welcoming these individuals and families to be a part of the growing Star Garden community to learn about sustainable gardening practice, to volunteer, and to harvest.

Star Garden is a cooperative project being developed through education around the ecologically sustainable practices of organic, deep-mulch, no-till gardening.

  • Cooperative means that everyone is a stakeholder in the garden—in learning, planning, planting, tending, watering and harvesting. There are no “individual” plots. The expectation is for each individual or family benefitting from the garden will volunteer in the garden a minimum of one-hour weekly.

  • Education means we are committed to foster learning and environmental stewardship through hands-on and on-site education partnerships with individuals, groups and schools in the local area.

  • Organic methods mean there are no fertilizers or chemicals used, protecting the immediate environment and watershed.

  • Deep-mulch methods result in minimal watering (average of once a week) and the reclamation of hundreds of cubic yards of organic waste (leaves, grass clippings, wood chips, and compostables from the landfill.

  • No-till methods mean maintaining the integrity of microbial networks within the soil for optimal carbon sequestration. Zero air pollutants from equipment such as rototillers, and zero greenhouse gas emissions from tilling processes.


  • Arrange a visit to the garden. Contact us and a friendly guide will give you a tour of the garden area. We’ll answer questions and have the opportunity to learn more about each other. We may even send you home with some produce!
  • Consider your schedule. Would you be able to volunteer during the week (between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm) or join us for regularly scheduled help & harvest evenings? The expectation is for each individual or family benefiting from the garden will volunteer in the garden a minimum of one-hour weekly (16-20 hours between May and September).

  •  Make the commitment. Once you’ve decided to add your name to our list of Star Gardeners, you will receive regular email updates on help & harvest opportunities. Come get your hands dirty, meet some new people and learn more about sustainable, no-till, deep mulch gardening techniques.

Contact Garden Coordinator Clint Porritt – 780-459-5511 or

STAR GARDEN UPDATES (April 18, 2024)

  • CBC New Feature - Star Garden was recently featured on CBC News as an example of sustainable gardening practice. You can read the article and watch a short video at

  • Greenhouse Update – 10 days ago we had 8 volunteers come and plant 27 seed trays. Our first broccoli seedlings have popped, and expecting many more results this week! We were also able to install two exhaust fans to keep our greenhouse temperatures monitored a little better. More seed trays to be planted next week.

  • Greenhouse Watering Team – If you live close to the Star and are willing to help with weekend (and/or the occasional weekday) watering in the greenhouse, please let us know.

  • Working Wednesdays – We will be organizing Working Wednesdays throughout the season as we continue to edge toward more sunshine! Some Wednesdays will be morning/afternoon opportunities to help out, while others will be afternoon/evenings. Save the date: our next Work Wednesday will be April 24th. If Wednesdays don’t work for you, please send us an email.

  • We Love Gardening! Workshops and BBQ is happening at The Star of the North on Sunday, April 28th from 1 – 4 pm, and we are hoping you all can join us! This workshop series is a joint venture with the St. Albert Backyard Gardening Group & Star Cooperative Garden. Could you please help us spread the word locally? This celebration of Earth Day will include: 7 gardening presentations and a community BBQ. Registration includes access to all workshops PLUS a BBQ meal ticket (burger or hotdog, chips/veggies, & drink). Visit the event webpage to for full details and registration.

So many ways to get involved. Let us know how you can help!

  • Planting Tray Build: To reduce the amount of plastic in the growing process (and in the landfill), we are using handmade wooden planting trays (25 cm x 45 cm x 5 cm depth) made from recycled wood. Our goal? To build 50 more planting trays by May 1st. If you like to build things, let us know. Length of Time: 15-30 minutes per tray (depending on experience).

  • Old Blenders: We’re looking for 1 or 2 old blenders for use in creating our own potting soil mixes.

  • Restringing Beds: We need some folks who are able to restring our garden beds for the upcoming season. This involves pounding stakes into the ground and stringing twine. # of Volunteers: 2 - 4 (easiest working in pairs). Length of Time: 2-3 hours.

  • Tomato Stakes: We’ll be using a weave system for our tomatoes this season, which means we need to put some metal posts in the ground. # of Volunteers: 2 (must work in pairs). Length of Time: 1-2 hours.

Looking at the big Star Garden picture:

April 2024
Ongoing       Seed Trays & Community Networking
Ongoing       Field Trips & Garden Tours

W1               Plant Seed Trays #1
W3               Plant Seed Trays #2
W4               We Love Gardening! Workshop Series

May 2024
Ongoing      Plot preparation and organics collection
Ongoing      Early planting in both garden and greenhouse
Ongoing      Field Trips & Garden Tours

W1              1st Planting Week: Potatoes/Peas/Spinach/Carrots 
W2              Garden Blessing & Volunteer Orientation
W2              How to Grow: With God in the Garden Series
W3              2nd Planting Week (weather dependent)
W4              3nd Planting Week (weather dependent)

June 2024
Ongoing      Field Trips & Garden Tours

W1              4rd Planting Week (weather dependent)

APRIL 2024 A CBC News feature on sustainable gardening. Read the full article here:

MAY 2023 Radio Active Interview with Jessica Ng, Min Dhariwal here:

JANUARY 2023 St. Albert Gazette article on Environmental Initiatives Grant funding for greenhouse project here:

Take your class outside for a hands-on education field trip at Star Garden in St. Albert. Customize the experience for your junior & senior high science, biology, agricultural courses and more!


  • Star Garden Field Trip Plan a visit to Star Garden & Greenhouse and learn the process of organic, no-till, deep mulch gardening and its environmental benefits.

    Duration: 1 - 2 hours

    Hands-On Level: Low to Medium

    Activity Options:

    - Build-A-Garden Demo
    - Milk Jug Gardening
    - Planting & Transplanting

    Suggested Donation: $100

  • Adopt-A-Plot Have your class Adopt-A-Plot at Star Garden! Learn the basics of the deep-mulch process and then get straight to work building and maintaining a plot.

    Duration: 2 - 3 hours (snack provided)

    Hands-On Level: High

    Activity Options:

    - Wheelbarrows & Pitchforks
    - Build-A-Garden Advanced
    - Planting & Transplanting

    Suggested Donation: $200

Star Garden is a cooperative project developed through education around the ecologically sustainable practices of organic, deep-mulch, no-till gardening and focused on increasing access to fresh produce for those in need within our community.

  • Education: A commitment to foster learning and environmental stewardship through hands-on, on-site education partnerships.
  • Organic gardening: Using compost as natural fertilizer with no additional chemicals or supplements.
  • Deep-mulch gardening: Growing in a deep layer of organics—leaves, grass clippings, wood chips, compost.
  • No-till gardening: No digging, thereby maintaining the integrity of microbial networks within the soil for healthier plants.
View Map