Petals From the Past to hold berry festival

Published 4:56 pm Tuesday, June 14, 2011

There’s no denying the peach is by far Chilton County’s most renowned crop. The fruit is synonymous with almost everything associated with the county.

It might be the most famous fruit, but Petals from the Past owner Jason Powell wants everyone to know it is not the only fruit that grows well here. In fact, people might be surprised at how strong blackberries and blueberries take root.

Which is one of the reasons why Petals From the Past is putting on its seventh annual Black and Blue Berry Festival June 18. Powell said that the idea came from how the two crops can be harvested at the same time.

“What we found was there was a time when blackberries and blueberries overlap,” he said. “We wanted to create and promote these two fruits, and get people interested in them.”

For the average homeowner, the amount of land and time needed to raise a large crop of other fruits isn’t exactly attainable. Powell says that both types of berries are ideal for just the regular yard, and they provide health benefits.

“Blackberries and blueberries can grow relatively easy,” he said. “They don’t really suffer from diseases and use just sunlight and water. They constantly rank high on everyone’s lists of healthy fruits.”

Powell said the festival will have something for everybody, including live music from the Whistlestop Combo, pony rides and a petting zoo for kids, and a catered lunch by Southern Sweets. In addition, there will be seminars on blackberry and blueberry growing.

Powell said he hopes for a good turnout, despite the heat. He said he feels people come because they want to learn about the food they eat.

“In years past, we were thrilled when we had around 200 people,” he said. “Now, we have crowds in the 1500-2000 range. More and more people are interested in seeing where their food comes from. They want to their kids to see where it comes from.”

Powell also said that this event is not in competition with the Peach Festival, and hopes people can attend both.

“We normally don’t overlap the Peach Festival,” he said. “The thing about both events is that you can come and go. We’re hoping people will come to Chilton County and attend and enjoy both.”

The Black and Blue Berry Festival will last from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, contact Powell at 205-646-0069.