From a challenge that lavender wouldn't grow in Oklahoma soil has bloomed a business that has kept Jag Sodhi busy in his retirement. While Sodhi was a professor for the Department of Defense at Defense Acquisition University, a student gave him a lavender plant as a gift and he took the challenge of growing lavender on his acreage near Apache, 75 miles southwest of Oklahoma City. Through trial and error, Sodhi has discovered 10 varieties of lavender that thrive here. In his retail shop, he sells the plants, as well as soaps, lotion, essential oil and other products made with the purple plant. He invites all his customers to visit his garden, which many describe as “heaven,” and twice a year, he hosts an open house. “That's the beautiful part. They come here, they touch they feel and they smell. And then they buy,” said Sodhi, who emigrated from India more than 40 years ago.
The next open house is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 16 and 17. Attendees can enter to win a lavender gift basket and sample lavender tea and cookies. Lavender, Sodhi said, promotes healing, prevents infection and reduces stress.