Fig Walking Tour gives advice, tips for growing

Published 1:46 pm Monday, July 24, 2017


Petals from the Past hosted a Fig Walking Tour on July 22. A group of about 30 people toured the grounds and listened to advice and instruction on growing and maintaining fig plants.

The program commenced with an interactive lecture by Dr. Arlie Powell in the barn-shaped educational facility.

Powell’s son Jason Powell manages Petals from the Past alongside his wife Shelley.

Guests could sample a variety of preserves and fruits harvested on the Petals from the Past property.

Handouts were available on fruit farming topics, including a “Fig Gardening Guide,” “Petals Figs Garden Update,” a guide for chemicals to use for “miscellaneous fruits” (figs, kiwis, persimmons and pomegranates) and a descriptive plant list for temperate fruits and nuts.

In his lecture, Powell discussed care for the crops, covering a variety of topics. He provided advice and instruction on fertilization, pruning, harvesting, as well as important factors in selecting crops to cultivate. Among these influencers were climate, altitude, time and soil content.

Powell said Petals from the Past rests at about 770 feet above sea level. Since parts of Birmingham reach the same level, Powell said specific crops can be cultivated in both places.

Many pros and cons for specific crops were relayed to the assembly.

“What we try to do is maintain the plants eight to 10 feet tall,” Powell explained during his talk. “You see our trees today? A good one will average 150 fruits. But keep in mind we have to pick them every day.”

Powell described the differences between fig types and explained ways to distinguish one type from another.

During the Fig Walk Tour through part of the Petals from the Past property, Powell gave insight to crops such as grapes, figs and pears. He picked several samples for the group to taste.

Their Fig Walk Tour is merely one example of the numerous educational programs Petals from the Past provides.

Petals from the Past is located at 16034 County Road 29 in Jemison.