By Lucy M. Pritchett

You just know that a woman who buys for and manages the garden shop at Yew Dell Gardens is going to have a terrific assortment of things that work for her. Louisville native Madge MacBeath Huecker is never one to pass up a chance to support a local business, and she isn’t shy about singing the praises of the soap, socks, and spicy pecans that help get her through a busy day.

Soap in a Sponge

Photos by Patti Hartog.

This is not a Kentucky product but I discovered this Soap in a Sponge at a local shop owned by a local man in Apalachicola, Florida ( where we try to visit every year. It is a natural sponge combined with his handmade goat’s milk and olive oil soap. There is no need for a washcloth, and the sponge exfoliates. The soap comes in different scents and is mild enough for my sensitive skin. I have used them now for about four years. Last year I started carrying them in the shop as well. My favorite scents are the gardenia and the honeysuckle soaps, but there are many other scents such as lavender and patchouli and he makes unscented ones as well.

Southville Spitters Socks

I love thick, soft, warm socks. I hate for my feet to be cold and found that these socks made from alpaca wool keep my feet warm when I am working all day in the shop with its concrete floor or when I am hiking. I met the owner of the alpaca farm that is located in Shelbyville at the Mellwood Art Fair. These socks are much warmer and softer than ones made of wool. They look like old fashioned rag socks. I buy the knee-high length but they also come in a crew length. They wash in cold water in the washing machine. My feet have never been happier.

The owners of the farm, Wayne and June Griest, are just the nicest people. He told me that the alpacas are spoiled rotten and encouraged me to come visit the farm as they like company. The couple are so enamored of their animals and are so personable. I just like the whole idea them and their farm.

Spiced Pecans by The Cheddar Box

I love these nuts! They are a mix of sweet and spicy but with no heavy sugar coating. They make any salad wonderful. I break them up and put them in a roasted Brussels sprouts and butternut squash dish. They are great with sweet potatoes. They are a convenient snack, and, of course, I would eat them by the handful if I am not careful. The Cheddar Box sells them by the pound and there are usually some available, but I have learned that if I want some for a special occasion to call in advance. I am not the only one who has discovered them! I don’t know how much they cost…I just close my eyes and hand them my charge card!