Yearly Archives: 2020

Farmers Market Recipes

Farmers’ Market Recipe: Crowder Peas & Stewed Greens for a Local New Years Tradition

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Seasonal recipes inspired by fresh ingredients found at the Covington Farmers’ Market by Chelsea Cochrane

For many of us here in the South, New Years day would be incomplete without the compliments of black-eyed peas and greens. This tradition is said to bring prosperity and good luck into the new year.

The recipe has inevitably changed over the years, but probably not by much. The standard ingredients generally remain the same: peas (usually black-eyed), pork, rice and greens. You can’t go wrong with a dish like that. Some folks make it all in one pot – I prefer to cook my rice separate, and ever since I tried this stewed greens recipe I can’t have them any other way. You can add a local twist by using Nick’s crowder peas from the Farmers’ Market in place of the black-eyed peas! After all, traditionally we used what was around us. The Market has plenty of fresh greens for you to choose from too, and as always, hormone and nitrate free bacon from Jubilee Farms.

Crowder Peas & Stewed Greens

(serves about 4 people)

Ingredients for the peas:

  • 6 – 8 ounces bacon, cubed in 1/2 inch chunks, from Jubilee Farms
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 – 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb crowder peas from Nick at GROW.farm
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 – 4 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • cayenne, salt and black pepper to taste

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4 cups cooked rice of your choice
1/2 cup chopped green onion for garnish
optional: homemade hot sauce

Directions for the peas:

  1. Sort and rinse peas before use.
  2. In a large pot, bring peas and 6 cups of water to a boil. Let it roll for about 5 minutes, then turn the pot off and let them sit for 15 minutes or so. Strain into a colander.
  3. In the same large pot rinsed out and dried, cook bacon until it begins to crisp. Add onions, bell pepper and celery with a little salt and pepper. Once fragrant, add garlic. Stir and cook for a few more minutes.
  4. Add peas back in with 4 cups broth. Bring up to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer. Mix in bay leaf, herbs and spices. Add water a 1/2 cup at a time as needed. Cook to desired consistency.

Ingredients for the Greens:

  • 4 – 6 ounces of bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 lightly packed cups chopped greens of your choice – collards or mustard
  • 1 cup broth or water
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • red chili pepper flakes to taste
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions for the greens:

  1. In a large skillet, cook bacon until crispy. Remove and pat off excess oil. Set aside.
  2. In the same skillet, saute onions until they are translucent. Add garlic and stir.
  3. Add the greens in batches, about a cup at a time. Pour in the broth and bring to a light boil – reduce heat and simmer for 5 – 10 minutes, until a good bit of the liquid has cooked out. Add the apple cider vinegar, honey and spices.

Serve with cornbread & have a Happy New Years!

Local History

Local History: Bogue Falaya Wayside Park

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Covington History segment provided by local historical writer Ron Barthet. View Ron’s blog Tammany Family here.

Bogue Falaya Park in Covington was a happening place in the beginning of the 20th Century. There were all kinds of dances, plays and general get-togethers in the park. Hundreds of people passed through the entrance gates of the community park on summer weekends to sit by the river, enjoy the shade of the large pavilion and listen to music or see a show of some sort. Click on the images to see a larger version.

It was first opened in July, 1909, as indicated by the following newspaper article from the St. Tammany Farmer. Click on the image to enlarge the type.

Here are some pictures of the entrance to Bogue Falaya Park. The first one is in the 1910’s.

A previous entrance to Bogue Falaya Park, according to the postcard caption.

A March 27, 1920, Editorial About the Park
Heading for the Park Pavilion
The large park pavilion that was repeatedly damaged by floods
A July 4, 1939, gathering at the park
The park pavilion in 2016

According to Pat Clanton, the original large pavilion in the park was destroyed around 1915 and replaced with the current day pavilion, which is much smaller.

The large brick entrance posts are also interesting.

The entrance gate built in 1920 served pedestrians, but was modified a few years later to accommodate cars. The two pillars on either side of that gate were retained. They were restored in 2007 along with the historical marker that was placed on them originally.

On January 24, 1920, W. L. Stevenson wrote a letter to the St. Tammany Farmer proposing that the above brick entrance pillars be built.

