Coulter Allen Ward, nicknamed “Cal” (named after his two grandfathers – using both of their middle names), was born yesterday afternoon in California! He is a healthy, 9lb – 3oz baby boy who is delighting his parents and enrapturing his extended family with shared peeks as we receive his first photos. Here he is sporting the knitted cap from Nana which says “Baby” on one side and “Ward” on the other. We are over the moon with his sweet, sweet arrival! Here he is in profile…I just want to gobble him up!We can’t wait to welcome him to the farm and get him eating all the farm goodies we will have to offer! I will leave on Saturday to help out as the Ward family spends their final month in California before transitioning to nearby Kirkwood, Missouri at the end of May. Did I mention that we are over the moon??? Nothing compares to welcoming a little baby! Congrats to the proud parents! Well done!
That said, despite our distractions with the arrival of this newest family member, we are pressured to get the fields planted when we can – so the peas went in today. We put in 4 rows (22′ long – about 200 seeds) of Burpee ‘Easy Peasy’ seeds that are a self supporting variety and we had good luck with them last year. Does anyone remember that I was harvesting the last of them when waiting for the bride to arrive last year a week in advance of the wedding? Yummy peas to look forward to in June!
I also worked in the strawberries as well since we are constantly weeding that patch and we plan to do some infill with new plants as soon as the soil conditions allow. There are plenty of blooms on existing plants and some fruit has set on already! Can you see the green strawberries in this pic? Look for the two nodding (downward turned) former blossoms that are below the lower blossom. We have two varieties of June bearing plants but only the earlier one has set on.Talk about setting on…the orchard is crazy with fruit right now! The peaches and nectarines are absolutely loaded with tiny fruits! It may be hard to see, but the white round/oblong part of this pic is the fuzzy fruit of a peach. The blossom end is still attached but that will fall off soon. We may still have to cull some young fruits off these smaller trees but we are hoping for a stellar season of stone fruits!The apple/pear side of the orchard is in a similar situation! The evidence of small, future fruits from the blossoms are just profoundly evident! Future apples (little swells) are just under the crown of the stamens!The blueberries are also prolific and blooming their heads off with more fruit set on than I’ve seen any other year! Here are blossoms. We put the netting back on the blueberries today. This maneuver is a two person job but is still tricky to do since the nets get caught on the posts here and there (and even our boot eyelets!) but we try very hard not to let the netting touch the blossoms since they will tear at them and rip them off if we are not careful. The nets are 14 feet wide by 45 feet long so they can be rather cumbersome to install. They are trickier after several seasons since they have repairs and spots that are tangled. Here is one of the large stored nets that we unfurled today and installed on one of 5 varieties of blueberries. In order of ripening: we have 10 each of these bushes: Patriot, Blue Ray, Blue Crop, Jersey and Eliot varieties.
It is difficult to focus on the farm when all we want to do is admire our first grandchild but this is a busy time of year! We look forward to sharing all that we have to offer here with this little guy as he nestles into our lives in the coming years!
Love and kisses to our new little grandson from “Nana” and “Gramps”! Story to follow on this name for Dave but one of his grandfathers was called Gramps. Large boots to fill…certainly a worthy goal to strive for and an example to set for all grandchildren.