What is a Master Gardener Program?
This certificate program is for those who have a passion for gardening and want to expand their knowledge of botany, design, and the soil sciences.
Our program is Alberta’s first and most extensive organic and regenerative Master Gardener program. It’s geared to adult learners of all levels of gardening experience. From those absolutely brand new to the soil, to those who have years of experience in their own yards, or for those who want an addition to a résumé, the OMG program in Stony Plain is an excellent means to enjoyable learning.
Now accepting registrations!
How is our program different?
The focus is on biology – growing soil, not plants, and using nature’s own processes to control weeds, pests, and disease. Organic gardening embraces a more ecological paradigm in all its practices. We help you understand nature’s complex and interconnected systems.
Our program is built upon a strong foundation – the Gaia College OMG Program. We have added Alberta-specific content and the program has expanded to include recent discoveries in Soil Succession and Regenerative Agriculture.
Download the syllabus
Download the Schedule
6.2 Acre Site
The demonstration farm offers students opportunities to experience and experiment with conventional, organic, and regenerative growing methods. Our ornamental gardens offer a parallel experience in maintaining public spaces and the unique demands of ornamental landscaping. There’s a community garden and orchard with room to grow.
Do you want to grow healthier food and garden more naturally?
Through lectures, mentorship, and volunteer hours you will acquire an immense knowledge base. You’ll earn an Organic Master Gardener Certificate and become part of a unique group across North America who practice a health-centered approach to our environment.
About the Program
The Stony Plain Heritage Agricultural Society is pleased to offer this Certificate program in cooperation with Gaia College and SOUL (Society of Organic Urban Landcare). These organizations are at the leading edge of organic gardening.
Our program offers
Intensive curriculum with a recognized Organic Master Gardener Certificate
Up-to-date information from leading scientists and researchers
A focus is on soil biology – growing soil, not plants;- for a more ecological paradigm
Recent discoveries in Soil Succession, Cover Crops, and Regenerative Agriculture
Watch the recorded Information Session
Whether you wish to be certified Organic or just ease up on your use of synthetics, this Program compares and contrasts the benefits and drawbacks of several approaches.
Geology, focused on soil texture and structure, with some mention of nutrient availability and transfer
Hydrology, focused on the behaviour of moisture in soil and strongly promoting aerobic conditions
Biology, and the soil Foodweb, with mention of insect relationships
Physics, favouring no-till while building soil structure
Chemistry, observing signs of nutrient deficiency and using teas and brews to deliver what the plant needs to achieve optimal health and photosynthesis
Biochemistry specific to plant health
Botany and Ecology
An overview of plant families and what grows well here, the importance of polyculture and root mingling, with mention of native species; establishing garden beds. We also pay attention to the emerging areas of Plant Health and Epigenetics.
Areas of Interest
Subjects include niche topics like establishing native species, Permaculture, Carbon Farming, Canning, Pest Management, and using common species (aka weeds) as cover crops.