The sign above is a replica of an earlier sign that adorned the entrance to the park. The new sign was built in 1993 using funds generated by the sale of a song-filled cassette about St. Tammany Rivers. CLICK HERE for more information.

The Documentation for Placement on the National Registry of Historic Places

On August 17, 2017, Bogue Falaya Park was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The narrative description of the park listed on the NRHP application went as follows (with some editing):

The Bogue Falaya River was pivotal in the development of Covington. Covington was at one point one of the major ports for cotton coming from Mississippi and Florida. In addition to cotton shipments were brick, lumber, beef, and poultry. In the early and mid-19th century, Covington was a central axis for trading and the Bogue Falaya served to link the town with Lake Pontchartrain and finally New Orleans.

Not only were goods and people moving from Covington to New Orleans, the residents of New Orleans were flocking to the Bogue Falaya riverbanks. Covington and the other towns were designated to be the 2nd healthiest place in the United States after the Civil War due to the significantly lower levels of disease related deaths. People would come to the Bogue Falaya to swim and to enjoy the clean air. Covington and the Bogue Falaya became such a prominent tourist attraction that early versions of bed and breakfasts were developed along the river and in the town to accommodate for these visitors.

Bogue Falaya Park is located on the eastern side of the city of Covington, Louisiana on the banks of the Falaya River. A thirteen-acre park located at the end of N. New Hampshire Street with a natural boundary of the river to the east and the suburban neighborhood to the west.

Within the park are two significant structures, the main being the pavilion situated at the end of the turning circle/ parking lot area within the park. The dominant feature of the park, the current pavilion was constructed in 1915 and has acted continuously as an important community gathering center for the city of Covington.

The second are the gates to the park, donated in 1920 by a Dr. Lawrence Stevenson. The remaining features of the gate include brick and mortar posts with marble plaques and three cast iron cannon balls a top each post. Originally larger, they have been receded to allow for vehicle access to the park.

In addition to these primary features, there is also an original lifeguard chair dating to approximately the 1950s. A dilapidated concession stand and newer construction wooden playground are also on the site and are non-contributing elements to the park.

The park offers a variety of vegetation featuring several live oak and long leaf yellow pine trees throughout.

Bogue Falaya Park, located within the city limits of Covington, Louisiana, was opened on July 1, 1909, along the banks of the Bogue Falaya River. Already a popular recreation site because of the river, the park developed into a central gathering space for community members of Covington.

The area is mostly sand with the only paved areas being the driveway into the park and turnaround area directly in front of the pavilion. The turnaround area features a small sculpture, stone benches, and is the most manicured/planned area in terms of vegetation.

The park has many trees most of which are cypress, oak, or long leaf yellow pine, which are common to the area. The ground is primarily sand, with some small growth of grasses. As it was always meant to be a recreational space and not a designed landscape, the park still retains its integrity as a contributing site and is the only resource of the park itself that dates to the original opening in 1909.

The lifeguard chair is a contributing object. The wooden portions of the chair (seat and back) have rotted away, but one can still easily tell that this was a lifeguard chair. It stands on the banks of the Bogue Falaya River and helps to illustrate the recreational aspect that the park and river played. It is constructed of pipe metal and fits the typical design of a lifeguard chair, being taller so that that lifeguard could see over crowds and well into the water. It dates to the 1950s and is thus, within the period of significance for the park.

The Bogue Falaya Park is significant for recreation and entertainment as the park has provided a recreational space that was not only used by locals, but residents of New Orleans as well, for over 100 years. The historic resources within the park have been continually used by residents and visitors and retain a high degree of integrity.

The park itself provides a rural oasis within the city of Covington away from the hustle and bustle of the downtown area. The park continues to this day to be a significant recreational resource for the community

Due to the relative health of the city of Covington and the access to the river, recreation became a large part of the Bogue Falaya and its banks. The land for the park was bought from G.R Tolson in 1908 by the City of Covington to establish a 13-acre park. The park was officially opened on July 1st, 1909. The city maintained the park from that time until 1938 when it was gifted to the State of Louisiana who managed it until 1978 when it was given back to Covington.

The original pavilion was constructed in 1907 and was destroyed in a storm in 1915, which necessitated the building of the existing structure. Even prior to the formal designation of the park, this original pavilion and riverbank area was a popular destination and a source of pride for residents and a featured tourism spot.

