At your nature-loving service
By Erika Alexander
If you love experiencing all things natural and local, visit Marcus Descant’s organic garden, The Urban Naturalist, at 216 Madison Street in the heart of Lafayette. This indigenous garden is a biodiverse and edible landscape that is inspired by nature’s systems and ancient methods of gardening (think food forests with a modern twist).
All crops are available for purchase any time of day due to the self-checkout system in place. Descant also offers weekly hands-on style workshops at the garden that appeal to every nature enthusiast. These social events rotate weekly, occurring every Thursday at 7 p.m. and Sundays in the afternoon.
Events range from hanging basket workshops, propagation night, seeding night, garden cocktail night and more. Can you say fresh mint mojito?
He also offers educational camps for children that get them hands-on with regional flora and fauna. Some of the activities include bug catching, canoe riding and guest speakers that teach about the roles of insects and reptiles.
Each event requires a small fee that covers the cost of whatever herbs, vegetables or flowers participants will be taking home. Descant shares his passion with the community by showing the importance and bliss of being able to know, grow and sustain a wide variety of crops and medicinal herbs to achieve a healthier lifestyle and support the environment.
Descant takes on many other community gardening and landscaping projects. Recently, he built what he calls a “Butterfly Café” at Northside High School which will grow passion vine and other flowers that attract pollinators and butterflies, as well as create a shady area for the students during recess.
With the help of people like Descant, the future is looking greener every day. Why not be a part of it? To learn more about The Urban Naturalist, visit urbannaturalists.com or @TheUrbanNaturalist on Facebook.