From black gold to purple gold | MetroNews

West Virginia MetroNews Network – West Virginia Tech Park engaged in training potential lavender farmers and researching ways to increase yield of the valuable product.

The hills of southern West Virginia which once produced the coal which powered a nation, may soon produce a very different product aimed at helping perfume the nation.

A program introduced under the Green Mining Project aims to retrain out of work coal miners and others on how to grow lavender plants. Oils extracted from those plants are highly prized in the soap and lotion industries. The demonstration for the product is happening on a former mountain top mining site in southern West Virginia.

“The cosmetics and nutraceudical market is a multi-BILLION dollar market,” said Dr. Rusty Kruzelock, CEO of the West Virginia Technology Park.

“When you get three year plants and full quality oils, 100 acres can bring in roughly a Million dollars,” said Marina Sawyer, Project Coordinator for the Green Mining project.

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Source: From black gold to purple gold