The Carrot and Stick


  • June 8, 2011 5:44 am

Last week was our first delivery day for the CSA, it was a great pleasure to meet all of the members and have a few minutes to get acquainted. Laura and I both feel very honored to be supplying food from our farm to the tables of our Bellingham neighbors and friends. Thank You!

This week has been a good one at The Carrot and Stick! Finally the Sun shone for three soil warming and drying days…this has made a huge difference in how workable the ground is for raking out new beds and using the direct seeders. I’ve been able to get a lot more ground planted with sunflowers, beets, cabbage, radishes, mixed greens and another round of carrots. I’ve also spent a lot of time weeding and cultivating this week as the warm weather jumpstarted many plants and many a weed as well.

June 8th, 2011
The Carrot and Stick

“Cows are my passion. What I have ever sighed for has been to retreat to a Swiss farm, and live entirely surrounded by cows – and china.”

-Charles Dickens


It has been a very busy and productive week on the farm. With the help of my buddy Chris we managed to get the second 22’ x 45’ hoophouse erected and covered, this gives me more growing room for some heat loving crops like cucumbers and melons. I’ve also moved field cucumbers, winter and summer squash, plus pumpkins out of the greenhouse. Direct seeded crops include 6 types of pole beans and more pumpkins with variety names such as “Valencio”, “Wolf”, and “Small Winter Luxury”. It should be a colorful field come this Fall. With the weather continuing to warm (and now dry) the fields, improving my irrigation system has risen to the forefront of necessary activities. This weekend we will be installing the new well pump and some field lines. I’ll tell you how it goes:) The family is healthy, eating tons of salad and braised greens. Brighton is growing by the day adding hair (on the top of his head) and eyelashes to an already adorable face. Laura is also doing great it is nice to have her home all the time..though that is soon to end:( Now, why can’t we be a little more like France or Australia in our family leave practices…. hmmmm

June 15th, 2011
The Carrot and Stick



It’s finally really beginning to feel like summer! Almost to hot to fast as some of my greens have begun to bolt more quickly then I expected. However, I’m not complaining, really, it’s very nice to have the heat and the warmth to get the warm weather crops growing. But with the warm weather comes the need for irrigation and on that front (as promised) I did make some progress. Over this past weekend my high school friend Eric and I managed to hook up, test, and then drop a pump 144’ down the well drilled (not by us) in 1993 . It was a great “Eureka” moment to see water coming out of that well and being pumped into the 1100 gallon holding tank! Over the next few days into the weekend my father in-law and I will be setting up a grid of field lines to keep the crops watered and also setting up a another pump to pressurize the water for overhead irrigation. With the current forecast it sure looks like we are going to need the water!

The family is doing well! On Sunday Laura and I were able to go out for lunch while Laura’s Mom Patricia took care of young B. Being “honored” for being a father for the first time was a little odd, I haven’t done much other than a little diaper changing, rocking, bouncing, playing, cooing and carrying. Now Laura, she deserves all the real accolades and is a wonderful mother. I suppose I’ll earn my stripes in the months to come as baby B. and I hold down the farm while Laura goes back to work. The adventure continues….

The Carrot and Stick
Tuesday June 21, 2011


This past week work on the farm centered around water and irrigation. The forecast kept calling for rain but it only came in tiny amounts until today. I even had Laura and Brighton out hand-watering the fields just in case. The irony does not escape me that yesterday afternoon I finally had abundant water flowing to the fields, sprinklers casting water in a 50 – 60’ radius and then this morning awoke to a downpour and happy, well watered plants. At least I’m ready for the next extended dry spell and anticipating more bright sunshine.
Work on the stage begins tomorrow as I’m looking forward to a few members of the CSA coming out this weekend to wield screw-guns in the name of Music at the Farm. I’m anticipating the musical events a great deal and can’t wait for the acoustic properties of Squalicum Valley to be tested by the Boundary Bay Brass on July 16th.

The rain is falling steadily outside, and I have Vegis to pick:)

The Carrot and Stick
June 29, 2011

“A Farmer is nothing more nor less than a handy man with a sense of humus!”

E.B White


Great strides have been made toward having performances here at The Carrot and Stick!
Saturday the 2nd saw many members of the CSA here putting the finishing touches on our stage project. I really appreciate the efforts of Neil, Jack, Doug, Chris, Polly, Morgon, Donald and Lucas; what an excellent crew and effort. Bravo!

Sunday was Laura’s last day of maternity leave and curiosity/trepidation with a dash of uncertainty ruled our final days as a full-time stay at home family. Certainly transitioning into working full-time plus at the farm with the addition of the new baby has been exciting and challenging. Now, how to be a full time Dad and a full time farmer at the same time? Turns out….it can’t be done!

Monday July 4th, 2011…Laura goes back to work day!
1:30 Laura departs the Farm
2:00 Ephraim rigs baby seat with shade umbrella on Vermont Cart
loads baby Brighton and a few seedling into Cart. Moves out…
2:15 Ephraim arrives at planting area…stops.. ..Brighton begins crying..
2:25 Ephraim moves Brighton to Baby Bjorn front pack…begins hoeing….
Brighton continues crying
3:00 Ephraim loads cart…..returns to house…commences baby pleasing antics!

For the remainder of the day, baby monitor on belt, I was able to steal about 40 minutes from baby duty to water and start a few seedlings. Day two (yesterday) in the fields was quite a bit better and Brighton observed work in the gardens for about an hour and then took a 3 hour afternoon nap. I continue to work on strategies to get Brighton outdoors with me and either sleeping or blissfully absorbed in watching his Dad work. It is a real pleasure to be able to spend time with the little fella and to be close at hand to watch him grow; I feel very fortunate!

The Carrot and Stick
July 6th, 2011

Grandma to the Rescue! Laura’s Mom has graced us with her presence and her baby soothing and pleasing skills these past five days. It has been a relief to hand over the wee Brighton to grandma though I do miss having concentrated time with him. Somehow there has to be a way to find a good and reasonable balance between the farm and time with B. With Grandma here I was able to continue the preparations for this weekend’s coming concert and also to wade into the weeds that continue to pressure the perimeter. The Allis Chalmers G is running well and I finally was able to mount two of the cultivators well enough to make them useful for weeding the rows…what a relief:) One incident occurred though when I hit a rock while in reverse, the entire cultivator buckled in half and I spent about an hour heating and re-bending the implement so it was useful again. Live and learn! The rain this past day has been welcome…I only hope that low-pressure trough off the coast moves North so we can have a sunny Saturday concert!

Ephraim Kurszewski
The Carrot and Stick
July 13, 2011

1 Comment

  1. Brandie says:

    Hey guys! It’s great to know that your season has been so successful thus far! Keep up the good work and we look forward to touching base at the Food To Bank On meetings. Let us know if you make it up the Skagit Valley again, we would love to see the new baby!

    Take care and many blessings, Brandie and Bradley

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