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Kathi Keville
January 25, 2022

I met Steven Foster when he started working for Well-Being Magazine in Santa Cruz, California in 1978. He was so young, which is humorous since we all were! We shared passion for old herbals, history, nature, gardening, and photography. I handed over my botanical editor job at Well-Being Magazine to Steven, and his first cover was calendula harvest at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Community in Maine where he had worked. His first article was “The Herbals: Gleaning Our Literary Heritage.” Santa Cruz became an herbal hub of budding herbalists. Lasting friendships deepened through herb retreats and organizing the American Herbalist Guild. Steven became my first American Herb Association Quarterly consultant. Dr. Paul Lee’s 1979 Herb Symposium attracted plant researchers that included Jim Duke, Norman Farnsworth, and Shiu Ying Hu, and herbalists Mark Blumenthal, Ed Smith, and Rosemary Gladstar — all would become significant in Steven’s life. He wrote a Well-Being article about this conference, not knowing how closely he would work with Duke, Shiu, and Blumenthal in the future. For all his great botanical accomplishments, it’s Steven’s kindness that I cherish. Visiting herbalist Rosita Arvigo in Belize, we spent an intoxicatingly fragrant hour photographing our first blooming ylang ylang tree! He came snorkeling because deep water makes me nervous. I climbed a Mayan pyramid because he didn’t like heights. As we stood on the top of the world, Steven said we’ll always remember this. Yes, Steven.