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Reclaiming Coal Country: From Abandoned Mines to Organic Farms

After high school, West Virginian Chris Farley went to work in the coal mines. At first, it provided a decent living, but it soon became a precarious existence, as mines would frequently close. Now, instead of removing mountaintops, Farley helps bring the land back to life, transforming former coal mines into farms. Farley works for Refresh Appalachia, a project of Coalfield Development that provides opportunities to former coal miners in agriculture, entrepreneurship, renewable energy and other areas. Together with his trusty chickens, pigs, and a dedicated crew of hard-working farmers, Farley is part of a movement that’s helping rebuild the land.

This Great Big Story was made in partnership with “From the Ashes”. The film airs on National Geographic Channel on June 25 at 9pm EST/8 pm Central. Learn how you can support companies like Coalfield Development through the From the Ashes CrowdRise Campaign.

Location

Mingo County, WV, USA

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