Multiple post cards were developed in this time with renderings and photographs of the pavilion. One shows visitors walking to the pavilion with their buggies parked in the grass.

Up until the 1960s, the park was a popular swimming spot for the residents of Covington, and on the weekends, residents of New Orleans. The pavilion was used as a gathering space for visitors to the park. The pavilion offers an open space for people to gather under and, when the park was still open for swimming, it offered a counter where you could purchase a basket of swimming essentials.

Behind the counter were showers and changing areas for swimmers. In the front, to the left-hand side was a concession stand where visitors could buy an assortment of refreshments. A jukebox was also in the pavilion. During the period of significance, the pavilion and park were open all night and became a place for teenagers to dance.

Current residents of the town of Covington recall that on the weekends there was barely a section of beach left to lay your blanket and fondly spoke of their youth – swimming during the day and dancing with friends into the evening.

The river, as told above, was the heart and soul of both commerce and leisure in Covington for a significant amount of time and a main reason Covington became a destination spot. The river was the center of life in Covington – where people would relax, wash their clothes, and even baptize their young. This continued up to and past the development of Bogue Falaya Park.

The park was built to accommodate the recreation of the river. The evolution of this area into a park is a natural progression of the use of the space, as represented by the fact that the original pavilion predates the land being bought for the park by one year.

Clearly, the need was there for a structure to provide shade, the needed facilities for such a popular swimming spot, and a place to gather as a community. The vitality and popularity of the park and pavilion continued up until the late 1960s when the river became polluted and the park went into a state of disrepair. In the early 1980s, the park was reopened and in 1984, it underwent a renovation. New sand was brought in, debris was cleared away, and the pavilion was cleaned and repainted.

The Bogue Falaya Park is significant because of the popularity of the park among residents of Covington and the pivotal role the pavilion played in providing services, entertainment, and a break from the heat during a time when tourism and recreation on the Northshore was at an unsurpassed rate. This park provided the main recreational access to the river and was a true center of the community during the hot months. The park and pavilion were also used for private family parties and gatherings as well as public town events throughout the year.

The Pavilion

The original pavilion was built in 1907 and was destroyed in a storm in 1915. The existing pavilion was constructed that same year to replace the damaged original. The pavilion is a free-standing wood construction building located at the end of the parking lot turning circle and serves as the focal point in the park.

The pavilion is a one-story structure and is dominated by a large open air room. A set of five wooden stairs with a railing on both sides brings visitors up to a small inset doorway with wood trim painted the color tan. The interior space from the front entrance opens into a large square area with low wooden benches along the perimeter.

The back wall contains two sets of double doors, behind which is now storage/prepping area. This space was originally where visitors would rent swimming equipment and housed the changing areas for each sex. To the right and left of these doors are the current restrooms. A later addition, on the back-left section of the pavilion facing the back wall is a handicapped accessible restroom. To the left of the main structure is a low side addition, which used to serve as the concession area. The building retains a high degree of historic integrity for location, setting, design, materials, workmanship, feel and association. It has been continually used by the community for over 100 years and its historic features have been retained while also updating certain aspects of the building for modern uses. The pavilion is over 50 years old and retains much of its integrity from its construction in 1915, with some modifications and upgrades as stated above.

The gates are the next significant structure in the park and lie at the only vehicle access entrance to the park at the end of N. New Hampshire Street. Constructed in 1920 the gates were a gift to the park by Dr. Stevenson and were dedicated to his parents and the Rebel Ram Manassas, which was a submarine that served in the civil war to defend Louisiana.

Each of the two sides of the gate sit on a concrete footer. The focal points of the gate are two redbrick and mortar structures with a square concrete footer and a marble base. On the capstone are three cast iron cannon balls.

On the southern elevation of the eastern gate the plaque reads “Original Park Gates erected 1920, Restored 2007” and features a carving of the gates on the top of the plaque. The east and west elevations include a cement placeholder for the plaque.

The north elevation has a marble plaque with a carving of the Rebel Ram Manassas and reads “My Parents, Projectors of the Rebel Ram Manassas, Defender of Louisiana in The Civil War, Dr. Stevenson, 1920”. Dr. Stevenson donated the gates in 1920 in honor of his parents and the CSS Ram Manassas.

