By Marné Deranger
The Master Gardeners of Natchitoches Parish enjoyed learning about Monarch Butterflies from their guest speaker, Judy McIntyre, during their February meeting. They learned about the migratory path, what “citizen scientists” can do to help this fragile part of our ecosystem, and the near-miraculous process of a butterfly’s metamorphosis. Natchitoches residents should consider dedicating a small piece of their property to Monarch-friendly Milkweed to help butterflies on their journeys north and south. Every year they pass right over Natchitoches on their way to and from the same fir forest in Mexico, stopping in Texas and Louisiana to rest, feed, and lay their eggs.
McIntyre will give another enthusiastic and enlightening presentation at the first Farmers’ Market of the season on May 28. The Master Gardeners will be there with seeds and plant recommendations to help our butterflies. For more information on the subject, go to http://www.monarchwatch.org and http://www.learner.org/jnorth/monarchs.
The Louisiana Master Gardener Program is a volunteer development program offered by the LSU AgCenter. Master Gardeners are highly trained and provide proven, research-based educational programs to Louisiana residents.
A new class for potential Master Gardeners starts April 2 at 3pm. The 10-week course costs $150 per student. For that fee, each student receives a stack of valuable reference material covering everything from soil to trees, bugs to berries, landscaping to disease diagnosis. Presenters are experts from across the state, and they don’t just teach. They become part of your network of advisors. Sign up at the Parish Extension office at 624 Second Street.
For more information or for daily tips on North Louisiana gardening, go to https://www.facebook.com/NatchitochesMasterGardener/