Berry festival adds recipe contest

Published 5:47 pm Friday, May 25, 2012

Cathy Poage and Miriam Byers browse the hydrangeas in the nursery section of Petals from the Past.

With the first wave of summer heat, Petals from the Past opened its U-Pick blackberry fields and announced its Black and Blue Berry Festival scheduled for June 16.

The 17-year-old nursery and fruit retail site in Jemison will allow guests to pick their own blackberries, blueberries and other seasonal fruits.

Hayrides will transport adults and children from field to field throughout the day.

Dr. Arlie Powell, a long-time pomologist, or specialist in fruit growth, will lead informational talks on blackberries and blueberries from 10-12 p.m.

Powell said he usually provides fruit for guests to sample.

“It’s what we call a hands-on type educational event for those wanting to grow blueberries or blackberries in their garden,” Powell said. “Give them a touch of what it is to grow fruit like this.”

But perhaps one of the largest components of this year’s festival is the first recipe contest.

“We’re inviting people in Chilton County and surrounding counties … to bring in their recipe,” Powell said. “We’re going to judge those and have winners.”

The contest will take place in the educational building, a multi-functional, barn-like structure near the store.

Entries must be submitted by June 5 and must be blueberry or blackberry desserts containing fresh berries.

The festival will be from 9 a.m. to about 5 p.m. and will also feature live music from the Valley Road Blue Grass Band, pony rides, farm animals and catered food.

“We’re never static here,” Powell said. “Every month, we have activities here.”

Petals from the Past is managed by Jason and Shelley Powell, both horticulturists. It is located at 16034 County Road 29 in Jemison.

Regular operating hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday and closed Monday.

For more information, call (205) 646-0069 or visit