Lavender farm plans to transform abandoned mines in West Virginia

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BOONE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) — An old mine in Boone County, West Virginia. is about to get a fresh start.

A company known as Appalachian Botanicals plans to grow lavender plants in order to sell oils and flower waters in West Virginia.

A company known as Appalachian Botanicals plans to grow lavender plants in order to sell oils and flower waters in West Virginia. With 120 acres of land used to plant the lavender, along with employees that plant and fertilize the plants by hand, they hope to bring this type of business to more areas.

But Appalachian Botanicals has another purpose. The company wants to employ people with job barriers. They rent out an old mine in order to grow the product. Because it is flat, the area is perfect for growing lavender.

During their peak season in the spring and summer, Appalachian Botanicals hopes to employ up to 100 workers. Many of the workers do not have high school diplomas or have trouble getting a job.

Christina Jeffries, the operating manager, says they're willing to invest in their employees to give them a steady job, as well as hope.

"The products right now that we are looking at doing is essential oil that will be distilled and produced in Charleston that will be a West Virginia-grown, West Virginia-made product," Jeffries said.

The lavender plants are dormant in the winter but are expected to grow to at least 3 feet tall by next year. Appalachian Botanicals says they're working to use sustainable practices, in addition to their commitment to creating jobs.