WildCarrot shop displays owners’ homespun style

Published on Thu, Jul 20, 2006 by ack Kintner

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Wild Carrot shop displays owners’ homespun style

By Jack Kintner

The old Windmill Store at the corner of Bell Road and Peace Portal Drive was once a grocery store, run by second-generation descendants of the Hovander family for whom Hovander Park in Ferndale is named.

Later it became a duty-free outlet, but after a fresh coat of paint and some interior renovation it has re-opened as the Wild Carrot What-Not Shop under Glen and Tammy Stewart of Blaine.

The easiest way to understand their changing stock of antique toys, other sundries, custom wooden furniture and “Carrotism,” their philosophy of life, is to just go there, look and listen.

“If the windmill’s spinning, we’re open,” said Tammy Stewart. The couple also manufactures modular greenhouses of their own design out of fir at their farm and shop a short ways south of the store on Peace Portal.

The site is marked by a home-made billboard on a truck trailer visible from I-5 that advertises their website, www.wildcarrot.tv.

Glen Stewart marched in Blaine’s recent Fourth of July parade as Katch, the Wild Carrot. Tammy’s character is Jelly Bean.

Their radiantly glowing orange costumes were made by his niece, Sherry-Lynn DeBoer of Blaine. At their website you can join the movement by becoming a part of the Wild Carrot Crew.

Glen Stewart, a New Westminster native, said that he’s “living the American dream” by making his own products and being able to impart a bit of his gentle homespun philosophy while doing it.

“People will listen to you when you’re making them laugh, or entertaining them,” he said, “and they’re more receptive to suggestions about how to do better. And we can all do better at whatever we do, including me,” he said.

From there on things get a little vague, but in a very enjoyable sort of way, as if the Canadian TV character Red Green were running a notions store.

There are some genuine and valuable antiques inside, such as the collection of Buddy-L metal toys and a fairly large display of china and table wear.

Outside Stewart keeps his modular greenhouses. They’re made of fir or mahogany frames and designed to be taken apart and added to as they’re put together with stainless steel bolts and wing nuts. The cheapest ones are about 80 by 30 inches and about six feet tall and are currently on sale for a little under $200, delivery included, which is less than the materials cost. “Once you get one of these you can expand it to be 100 feet long if you like,” Stewart said.

The Wild Carrot What-Not Shop at 1690 Bell Road is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week, and their phone number is 332-1928.