Lavender Industry More Potent Than Ever
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- For three days lavender aficionados are in Grand Junction for the Southwest Lavender Conference. The herb has existed for thousands of years, however, its presence is becoming more potent than ever.
Kathy Kimbrough, the President of the Lavender Association of Western Colorado, said, "It's coming back into fashion, and in the last 10 years or so it's become a very popular herb. A lot of people are now beginning to realize that it's more than just something in your yard."
Paola Legarre, the owner of Sage Creations Organic Farm, said, "At this conference there are people from all over the United States. We learn from each other and it's also a great way to showcase what we've been doing here in Colorado."
This year's Southwest Lavender Conference couldn't have come at a better time.
"The Lavender Association of Western Colorado received a specialty-crop grant from the Colorado Department of Agriculture to test and research lavender essential oils at high altitudes," said Kimbrough.
The grant will help take the local lavender industry to new heights.
Kimbrough said, "This will help us distinguish our lavender essential oils from anywhere else in the world. We've heard that high altitude essential oil is a higher grade, is more therapeutic, is more valuable."
"I think we have the potential of growing it on a larger scale," Legarre said.
"We have it growing from 4,600 hundred feet in the Grand Valley up to 7,000 feet in Cedaredge," said Kimbrough.
It will also take our economy to new heights too.
"For two reasons: it helps people start their own businesses and most of these small businesses are owned by women," Kimbrough said.
Local lavender connoisseurs look forward to the day when 'Western Slope Lavender' is a household name throughout the world.