Durbin Farms Market event brings excitement for peaches

Published 2:22 pm Monday, June 12, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Peach lovers from near and far visited Durbin Farms Market for the Peach Kickoff on June 10.

“We have had peach season here for a few of weeks, but now that we are starting to get free stone and stuff like that, the real bulk of the season is starting,” Colby Jones of Durbin Farms Market said.

Owner Danny Jones said the business started the annual event because “no one else was doing it.”

“No one did a peach season kickoff and that is the main part of Chilton County is our peaches, that is what we are known for,” Danny Jones said.

His favorite varieties are bounty, O’Henry and harvester.

“Agritourism is a huge part of the county and the state, so I think it is really cool that we … try to celebrate something that makes a large impact,” Colby Jones said.

His favorite variety of peach is O’Henry.

“They typically come in late July early August. They are one of your older Elberta peaches that you have come in. It’s a huge red peach. It’s what you think of when you think of what a peach would look and taste like,” Colby Jones said.

Samples of local produce and peach cider were offered throughout the event. Three types of cider are sold at Durbin Market: peach, scuppernong and apple.

“Peach and scuppernong are probably my favorites,” Colby Jones said. “The peach cider is very good. It is mellow, but it definitely has a sweet flavor that you’d come to expect.”

He described a scuppernong as a “white wild grape”

The ciders are manufactured by a company in Georgia and some Chilton County peaches are used.

Catherine Frazier of Maylene, Alabama had her first taste of peach cider during the event. She said it was “very good.”

“We always stop here on our way to the beach … We’ll stop going and we will stop coming back out because they have the best peaches,” Frazier said.

She said she enjoys peaches “that are not too soft and not too crunchy.”

This year’s produce samples included strawberries, blueberries, cantaloupe and watermelon. Abbey Thorton handed out samples during the event. She said she enjoys working at Durbin Farms Market because of all the people she meets.

“We’ve had people from England, Russia, all over the place,” Thorton said.

As far as peaches go, Thorton is partial to the freestone varieties, where the pit comes loose easily, similar to how it does in a plum or avocado.

“When you think of a Chilton County peach, that’s what you think of, that’s what you want is the freestone,” Thorton said.

Several customers at the event stop at the market every year on their way to southern vacation destinations. Denise and Tom Reddington of Indiana have stopped at the market for peaches while traveling to Florida for 38 years.

Libby Harper of Nashville said she and her husband Chuck always stop at Durbin Farms on the way back from Florida. Peaches and the ice cream are the main draw for them. Harper said she asks an employee their favorite variety of those available in making her decision of what to buy.

The ice cream is also a highlight for Sarah Frazier and Bryne Ehlers. Frazier said her favorite flavor was banana, while Ehlers prefers peach.

Fresh peanuts are usually on the list for Carolin and Ira Goforth during their yearly visits.

Although the peach crop has been lower than normal this year, Danny Jones said it should last until early September.