Covington Weekly » October 27, 2020

Daily Archives: October 27, 2020

This Week at the Farmer's Market

This Week at the Farmers’ Market by Charlene LeJeune

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Covington Farmers’ Market newsletter by Charlene LeJeune:

Happy Flour Bakery at the Covington Farmers Market

Well, friends, here we are at the end of October and another tropical system threatens to disturb our market! Nevertheless, in true market tradition and weather permitting, we will be there with tasty food and great music. Now we all know that Kandy’s creamy shrimp rolls are THE BOMB! but have you tried her traditional egg roll lately? Amazing! Jerry’ honey is sweet and wonderful and he may even have satsumas this week. Cross your fingers; I’m sure ready for some tangy sweet citrus. Can’t leave the market without you Double K eggs. Those hens eat good, no GMO feed for them!

Chicken Sausage Jambalaya headlines on Joy’s table and all her Grab N Go meals are ready for you to grab and go. Check out the mushroom burger at Bhakti Farms. Sooo good! Ever delicious quiches will star on Jerome’s table and madeleines for dessert…mmm mmm mmm Mediterranean delights fill Abeer’s table — grape leaves, hummus, tzatziki (which is wonderful for your chicken rolls to take a dip in). 

Faust Farms is back!

Liven up your Saturday morning with The Abita Stumps in the gazebo. Then grab a fresh coffee or tea from the pavilion and make your way around the market. There’s so much goodness out there. You know that Faust Farms is back and they are loaded with their ever popular spring mix. Also on the table will be eggplant, heirloom tomatoes, Brussels sprouts (YES!), broccoli and green bell peppers. Nick may still have persimmons this week but arugula and shelled crowder peas will definitely be there. (‘bout time for some sweet potatoes, eh Nick?) Northshore Greens is back, too. Becky says they will have arugula, spinach, their fabulous stir fry mix, Asian greens, and herbs. Maybe Tomato Ann will be back with lots of heirloom tomatoes.

And, if you like a little crunch in your salad, Stacey has a wide selection of pickled veggies that make for an excellent addition to salad. Now for a dressing, I found a creamy recipe for goat cheese dressing. Combine 4 oz. goat cheese, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp white wine or balsamic vinegar, 4 tbsp water, salt & pepper. Naturally, you will want to use Huckleberry Fred’s cheese blends and Blood River honey. You could also add a tbsp of mayo, especially if you make your own. (It’s really easy)

Screaming Oaks Mushroom Farm

Can you imagine topping that with some grilled shrimp? Well Mr. Two’s fresh off the boat shrimp will serve well. Season well and pop ‘em in the oven. Mushrooms also make a fantastic topping for your salad or any dish – stewed pork chops, grilled sausage, roast chicken (not sure if Credo is there this week). James has a fabulous assortment of gourmet mushrooms from which to choose. Use them fresh or sautéed and then top with Sam’s sprouts or Aminta’s microgreens.

Oh, the things we have for you! Honey, eggs, artisan breads, vegan foods, prepared foods, cookies and more! No matter the rain, no matter the cold, especially the gorgeous days, we are here. Where will you be?

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

Farmers Market Recipes

Farmer’s Market Recipe: Black Bean & Crowder Chili

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Fresh recipes inspired by local ingredients found at the Covington Farmer’s Market by Chelsea Cochrane

Nothing welcomes in the first few cool fronts of Fall like a nice homemade chili.

Fall is my favorite season for a lot of reasons, top among them being soups, stews, and chili. Another favorite thing about the first cool snap is breaking out all my baking tools I so sparsely use during the hot summer months. Not that I needed much more than a bowl, a whisk and a pan for this fantastic apple spice cake mix from Henderson’s Hearth at the Covington Farmer’s Market. The recipe called for a sprinkle of powdered sugar on top – not having that handy, I can say that it was quite delicious on its own.

Henderson’s Hearth also has some delicious soup mixes, like potato, hearty barley, and the black bean soup mix we used for this recipe. Crowder peas from Nick at Grow.Farm is a nice addition that gives this chili a hearty, rich flavor and serves as an excellent meat replacement. Of course, you can add some ground beef from Jubilee Farms. I find the full flavor of the beans, peas and veggies are a perfect balance for an early Fall chili!

