Mayhaw 101 in El Dorado

Paul McLaughlin at his orchard. Photo by Z. Clift.
Paul McLaughlin at his orchard. Photo by Z. Clift.

Mayhaws have a reputation as a celebrated delicacy of Southern U.S. cuisine. Next weekend,  (April 27) there will be an opportunity for the public to learn more about these berries during Mayhaw 101 in El Dorado. The event will take place at Paul’s Mayhaw Orchard at 279 Nick Springs Road ( behind Paul’s Welding).

“Our goal is to educate the public about how mayhaws are grown, how to care for them and how to harvest, and make the famous mayhaw jelly and different products from the juice, “ said Paul McLaughlin president of the Louisiana Mayhaw Association and owner of Paul’s in El Dorado. “Robin Bridges, the County Agriculture  agent, will be giving a talk on the history of mayhaws plus an orchard tour after the jelly making class and the jelly judging. We will have grafted Maxine, Royal Star and Spectacular mayhaw trees, mayhaw jelly and mayhaw syrup for sale. You can’t get the syrup anywhere around here but at Paul’s Mayhaw Orchard and if you haven’t tried it on some ice cream you need to.”

McLaughlin added that visitors will get to view a producing orchard with fruit on the trees during an orchard tour and will also be able to buy grafted mayhaw trees and jelly at the event. Below is an outline of the event, sent by McLaughlin.


8:45-9:00              Registration, jelly entry, meet-n-greet, biscuits & jelly

9:00-9:30              Overview of mayhaws (history, etc.)

9:30-10:00           Orchard tour

10:00-11:00         Jelly making 101

10:30                     Jelly judging results & taste testing, ice-cream sampling

11:00-11:30         Care and culture of mayhaws

11:30-12:00         Grafting

12:00-‘til              Sales – jelly, trees, perennials, etc.


Close-up of mayhaw plant. Photo by Z. Clift

McLaughlin. Is a wonderful source on mayhaws and helped me with an article on mayhaws last year. Here is a link to the article if there might be an interest.

The following weekend (May 4) is another chance to celebrate mayhaws as  the  21st annual Mayhaw Festival will take place in El Dorado at the Newton House Museum at 422 N. Jackson Street. ( of note, this festival is not part of the Mayhaw 101 event). The festival will bring in a music act on Friday, May 3 to Heritage Park in the Union Square District.  The festival includes activities for families, bluegrass and folk music, mayhaw jelly, museum tours and more. More details can be found here. 

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