The CSS Ram Manassas was active during the Civil War as a part of the Confederate fleet. The Manassas has a unique history and was originally designed in Massachusetts as a towboat and used as a steam icebreaker. The ship was captured and purchased by Captain John Stevenson, who was the father of Dr. Stevenson. Captain Stevenson turned the icebreaker he had purchased into a ram – which is an entirely ironclad ship run by steam meant to (literally) ram other ships and to be impermeable to cannonballs.

The Ram Manassas was one of the first ironclad ships built for the Confederacy. Eventually, the ship was defeated, but its story offers a unique perspective into naval warfare during the Civil War. This history is especially relevant to the significance of this property due to its connection to the rivers.

Originally the gates had iron gates to enclose the park. These were removed with the increase in vehicle traffic to the park. Over the years, the gates were vandalized and fell into disrepair. The cannonballs were stolen and the plaques damaged. In 2007, the gates and plaques underwent restoration. The cannonballs were replaced with ones to match. The gates are contributing objects as, although they have been restored with the cannonballs replaced, they are over 50 years old and retain their historic integrity. The town appreciates and is aware of this history as was shown by the hard work that was put in to carefully restoring the gates in 2007.

Today, the park is used daily by locals and visitors alike. The pavilion is still available for private rental for celebrations and gatherings and is often booked. Town-organized events are also held in the structure, such as the philharmonic music event series and the Halloween Monster Mash.

The park is a source of joy and pride for all the residents of Covington and remains an important asset to the community. The gates to the park are also significant in and of themselves and offer a piece of history about some of the residents of the town.

The Bogue Falaya Park has served as a key recreational facility in Covington since it was first created in 1907-08.

See also:
Sign Dedication at the Park Entrance
Bogue Falaya Park Pavilion

Visit tammanyfamily.blogspot.com to see more great local history!

Local News

Update from Councilwoman Cody Ludwig – Roadway Improvements Set for Boston Street

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The following is from an email update from Covington City Councilwoman Cody Ludwig, District D. Sign up for updates here.

In our December 8th council meeting we passed a resolution giving Mayor Johnson the authority to execute a cooperative endeavor agreement with the Louisiana Department of Treasury and the State of Louisiana for a Line Item Appropriation in Act 45 of the 2020 Second Extraordinary Legislative Session for Roadway Improvements.  

Watch the full meeting here:

Through the efforts of State Senator Patrick McMath and State Representative Mark Wright, the City has secured a $500,000.00 grant to resurface Boston Street from Jefferson Avenue to Lee Lane.  Very exciting news and much appreciated!

Our first council meeting for 2021 will be January 12th at 6pm at the Council Chambers located at 222 East Kirkland St. Full calendar of our meetings and other info on our website. Masks are mandated, no standing allowed and there is limited seating available.

www.covla.com

Quote & Word of the Week Word of the Week

Word of the Week

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convalesce

verb \kahn-vuh-LESS\

: to recover health and strength gradually after sickness or weakness

Did You Know?

When you convalesce, you heal or grow strong after illness or injury, often by staying off your feet. The related adjective convalescent means “recovering from sickness or debility,” and a convalescent home is a hospital for long-term recuperation and rehabilitation. Convalesce derives from the Latin verb convalescere, which combines the prefix com- (“with, together, jointly”) with the verb valescere (“to grow strong”). Valescere, in turn, is related to the verb valēre (“to be strong or be well”), which is also an ancestor of prevail, valor, value, and valid. – from Merriam-Webster.com

Quote & Word of the Week Quote of the Week

Quote of the Week

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“The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.” – Madeline L’Engle

Madeleine L’Engle Camp (November 29, 1918 – September 6, 2007) was an American writer of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and young adult fiction, including A Wrinkle in Time and its sequels: A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters, and An Acceptable Time. Her works reflect both her Christian faith and her strong interest in modern science. Read more here: www.wiki.org

Pet of the Week

NHS Adoptable Pet of the Week

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Northshore Humane Society‘s adoptable pet of the week:

Hugo

Hugo is one of the longest residents at Northshore Humane Society and has been looking for his forever home for eight months now. He was found homeless by a group of children playing outside in their neighborhood.