Black Bean & Crowder Pea Chili

Ingredients:

Crowder Peas from GROW.farm
  • Black Bean Soup Mix from Henderson’s Hearth
  • 1 cup fresh crowder peas, hulled & rinsed from Grow.farm
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 – 4 cups water
  • optional – 1 lb ground beef from Jubilee Farms
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper – Faust Farms is back with some beautiful produce!
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 ear of corn, shucked
  • 1/2 cup chopped arugula – fresh from the market!
  • 3 heirloom tomatoes, diced – fresh from the market!
  • 15 oz can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes and chilies
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • optional – a couple of hot peppers, minced, or hot pepper flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • salt & black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • a splash or two of fresh lime juice

Directions:

  • In a large pot bring bean mix and peas up to a boil in broth and 2 cups of water. Boil for a few minutes then reduce heat to medium-low – let simmer covered. Add bay leaf and a little salt.
  • If you are using meat, brown it first with some spices in the same skillet before cooking the veggies and set aside for later
  • In a large skillet over medium heat sautee all veggies up to the canned tomatoes with a little salt and pepper
  • Add the canned tomatoes, garlic and hot peppers if you are using them. Add all the spices, too
  • Once the beans are tender add all ingredients to the pot. Allow this mix to cook together for 15, 20 minutes, up to an hour on low.
  • Depending on how you like your chili you may need to add a little more water. Adjust salt & spices accordingly.
  • Stir in the fresh cilantro and lime juice right before serving.

Wildlife Lookout

Wildlife Lookout: Louisiana Bats

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by Chelsea Cochrane

Northern yellow bat

A common sight at dusk, bats are the only mammal capable of true flight. Their order, Chiroptera, is the second largest order of mammals after rodents, comprising about 20% of all classified mammal species worldwide. There are over 1,400 species of bats in the world – 45 are native to the United States, 11 can be spotted in Louisiana. These were originally divided into two suborders, the megabats and the microbats. Recently further knowledge of these unique mammals gave way to new classifications, dividing the order into the Yinpterochiroptera and Yangochiroptera suborders. The creation of these new subdivisions is largely based on molecular genetics data, unlike the old classifications which were more related to the bat’s eating or behavioral habits.

some species of bats hibernate for the winter

Despite what is presented in popular vampire culture most bats eat insects or fruit. In fact the largest bat species affectionately called “flying foxes” are harmless fruit bats (if you’re not a fruit farmer) including the impressive giant golden-crowned flying fox, Acerodon jubatus, which can have a wingspan of over 5 feet. We won’t see any of those here though – they prefer the tropics and subtropics of Asia. All bats found in the southeast United States are insectivorous, nocturnal, and locate food primarily by echolocation. Of over 1,400 species of bats, only three species feed solely on blood. These ‘vampire bats’ are found in Central and South America and rarely make their way into the US. Really.

Many tourist visit Carlsbad Caverns to see the massive colonies of Mexican free-tail bats

Insectivorous bats are generally deemed a good thing, as long as they are not nesting in your attic. These heavy feeders eat many pest insects, like crop-eating beetles, moths, and mosquitoes, reducing the need for pesticides. Their waste, called guano, is mined and used as a popular fertilizer. Some species nest in huge colonies whose nightly flight can be a popular tourist attraction. Unfortunately some bats make great hosts for many pathogens like rabies, and it is advised to never interact with bats, and to take special precautions if an interaction occurs.

Bats have long been admired for their precise and maneuverable flight. Their wings have hand-like digits that connect to a pivotal “wrist”, covered with a tight thin membrane of skin called patagium. The order name Chiroptera means “hand-wing”. This gives them an advantage in agility over birds. Many also use echolocation – emitting an ultrasonic frequency to determine the exact location of an object by its reverberations. The bat’s highly developed ears can pick up the fluttering of a moth’s wings, and even the movement of underground insects!

Bats in Louisiana

There are 11 documented species of bats that can be found in Louisiana. Here is a list with short descriptions.

Big Brown BatEptesicus fuscus
In the vesper bat family Vespertilionidae, the big brown bat occurs widely throughout the US, Canada, Central America and the Caribbean into South America. It’s large for a microbat, with a wingspan of up to 15 inches. Commonly seen just at dusk, the big brown bat can adapt to many environments, including urban settings.

Mexican free-tailed batTadarida brasiliensis
The Mexican free-tailed bat or Brazilian free-tailed bat of the family Molossidae is widely regarded as one of the most abundant mammals in North America. Nevertheless their natural habit of roosting in enormous numbers can cause massive fluctuations in populations due to habitat destruction and disease. The free-tailed bat holds the record for fastest documented flight speed of any animal, with a top ground speed of over 100 MPH.

Tricolored batPerimyotis subflavus
The tricolored bat is a member of the vesper family native to eastern North America. It was formerly called an eastern pipistrelle based on its resemblance to the European Pipistrellus species, however further genetic studies revealed it is more closely related to the canyon bat and those of the vesper family. The name is derived from three distinctive bands of color on its back. Once common in this area, the tricolored bat has suffered significant decline since 2006 due to a fungal disease. The tricolored bat along with the silver-haired bat are the two bats most associated with carrying rabies.

