Lavender Across the US Spotlight - Visit to Appalachian Botanical Co Farm in West Virginia
Appalachian Botanical Co is our first spotlight and it is a perfect lavender program to kick this off.
Our visit to the farm that is being carefully grown on reclaimed coal mine land was exciting, insightful, and encouraging. You can see how their mission of putting "West Virginians and reclaimed coal mine land back to work", can be mirrored with great success to uplift the people, economy, and the land across the US. They are a program of second chances and the hope and joy is visibly seen in their employees. We can see how providing opportunities for people to work and learn new skills is extremely important not only in West Virginia, but also across the US. We are excited to see how we can work out a like-minded program out here in Oregon.
Marina and TJ walked us through the process they use for propagating their plants and gave us great tips for growing lavender in the rocky soils. While Appalachian Botanical Co is a larger operation then 3 Strands Farm, they gave us unmeasurable advise, ideas, and encouragement for our little farm. We discussed using drip lines vs no drip lines. Since lavender needs very little water, we learned how they use irrigation tanks to water when there is a dry spell and the lavender plants need a little drink. If you place your rows at just the right distance it is possible to drive down the lanes and water each plant as necessary.
We also learned how "mother plants" are brought in and used in the high tunnel for propagating throughout the winter. As we plan the future for our farm and more plants this will be something we will need to consider.
We had such a wonderful time and learned so much. We are so thankful to Marina and TJ for their time and allowing us to visit this great farm. If you would like to learn more about their farm, I highly encourage you to check out their program at their website: Appalachian Botanical Co. Store. You can also see a great article TheHill did on the farm. How abandoned strip mines are being rescued by a field of sweet-smelling purple plants | TheHill