Katherine Herman is a woman of many talents. She describes herself with a laugh, stating, “I’m an all or nothing sort of person.” If Katherine’s interest is sparked, she immerses herself in the new activity until she masters a new skill. The initial catalyst for her farming passion happened in far-away Tanzania.
Following graduation with an Animal Sciences Degree from Virginia Tech, Katherine pursued her love of travel and helping others by joining the Peace Corp. Although she was provided some training, it was largely trial by fire. Katherine remarked, “I brought little hands-on experience. I had to learn Swahili. I lived in a village by myself in the middle of nowhere and was given a quarter acre plot to grow corn, beans, and rice.”
Katherine returned to the states energized by the experience and landed a job at a newer farming operation, Tree and Leaf Farm, in Unionville, Virginia. She learned a tremendous amount across multiple areas of farming from growing and harvesting to managing farmers markets and staff. Since it’s her nature, Katherine pursued other interests on the side like fermentation, sewing, and even reflexology!
Her farming experience was broadened by working at Radical Roots Farm while she completed a 3 year program at Sacred Plant Tradition in Charlottesville to become an herbal clinician. She can attest to the benefits of medicinal herbs from her own positive experience as a patient (related to Lyme Disease). Katherine is a huge proponent of local herbs due to their freshness and superior quality. She believes they can help you reap the energy and vitality of your region and protect you from pathogens specific to your area.
When Katherine was contemplating a small sewing business while farming full time, she latched onto the name Gathered Threads. She liked how it represented how life skills are all tied together to make something work, so that’s what she named the 6 acre farm she bought with her husband Ralph in 2015. What started out as an empty sloping field is now a productive farm with greenhouses, high-tunnels, hoop houses, irrigation, and a walk-in cooler. The COVID related loss of Ralph’s truck driving job enabled him to devote more time to building this essential infrastructure and he quickly became an integral part of daily farm life. He’s finishing up a 30 x 100’ propagation greenhouse and recently completed a solar powered herb dehydrator that is conducive to their eco-friendly approach to farming.
Katherine’s many talents enable customers to enjoy a real variety of high quality products. Her herb kitchen kits can help you make all sorts of tasty creations like drinking vinegars, mocktails and cocktails, and simple syrups. Her spice blends make cooking a snap and it tastes and feels good to use local herbs grown naturally and sustainably! Her popular teas can offer aid for all sorts of needs, such as immunity support, stress reduction, and sleep. Gathered Threads has other products to help you unwind and shed stress like massage oil kits, herbal bath and body scrubs, facial steam herbal kits, and skin calming salves.
Many of Gathered Threads’ diverse selection of gut-healthy fermented products were inspired by different cultures. She incorporates traditional regional recipes in her Central American and Asian-inspired line-up of kimchis, sauerkrauts, and fermented veggie medleys. All the vegetables in these fermentations are grown with no pesticides or chemical fertilizers on their own farm or sourced from organic or local farms with sustainable growing practices.
Take advantage of the products that result from Katherine’s tireless pursuits to help her community holistically improve their health. Reap the benefits, inside and out, of shopping local with Gathered Threads!