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(Mountain View Orchards/Facebook)

Justin Bieber may sing about getting his peaches down in Georgia, but around these parts, we know the cream of the crop are grown right here in Alabama—in Chilton County specifically. If the 120-foot peach-shaped water tower at Interstate 65’s Exit 212 serves as any indication, Clanton (located in Chilton County) takes its title as Alabama’s peach capital seriously. Today, Chilton County produces more than 80 percent of Alabama’s peach crop, and the area has become a popular roadside attraction for its two peach-themed highway stops: Peach Park and Durbin Farms, where you can stock up on fresh produce and an array of peach products including homemade ice cream, fried pies, cobbler, butters, preserves, and more. 

Chilton County’s history as a peach paradise goes way back. Though the exact origins are unclear, many think that peaches were grown in the area as early as 1540—and likely hundreds of years before. The book “Chilton County and Her People: A History of Chilton County, Alabama” documents Hernando DeSoto coming across a Native American town called Pokana Talahassi in what is now Chilton County in July of 1540. Pokana Talahassi translates to Old Peach Tree Town. Others believe that DeSoto himself brought peaches to the area that same year. 

Whatever their roots, peaches finally began to take hold in the area around 1895 when Scandinavian immigrants Theodore Thorson and John Peterson established the settlement of Thorsby in Chilton County. The men established several orchards, vineyards, and fields that would become the basis for the area’s thriving peach industry today. Despite several ups and downs in production due to the climate and unpredictable weather over the years, peaches persevered. 

By 1947, the first of Chilton County’s annual Peach Festival took place. The celebration featured a parade, the crowning of a Peach Queen, picnics, peach contests, concerts, orchard tours, dancing, and a baseball game. That festival is still held each June. A Peach Parade and the crowning of a Peach Queen still take place, as does a Peach Jam Jubilee music concert and a street fair. 

Where to Pick Your Own Peaches in Chilton County

(Mountain View Orchards/Facebook)

McCraw Farms

Take your pick of peaches, nectarines, and donut peaches in the summer months. Other u-pick options include blackberries, plums, and figs.
7 a.m. to 3 p.m. | 7299 County Road 15, Maplesville | Facebook 

Where to Buy Fresh Peaches in Chilton County

Mountain View Orchards

This working farm and retail market offers several varieties of pre-picked peaches including Gala and Gold Prince. Strawberries, homemade pound cake, and apples area also available. 

Tues. – Sat. 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. | 16045 County Road 29, Jemison | Facebook

(Durbin Farms Market/Facebook)

J. Durbin Farms

Founded in 1950, J. Durbin Farms continues a long history of peach farming in Clanton. Today, you can order a peach gift box online, pick up peaches at the farm’s packing facility, or at their market off Interstate 65.  

8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (market) | 2130 7th Street South, Clanton (market) and 3233 County Road 30, Clanton (packing facility) | jimdurbinfarms.com and durbinfarmsmarket.com

Peach Park

Known for their peach ice cream and fried pies, this roadside stop also sells peaches by the bushel and peck. You can also pick up some jellies, jams, and other peach-themed goodies in the gift shop.

Sun. – Fri. 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.| 2300 7th St S, Clanton, AL 35046 | Facebook