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Herb lady starts basket sale for holidays

Photo by Aaron Paden/ Kathy Sanders tends her pineapple sage plant Wednesday.

Photo by Aaron Paden/
Kathy Sanders tends her pineapple sage plant Wednesday.

In 1997, in the community of Caseyville, Kathy Sanders planted a rosemary bush — a plant still growing strong to this day. Since then, Sanders has become somewhat famous for her herb garden, and she now sells baskets of fresh bread and herbs.

“My sweet husband took me to what was Porters Creek at that time,” Sanders said. “I fell in love with herbs that day. But I’ve always had a special place for herbs in my heart because of my great grandmother.”

About five years ago, Sanders started speaking at seminars at Buds & Blooms and various other organizations and events, including a nutritional class at King’s Daughters Medical Center.

“I can do a general overview on how to grow from seed, how to grow from cuttings, how to plant and take care of them,” Sanders said. “Herbs, you treat a little bit differently from your normal garden stuff. Also, I talk to them about companion planting with herbs. Basil and tomatoes not only taste good together — and this is the honest truth — if you plant basil and your tomato plants together, you will not have the trouble with the bugs and the worms.”

Like many gardeners in Lincoln County, the drought was hard on Sanders. She modified her garden so that it was in the shade in the evenings, and watered it two or three times a day. However, Sanders said it’s important not to over-water your herbs.

“Most herbs do not like to have their feet wet — their roots wet. Also, if you over-water them, the volatile oils, which give the herbs their aroma and their taste, will not develop. What I tell people in my seminars and what I do, is if I stick my fingers down in [the dirt], and I pull it out, if it’s dry, I water it. If I pull it out and it’s kind of wet on my finger, I don’t touch it.”

Recently, Sanders has been selling baskets with fresh bread and herbs. Sanders said each basket is made individually to order, with personal touches.

“I’ll talk to them and get a feel for who they’re buying the basket for, then I’ll help them,” Sanders said. “We’ll decide what to put in. If it’s for a lady, there’ll be a tea towel or a pretty little napkin in it. It’ll be something specifically for a lady — I know a man wouldn’t want to do a bath in lavender. If it’s for a man, I’ll have something that’s specifically for a male person. I may throw him some cookies or some rosemary popcorn in there or something like that.”

People interested in buying a basket can contact her at ninababies0710@gmail.com.