Hugo is two-year-old large breed mix who loves to play and will do anything for a treat! He would make a great addition to a big family or a companion to an active couple. This exuberant pup is ready for your next camping or hiking trip!

If you are interested in Hugo or any of the adoptable pets at Northshore Humane Society, please email rescue@nshumane.org today!

Quote & Word of the Week Word of the Week

Word of the Week

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idiopathic

adjective \id-ee-uh-PATH-ik\

1 : arising spontaneously or from an obscure or unknown cause : primary

2 : peculiar to the individual

Did You Know?

Idiopathic joins the combining form idio- (from Greek idios, meaning “one’s own” or “private”) with -pathic, a form that suggests the effects of disease. The combining form idio- is typically found in technical terms. Examples include idiographic, meaning “relating to or dealing with something concrete, individual, or unique”; idiolect, meaning “the language or speech pattern of one individual at a particular period of life”; and idiotype, meaning “the molecular structure and conformation of an antibody that confers its antigenic specificity.” A more common idio- word is idiosyncrasy, which most commonly refers to an unusual way in which a person behaves or thinks, or to an unusual part or feature of something.

Examples

“Konnikova is a popular psychology writer…. Her interest was sparked by the unfairness of life—idiopathic illness striking at random, her husband’s start-up failing, and so on.” — Hermione Eyre, The Spectator, 27 June 2020

“There are a number of reports of individuals who have developed an idiopathic (unexplained) inability to sweat during military and extreme training.” — Adam Taylor, The Independent (UK), 19 Nov. 2019

– from Merriam-Webster.com

Farmers Market Recipes

Farmers’ Market Recipe: a Little Good, a Little Naughty Sweet Potato Muffins

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by Chelsea Cochrane

A recipe so good, you’ll think it’s bad… But it’s actually packed full of healthy ingredients, like sweet potato, ginger, turmeric and coconut oil. Just baked in a deliciously moist, soft muffin, possibly dusted with some powdered sugar. It’s the best of both worlds!

Sweet potatoes are in season at the Covington Farmers’ Market! They’re a great healthy, nutritious food, packed with complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber, antioxidants like beta carotene, vitamins C, E & D, as well as minerals like manganese and iron. You can find them in a variety of sizes and colors at the market, all locally harvested and fresh for a full nutritional punch!

Picking Your Sweet Potatoes

The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) is a member of the morning glory family, native to tropical regions of the Americas. There are many different varieties, ranging in taste, texture and consistency. Generally speaking, orange potatoes are the sweetest, and the darker the orange the sweeter. For this recipe I would suggest a sweeter potato, but feel free to do a mix. When in doubt, ask your farmer!

Go ahead and cook your sweet potatoes well ahead of time to allow for cooking, cooling and mashing time. You’ll want 3 cups total mashed potato when you’re done, so you’ll need about 3 pounds of sweet potato to start. It’s a good idea to go ahead and do extra just in case – you can always use it in another recipe, like this one:

Sweet Potato Muffin Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of mashed sweet potato (see instructions)
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ginger powder
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • optional – powdered sugar for dusting

Directions:

(Note: Cook the sweet potatoes well ahead of time to allow them to cool down completely before handling.)

  1. Pierce holes in the sweet potatoes with a fork. In a lined baking sheet, roast at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, or until soft enough to poke straight through with a butter knife.
  2. When completely cooled, peel off potato skins and mash insides thoroughly. Measure out 3 cups.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and powder, salt, and spices.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the sweet potato, sugar, coconut oil, egg and vanilla.
  5. Portion evenly into muffin tins. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool on a rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.
  7. Make it a little naughty with some powdered sugar dusting, if you like. After all, it is the holidays!
This Week at the Farmer's Market

This Week at the Farmers’ Market by Charlene LeJeune

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Covington Farmers’ Market weekly newsletter by Charlene LeJeune:

Glad tidings of great joy, friends! Are you all ready for the big day? Presents all (or mostly) purchased or made? Are they all wrapped, or is waiting until Christmas Eve to wrap a family tradition? One thing you won’t need to worry about is what’s for lunch. Probably a good idea to grab extras and give yourself extra time shopping. Joy is preparing tasty Stuffed Chicken Breast for tomorrow. She’ll also have her delicious Grab N Goes which are perfect to take home. They are frozen; just defrost and serve, or keep frozen for another time you are just too pooped to cook. Abeer will have Baba Ghanoush this week, such a lovely dip for parties as does her hummus. She’ll also have Green Bean Moussaka. Bhakti Farms has several amazing choices — mushroom burger and the every-popular beet & black bean burger and their Bhakti Bowls are wonderful!