Eastern red batLasiurus borealis
Another member of the vesper family, the eastern red bat is considered among the most common in Louisiana, and is widespread throughout most of eastern North America. Its entire body is very furry, males are a rusty brick red, females have more gray dusting. Both have distinctive white patches on their shoulders.

Evening batNycticeius humeralis
Another quite common in our area, the evening bat is also in the vesper family, native to North America with a relatively small range over the southeast region. These small bats hunt strictly at night. They have short lifespans for bats but are heavy breeders – females will form “maternity colonies” consisting of 15 to 300 bats. 90 percent of births are twins, some singles and some triplets. They are known to be good pest-eaters.

Hoary bat Lasiurus cinereus
Also in the vesper family, the hoary bat can be found throughout most of North & South America, with some disjunct populations in the Galápagos Islands and Hawaii. It has a 15 inch wingspan and a thick coat of dark fur with white tips, giving it a gray-ish white frosted or ‘hoary’ appearance. The hoary bat is mainly solitary, though it will occasionally nest with other bats in a cave.

Northern Yellow BatLasiurus intermedius
The northern yellow bat has a very specific region bordering the Gulf of Mexico through the US and into Central America. It tends to inhabit wooded areas near a permanent water source with Spanish moss or palm trees. This species of vesper bat uses Spanish moss exclusively for nesting. Its coat can vary from yellow-orange to gray-brown.

Rafinesque’s big-eared batCorynorhinus rafinesquii
Sometimes called the southeastern big-eared bat, this species has big ears. Over an inch long, which is quite big for a bat averaging 3 – 3.9 inches long. They are vesper bats in the genus Corynorhinus, meaning “club-nosed”. These are not the most attractive bats, and they are fairly uncommon throughout their range. Similar to the Townsend’s big-eared bat.

Seminole batLasiurus seminolus
The seminole bat is another vesper with a relatively small distribution, found exclusively in the southeastern US. It is often confused for the red bat because of its similar coat. This bat feeds on a relatively large amount of ants, bees and wasps, as well as beetles, moths, flies and some cicadas. They also use Spanish moss for their nesting.

(c) adamdv18, some rights reserved
(CC BY-NC)

Silver-haired batLasionycteris noctivagans
A solitary, migratory species of the vesper family, the silver-haired bat is the only member of its genus. Its range consists of much of North America, wintering in the south just into Mexico and summering all the way up to Alaska. We are actually on the very edge of its range here in St. Tammany. This bat has dense black fur with white tips, giving it the frosted appearance for which its named. The scientific name translates to “night-wandering”, an ode to these creatures’ nocturnal habits.

Southeastern myotis batMyotis austroriparius
Another bat with a very specific range, centered closely around the Gulf. These small bats vary from gray to bright orange-brown, weighing 5 – 8 grams. This species nests and hunts around open water and can be found in thick hardwood forests. It sometimes roosts with the Rafinesque’s big-eared bat. This myotis stands out among its genus as a heavy breeder, often producing twins. During nesting season the southeastern myotis is an important food source for barred owls.

Local News

Mayor Mark Storm Update – Hurricane Zeta

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Hurricane Zeta Prep Update from City of Covington Mayor Mark Johnson. Sign up for email updates at www.covla.com

Covington’s own meteorologist Michael Efferson offers a very concise and most useful update on this week’s hurricane:

Hurricane Zeta: – The forecast track remains similar to pretty much every previous one. Climatology favors a more easterly one if any changes do occur.

Timing: Wednesday afternoon-midnight for peak conditions for southeast LA. It’s short because Zeta will be moving fast.

Here’s what I’d be most concerned with in southeast LA:
1. Flash flooding: rain will be heavy, even today(Tuesday). We’ve seen heavy rainfall events the day before landfall many times before. I’m talking parish sized flood events. Be careful driving and watch out for flooded roads
2. Winds: For those east of I-55, we saw some trees down and relatively short-term power outages with Delta. I’d expect similar, if not slightly worse conditions with Zeta.
3. River Flooding: Probably the lowest threat but non-zero. We can handle roughly 5-7″ of rain without more than moderate river flooding. More than that would be problematic.

City Impacts from most to least:

New Orleans/Slidell: 50-75mph winds. Expect scattered trees down and power outages lasting from a few hours to a day or 2. Localized street flooding likely. Covington: 40-65mph winds. Expect isolated to scattered trees down, no power loss to a day or 2 at most. Think similar to slightly worse than Delta impacts. Hammond: 30-50 mph winds. Isolated trees down and maybe powerloss for less than a day.

