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 (12 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 (February 24, 2023)

  • Our greenhouse has been ordered and is on it’s way! Our Star Garden cooperative gardening project has received a $5000 environmental initiatives grant from the City of St. Albert to be put toward a 20” long greenhouse that will further grow our project. In April, Trace Associates, a local environmental science and engineering advisory firm, has agreed to volunteer their staff team for the official “barn” (er, greenhouse) raising celebration. By May 1st we hope to be starting seedlings in our new space.

  • We are starting a rain collection program at The Star. Though Star Garden itself requires very little watering, the beautiful beds around the center (front and back), the newer alcove gardens, and of course our greenhouse seedlings will need regular watering. To that end we will be installing 5 rain cubes (also known as IBC’s) that each will hold 1000 litres of rainwater and a special rain trough. 

  • Our volunteer network is growing! We now have 45 volunteers on our ever-growing Star Garden & Yard list. A special welcome to Aida, Shayna, Maria, Doug & Faith. In late March we will be asking volunteers to state their commitment intentions for the upcoming year (minimum commitment of 12 hours May to September).

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

  • Greenhouse Arrival Next Week: We don’t have an exact delivery date yet, but if you live close to the Star and may be available to help with the unloading and storing of our greenhouse when it arrives (I’m envisioning at least 2 skids of boxes), please let contact me. # of volunteers: 2-3; length of time: 2 hours
    Garden Shed Clean Out: We need help cleaning out our current plastic garden shed and temporarily relocate it in preparation for setting up the greenhouse. We’ll pick a warm day in March and get it done in an afternoon. # of volunteers: 3-4; length of time: 3 hours

  • On a Roll Campaign: As part of our commitment to sustainable gardening practice, we will be recycling toilet paper and paper towel tubes as seedling pots in our greenhouse. Our goal? To collect 4000 tubes by May 1st. Please help us start collecting! If you are someone who’d like to spearhead this campaign, please let me know.

  • Electrical Trench Dig: We’re running electricity to the greenhouse and will need to dig a 12 foot trench at 24” depth. If we can find a donor, we can rent a mini excavator for $300 and make quick work of it. OR we can gather a small group of volunteers and sling some mud together some afternoon in late March/early April. # of volunteers: 3-4; length of time: 4 hours

  • Planting Tray Build: To reduce the amount of plastic in the growing process (and in the landfill), we will be using handmade wooden planting trays (25 cm x 50 cm x 5 cm depth) made from recycled pallet wood. My hope is to approach a number of local schools to see if they have a trades/construction class that might like to work on this project. Our goal? To build 100 planting trays by May 1st. If you are someone who has a connection to a local school or would like to spearhead this campaign, please let me know.

  • Greenhouse Foundation: In early to mid April we will level the ground and put together a simple wooden frame in preparation for our greenhouse build. # of volunteers: 3-4; length of time: 4 hours

WINTER/SPRING TIMELINE (February 24, 2023)
Looking at the big Star Garden picture:

March 2023
W1              Greenhouse arrives / On A Roll Campaign Kick-Off
W2               Planting tray build commitments
W3               Garden shed clean out and move (weather dependent)
W4               Electrical trench (weather dependent)

April 2023
W2               Greenhouse foundation build (weather dependent)
W3               Greenhouse and rain-cube platform build (weather dependent)
W4               Installation of rain-cubes 1 & 2 (weather dependent)

May 2023
Ongoing      Plot preparation and organics collection
Ongoing      Early planting in greenhouse
W1              Volunteer Orientation
W3              1st Planting Week (weather dependent)
W4              2nd Planting Week (weather dependent)

June 2023
W1              3rd Planting Week (weather dependent)

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