Do not forget eggs from Kristen. I find I always need extra around the holidays for baking and special meals. Sweet, raw honey from Jerry makes a lovely gift, especially if the receiver is yourself. Perfect on pancakes, biscuits, toast, corn muffins… Check out Golden Light’s goodies for the week. Mignon has some fabulous tonics to help your immune system through the season. She has made some beautiful beeswax (locally sourced) candles.

Before you know it, though, it will be the day after and the market will be open. Michaela Lauer’s sweet voice drifts from the gazebo bringing joy to the world! So begin at the pavilion with a warm cup of coffee, then make your way around the market. We have so many wonderful vendors with fabulous products. Of course, the place to start is breakfast. Meme’s veggie pancakes have always been a market favorite. Norma’s amazing quiches are delicious as are her brownies!! (Yes! Brownies do make a wonderful breakfast!)  

Veggies abound — kale, lettuces, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, sweet potatoes — Oh, the joys of the season! The strawberries are sooo sweet this year. Wouldn’t they make a tasty addition to your holiday fare? Mauthe’s had egg nog last week and I’m hoping they will again this week. It was born of a collaboration with Billy, of HooDoo Ice Cream fame, so you know it’s gotta be good. 

As I said, lotsa great offerings on our vendors’ tables. Good time to get your sweets and treats for game days (and there are many of them) and the upcoming New Year celebration. It’s been a difficult year, friends, and we thank you for your consistent patronage. I hope that our market has brought some measure of comfort throughout this year. I pray that the blessings of this season follow you into the new year. Hopefully, you will join us.

Lots of love, 
Charlene LeJeune
Abundant Life Kitchen

The Covington Farmers’ Market is open each Wednesday, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Covington Trailhead, 419 N. New Hampshire and every Saturday from 8a.m. to 12p.m. on the side lawn of the Covington Police Station, 609 N. Columbia St. Call (985) 892-1873 for information or visit www.covingtonfarmersmarket.org

Check out our Facebook page – facebook.com/thecovingtonlafarmersmarket
On Instagram — @covingtonlafarmersmarket

Local Events

Chillin’ at the River with Cameron Dupuy and the Cajun Troubadours this Saturday

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Come out to one last concert of the year at the Bogue Falaya Park! The day after Christmas, Cameron Dupuy and the Cajun Troubadours will perform for a free live concert on the river.

On Saturday December 26th, the City of Covington presents Grammy nominated Cameron Dupuy and the Cajun Troubadours at the Bogue Falaya Park from 4 – 6:30 pm. A continuation of the Chillin’ at the River concert series, guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets, and picnics as food and beverages will not be provided. Masks are required, sanitation and social distancing circles will be available.

These concerts are put on to provide safe, family friendly entertainment with social distancing in mind. Enjoy the scenic sprawling landscape of our beautiful park while listening to local live music. Afterwards, take a stroll around downtown Covington and visit the many unique shops and fine dining restaurants.

Read more about the Cajun Troubadours here:

Local Events Local News

Sign Up for Zumba with the Mayor December 27th

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Registration is open for Zumba with the Mayor, an up-beat and interactive multi-generational exercise dance class. This free class is open to all levels of experience and abilities – it’s about moving and having fun. Join Mayor Mark Johnson and burn off those extra holiday calories!

The City of Covington Mayor’s Council on Healthy Lifestyles teams up with Oschner and St. Tammany Health Systems to bring together five local instructors from the YMCA, Star Fitness, Bogue Falaya Fitness, Mandeville Sports Complex, Pelican Athletic Club and Francos. Five instructors, 90 minutes of cardio, core, and fun!

This event is free and open to the public. Due to COVID, attendance is limited. Click here to register for this event.

Learn more about the Mayor’s Council on Healthy Lifestyles on their Facebook page here.

