This is a busy time at Appalachian Botanical Co’s lavender farm in Ashford. The weather may be heating up, but that’s good news for our lavender in the fields. It turns out that lavender plants like the West Virginia summers.
At the Foster building, the smell of lavender is in the air. Workers have been drying and de-budding the harvested lavender. It’s a labor intensive process that is key to our culinary products. The buds will be used to infuse our wildflower and goldenrod honey. We will also combine the buds with pink Himalayan sea salt for a blend that is excellent on grilled meat, fish and vegetables, as well as on caramels, dark chocolates and anything lemon. Sweet! And savory!
The distillery is in full processing mode using our organically grown lavender. We will bottle and sell some of this output as pure lavender essential oil. The rest is used in our custom-formulated body cream, CBD cream, and massage oil. Distilling the oil also yields hydrosol, a “flower water” by-product that we bottle and sell as Lavender Mist. We also use the hydrosol in our spray and gel hand sanitizers.
At Appalachian Botanical, our commitment to zero waste means we use every part of the plant. So, rather than discarding or composting the leftover lavender stems, we are gathering and drying them, and then selling them as Lavender Stem Bundles. The stems have traces of oil in them, so adding them to a campfire or fire pit once the flames have died down produces a little pop—and a lot of lavender aroma.
MEET THE AUTHOR / CHAD FOREMAN is the Communications Manager at Appalachian Botanical Co. In his spare time Chad is a free lance photographer specializing in wedding, portrait, and adventure photography. He is also an avid outdoorsman who loves spending time in the mountains of West Virginia, especially kayaking and white water rafting in the New River Gorge.