The Official Website of the State of West Virginia

American Innovators: From Coal Mines to Apple Trees in West Virginia


Come on down to West Virginia for this sneak preview of Made in America: American Innovators, From Coal Mines to Apple Trees. 

The West Virginia National Guard is leading the charge to develop infrastructure across the state by turning abandoned coal mines into agricultural bounty. As the coal industry shifted, mountain-top removal flattened the landscape. Now there are great swaths of land lying empty, some with no electricity or water, not the most attractive real estate investment. And with coal production declining over 50% in the past decade, West Virginia could use some investment, in their land, and their workforce. 

That’s exactly what Patriot Guardens aims to do. Through a grant with the federal government, they’re transforming an abandoned mine site into a fertile apple orchard, restoring jobs to the community and revitalizing the land. In a joint effort with the USDA, they’re conducting important research to address food security on a national level, building more resilient varieties of fruit that can withstand the changing climate, so we can grow more of our own food in American soil.

Watch the video: