BLACKTHORN LAVENDER is a sister business to Blackthorn Estates Nursery, a Christmas tree farm started in 2015. Later, in the fall of 2015 Trish and Leonard Uptain began a new found interest in lavender. Impressed with all its benefits and its suitability to the growing environment at Blackthorn, the decision to grow lavender was added to their growing program, along with the Christmas trees. The lavender plants thrived and Trish launched a value-added product line and began selling products to family and friends and at a variety of fairs and festivals.
Leonard and Trish both hail from small family farms and attended land-grant universities. Trish raised a flock of Suffolk sheep and managed a horse breeding operation in addition to growing a myriad of agricultural crops and produce. Her horticulture experience includes being an accomplished floral designer, cut-flower wholesale sales and manager/coordinator of a wholesale nursery brokerage. After college Leonard took on a career with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety & Inspection Service. Leonard’s retirement in 2013 and Trish’s in 2014 has allowed them to pursue their life-long interest in farming. Together they both enjoy time outside working with their lavender and trees and are active in both the United States Lavender Growers Association and the West Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association.