Quote & Word of the Week Quote of the Week

Quote of the Week

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“Do not grow old, no matter how long you live. Never cease to stand like curious children before the Great Mystery into which we were born.”
Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein (14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955) was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics (alongside quantum mechanics). His work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science. He is best known to the general public for his mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc2, which has been dubbed “the world’s most famous equation”. He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics “for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect”, a pivotal step in the development of quantum theory. – Wiki.org

Here’s 10 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Known About Albert Einstein from National Geographic.

Local History

Local History: the Covington Heart Pine Knot House

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Covington History segment provided by local historical writer Ron Barthet. View Ron’s blog Tammany Family here.

Over the years, it has been the subject of many an artistic photograph, painting, and even postcards. Bridal photography has used it as a background. Motorists along U.S. 190 in Covington marvel at its roadside mystery every day.

It is the 100-year-old pine knot sanctuary-haven that sits just off the highway on the old Warner home property in west Covington. The shed, about 16 feet by 16 feet, features walls of intertwined heart pine knots, a tin roof, and a dirt floor, with gates leading out of the front and back. It is surrounded by vegetation, at times obscured from view, and backed by beautiful trees.

Click on the images to make them larger

According to Warner family members, the shed was made with fat pine knots from the Mackie Pine Products company sometime in the early 1920’s. Richard Warner explained that it was a walk in gate and was used by his dad’s wife to raise ferns. 

“This was back when 21st Avenue was a dirt road and a lot of people walked where they were going,” said Richard Warner on Facebook. “It used to have a wood shingle roof, but it finally rotted away and was replaced with tin.” 

Over the years people passing by have speculated why it was built, and there were a lot of false rumors regarding its original purpose, Warner noted. 

Many older Covington residents today have it indelibly etched in their memories because of their daily trips as students on their way to Covington High past the structure. 

Richard Warner went on to say that his father, J.H. Warner, Sr., used to say he graduated from the school of hard knocks. He learned bookkeeping/accounting while he was a representative of the American Paint Works and met Harry Mackie in the early 1900’s during which time they became friends. 

“Mr. Mackie was a chemist and had a small plant in Mississippi but decided to move it to our area early in the 1900’s because of all the longleaf pine stumpage in the area,” Richard explained. “My father bought some stock in the new Mackie Pine Products and was elected Secretary/Treasurer by the board of directors of the corporation. J. Harry Warner, Jr.(Harry), who was my half brother, worked in the plant and became plant superintendent.”

When the plant burned in 1945, Mr. Mackie decided to retire and Harry, Jr. bought him out and the plant was rebuilt and renamed Delta Pine Products. “My father continued on as Secretary/Treasurer of the company until his death at the age of 89 years and 10 months of age in 1958,” Richard went on to say. 

When the company found it hard to acquire enough stumps to process, it was decided to scrap the plant. Buddy Perreand was with Southern Scrap joined with Harry, and it became P&W Industries which, according to its webpage, was established in 1967.

The Pine Knot House Becomes Legendary 

Anne Sarphie of Re/Max Alliance real estate even has a description of it on her business webpage. “The Knot House: A well-known landmark in Covington is called “The Knot House” or “The Twig House”. It is located on private property, but it sits so close to the road that you see it as you drive by. Built nearly 100 years ago… it has withstood many hurricanes, high winds and falling tree limbs. It is constructed from the heart pine knots, the hardest and heartiest part of the pine tree. It makes me smile every time I pass it.”

Artists and photographers have found it enchanting, especially when the sun and shadows are just right. Being made of knots of heart pine, it’s a unique bit of Covington’s timber and pine oil history and has a special place in many people’s hearts.

Behind the pine knot house was the Warner family property. Here is a photo of the classic family home as found on a real estate website when it was for sale a few years ago.

This is the house where the people who built the heart pine knot haven lived
More photos in the link below

See more photos of the Heart Pine Knot House at tammanyfamily.blogspot.com!

Pet of the Week

NHS Adoptable Pet of the Week

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Northshore Humane Society‘s adoptable pet of the week:

Noche

Noche and his three siblings were found homeless and brought to Northshore Humane Society in search of a second chance. Noche is a two-month-old kitten and the smallest of the group. He is also a total lovebug and very affectionate. His favorite place to be is right on your shoulder!

