Gardening radio show host is no fuddy-duddy |

Gardening radio show host is no fuddy-duddy

As the familiar voices of Simon and Garfunkel sing “parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme” from the classic “Scarborough Fair,” it’s clear this is not going to be a frumpy, old-fashioned show about flowers, pesticides and weeding techniques.

Nope. Kathi Keville’s edition of “Garden Forum” — like the other 1 p.m. Friday programs on KVMR (89.5 FM, streaming) —  is popular because it presents alternative information about herbs, organics, homesteading and gardening. Kathi’s show has been airing the first Friday of the month for more than a decade on the eclectic community radio station in Nevada City.

“I enjoy sharing what I love,” said Keville with her usual buoyant smile. “Anything I can do to help people get healthier is important to me.”

And she’s spent a lifetime doing just that: writing, teaching and promoting the world of herbs, healing and organic gardening — including the past 32 years as the editor of a widely distributed herbal newsletter and as author of 14 books on herbs, aromatherapy and other topics.

Her most recent book was “Women’s Herbs, Women’s Health,” a comprehensive, user-friendly book on the topic that she co-wrote with Christopher Hobbs.

Keville loves spending time in her Chicago Park-area herbal garden, where she occasionally holds classes and herb walks.

“I’ve got over 300 different medicinal herbs from all over the world there,” she proudly said. “And I try to discuss at least a dozen of them on each program.”

Kathi’s “Garden Forum” show usually opens with a discussion of upcoming holidays and celebrations “because I always want to remember to have fun.”

“So many of these holiday traditions are so rooted in gardening and farming, even all year-round,” she said. “I want people to recognize that.”

On the call-in show, she always treats the radio listener as a friend and participant because they often add to the show’s dialogue and conversation.

“It’s a very easy way for the community to share their knowledge and experience, and KVMR is a perfect format for it,” adds Keville.

This Friday’s 1 p.m. show on KVMR (89.5 FM, streaming) will feature Kathi discussing “winter-blooming flowers, keeping warm herbally and conquering the winter blues,” according to Keville.

Keville shares the time slot with Amigo Bob Cantisano (“Organic Matters”) Julia and Phyllis Boorinakis (“Homestead Radio Hour”) and Robyn Martin (also “Garden Forum”). Keville’s website is

A weekly wrap-up of news and oddities about community radio station KVMR (89.5 FM, streaming), a noncommercial station offering diverse musical programming, independent news and provocative public affairs from about 150 volunteer “citizen-broadcasters.” Complete program listings are available at

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