Organic Lavender Farm Reclaims Land, Lives and Economy in West Virginia


Organic Lavender Essential Oil from Appalachian Botanicl Co.

Lavender essential oil.
Photo by Wendy Gregory

Painting the once scarred and barren landscape purple and filling the air with the scent of lavender and the buzz of honeybees, Appalachian Botanical Co. has been growing lavender and raising bees in Ashford, West Virginia. They began in 2018 by recruiting and training a local workforce of former coal miners and those in drug and alcohol recovery from the area. By 2019 they had planted 20,000 lavender plants the first spring and 40,000 more the first fall using organic farming practices and reclaiming 35 acres of coal mine lands in Boone County, West Virginia. Three varieties are grown in separate fields for different uses: Provence, Phenomenal and Munstead. Harvesting the stems, leaves and blossoms of the plants, they distill them to extract the essential oil that is used to create their products. The remaining stems are then harvested for use in campfires, fireplaces, or barbeques.

Their mission is “to build a profitable botanical enterprise that puts West Virginians and reclaimed coal mine land back to work. Some call this a “triple bottom line” business model, where positive impacts on people, profit and the planet are valued equally.”

Reclaimed coal mining land.
Photo courtesy of Appalachian Botanical Co.

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