If you are interested in Noche or any of the adoptable pets at Northshore Humane Society, please email rescue@nshumane.org today!

Shop Local

Shop Local – Violeta’s Offers Gifts for Christmas

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Buy Local for Christmas!

Here at Violeta’s Floral & Plant Shop we have lots of artisan designed gifts available! Our preserved wreaths are a beautiful gift that will last forever. We also carry an assortment of houseplants and planters for that green thumb in your life!

Stop by the shop at 708 E. Boston Street in downtown Covington. Or you can place Christmas orders by calling 225-371-9489! Our store hours are Wednesday-Friday 10-4pm & Saturday-Sunday 11-3pm. Check out www.shopvioletas.com to learn more, and follow us on Facebook!

Read more about Violeta’s:

Local News Non Profit Spotlight

Home for the Holidays Mega Adoption Event a Big Success

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Home for the Holidays Mega Adoption Event a Big Success for Homeless Animals on the Northshore!

NHS volunteer Bobbi Jo Ball with NHS adoptable pup Bernett

Covington, LA – On Saturday, December 12th, Baldwin Motors Subaru of Covington hosted their annual Home for the Holidays Mega Adoption Event. This year was a huge success for homeless animals in our community. Over 30 dogs and cats from Northshore Humane Society and multiple agencies found their forever families and will now spend this holiday season in the warmth and comfort of a home!

Parish President Mike Cooper, NHS volunteer Heidi Carbon, NHS CEO Scott Bernier and NHS adoptable pup Brisket

The day’s festivities also included live music by Christian Serpas and Ghosttown Duo, delicious food, vendors and holiday family photos.

Want to adopt or donate to Northshore Humane Society? Visit www.northshorehumane.org to learn more!

Christian Serpas and George of Christian Serpas and Ghosttown Duo
Kitty cat area
NHS Director of Operations Shawn Williams showing an interested family homeless pup Marley
NHS volunteer Heidi Carbon holding NHS adoptable pup Wiggles
Non Profit Spotlight

Give the Gift of Hope – Donate to Children’s Advocacy Center Hope House

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From Children’s Advocacy Center – Hope House Executive Director Thomas Mitchell:

Dear Friend of Hope House,

This year has presented new challenges for us all, but probably none so much as the child abuse victims we serve at Hope House. Most of these children have experienced unfathomable sexual abuse, physical abuse, trafficking, or extreme neglect. The COVID-19 crisis has only amplified our national and local child abuse epidemic. As a united community, we can heal those emotional wounds, get justice for children, and restore faith in families, communities, and institutions.

That’s why I’m writing to ask you to support our shared mission with a tax-deductible, year-end gift.

So far in 2020, Hope House has served nearly 350 child abuse victims right here in St. Tammany and Washington Parishes. That’s more children than any preceding year in our organization’s 26-year history. As you already know, we provide:

  • Forensic interviews, which help local law enforcement bring child abusers to justice
  • Ongoing trauma-focused therapy and advocacy for victims and their non-offending caregivers
  • And abuse prevention education to adults and children throughout our community.

Thanks to the generosity of people like you, we have been able to provide all of these services free of charge, making the Northshore a safer place for children and families. Here’s a glimpse at the real-world impact of your investment:

  • $2,000 covers the cost of a forensic interview, and comprehensive care and services for one child abuse survivor.
  • $1,000 covers the cost of a child’s entire therapy journey following abuse and trauma.
  • $250 covers training to a group of 20 adults to better protect children through our Stewards of Children abuse prevention program.
  • $50 covers the cost of a specialized counseling session for a child abuse survivor.

If you believe, as we do, that the foundation of a strong community starts with the health and wellbeing of our children, please consider making an end-of-year, tax-deductible donation to Children’s Advocacy Center – Hope House. Or take your commitment one step further and become a community partner. Your donation is critical to ending the cycle of child abuse.

Please visit CAChopehouse.org or contact me directly to your donation or learn more about how you can provide hope, healing and justice to our community’s most vulnerable children.

Merry Christmas, and God bless you and your family.

Thomas Mitchell, LPC, NCC
Executive Director
985-892-3885 Ext. 3
thomas@cachopehouse.org

Give Hope! Donate Today!