The 3rd annual Mayhaw 101 Clinic is coming up on March 21 in El Dorado. This event is free and open to the public. “We feel this is a great public service to educate everyone on the care and upkeep of a mayhaw orchard,” said Paul McLaughlin, owner of Paul’s Mayhaws, via email.
The event takes place at the El Dorado Conference Center at 311 South West Avenue from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
McLaughlin said in the morning there will be coffee and mayhaw jelly and biscuits for participants followed by talks by guest speakers and a cooking contest.
Among the guest speakers are Johnny Smith, president of the Louisiana Mayhaw Association, who will speak about new mayhaw varieties and grafting techniques; Bobby Talbert, a mayhaw grower, who will give tips on how to set up a mayhaw orchard; and Bill Jackson, a mayhaw producer, who will give a demonstration on how to make mayhaw jelly.
McLaughlin said the cooking contest is garnering a lot of interest and there will be cash prizes for the best mayhaw recipe. After the judging, everyone is invited to sample the entrees.
“The El Dorado trolley will be scuttling everyone from their motels to the conference center and then out to Paul’s Mayhaw Orchard for an orchard tour guided by Robin Bridges from the Union County Extension service and Rafash Brew from the Union Parish Extension service from Monroe, Louisiana,” said McLaughlin. While there, participants will be treated to free samples of mayhaw wine and homemade mayhaw ice cream. There will be limited grafted mayhaw trees for sale also. After this Paul Butler, park superintendent at Moro Bay State Park, will give guided boat tours on the Ouachita River to see mayhaws in the wild.
On March 20 there will also be a mayhaw themed four course meal (the theme is “An Evening of Mayhaw Berries” ) served with free samples of mayhaw wine at Fayrays restaurant in downtown El Dorado. Of note, this will be first come, first served with no reservations being taken for the meal.