Baton Rouge: 25-35 mph. No real-world wind impacts. BUT, localized street flooding possible today and tomorrow.

**UPDATE 10-28-2020** from Covington’s own meteorologist Michael Efferson:

Winds look as bad or worse than I mentioned yesterday across New Orleans and Slidell. Covington, Hammond and Baton Rouge should be about the same.

Bottom Line:

  • Take this storm seriously. It WILL be worse than hurricane Delta was for those east of I-55 (Covington, Slidell, New Orleans metro)
  • Get your errands finished by noon.
  • 4 to 6 hour window of intense rain and dangerous winds
  • It will not be safe to be on the roads late this afternoon.
  • Winds should rapidly relax after around 9-10pm.

City Impacts from most to least:

New Orleans/Slidell: 60-90mph winds. Expect scattered trees down and power outages lasting from a few hours to a few days. Localized street flooding likely.

Covington: 40-70mph winds. Expect isolated to scattered trees down. Many will lose power for short period to a day or 2. Localized street flooding likely.

Hammond: 30-50 mph winds. Isolated trees down and maybe powerloss for less than a day.

Garbage / Recycling Pickup

Garbage will be picked up tomorrow morning (Wednesday) — But not per usual. Trucks will be running early to beat the storm.
Customers are advised to place bins out this evening, then secure bins tomorrow after pick up, prior to storm.
Assuming storm path and timing does not change, recycling will remain on Thursday.
After the storm: Leaves and clippings should be bagged and placed curbside on garbage day. Small piles of branches should be consolidated amongst neighbors (making the boom-trucks more efficient).
Changes in pick up schedule will be posted by Coastal Environmental Services on Facebook and on their website:
Coastal Environmental Services

Covington is a No Wake Zone

Covington Public Works is pre-positioning barricades for frequent flood hot-spots as well as cleaning culverts / catch basins. Big thanks to those residents who adopt a ditch or catch basin to check and clean prior to storms ( RivF : ).
Reminder: Covington streets are a NO WAKE ZONE. Though you may drive through safely, your wake rolls up into businesses and homes that otherwise would not flood. Avoid flooded streets when possible … go slow when unavoidable. Be kind.


Covington Fire Department will be checking on our most vulnerable, home-bound residents prior to the storm.
Covington Police Department will be on stand-by.

Sewer Lift Station – Generators are fully fueled.

CLECO order of re-energizing outages: 1) Hospitals 2) Nursing Homes 3) Sewer Lift Station / Treatment Plant 4) Traffic Signals 5 ) Residential Neighborhoods.
Repair crews are being pre-positioned today. To monitor outages & repair times, use CLECO’s app or Outage Map.

City Hall will be closed on Wednesday, October 27th

Visit www.covla.com for more information or to sign up for Mayor Mark’s email updates.

Read about St. Tammany Parish Government Emergency Operations for Hurricane Zeta, including self-serve sandbag locations:

Local News Parish News

Emergency Operations Update: St. Tammany Parish Government Prepares for Hurricane Zeta

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From St. Tammany Parish Government www.stpgov.org:

St. Tammany Parish President, Mike Cooper, his administration and emergency operations personnel continue to monitor, and prepare for, any anticipated impacts of Hurricane Zeta as it moves toward the Gulf of Mexico. The National Hurricane Center is predicting that Zeta will move over the southern Gulf of Mexico Tuesday, and approach the northern Gulf Coast on Wednesday.

The National Hurricane Center predicts that Hurricane Zeta could bring tropical storm force conditions to our area late Wednesday into Wednesday Night. The severity of the threats is dependent on the exact track and intensity.  The Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is receiving continual updates from the National Hurricane Center, and coordinating with the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, as well as local partner agencies.

The St. Tammany Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is prepared to physically activate the Emergency Operations Center. The St. Tammany Parish Department of Public Works will open six self-serve sandbag locations beginning Tuesday, October 27, 2020 from 7:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. All locations (with the exception of the Old Levee District Site) will have personnel on-hand to assist the elderly or infirmed. Citizens are asked to bring their own shovels, should the ones provided be in use.

Sandbag Locations

  • St. Tammany Parish Government- Building
  • 21410 Koop Dr., Mandeville
  • St. Tammany Parish Public Works- Airport Road Barn
  • 34783 Grantham College Rd, Slidell, La
  • The Old Levee District Site (those who need assistance, visit Fritchie Barn)
  • 61134 Military Road (Hwy 190) Slidell, La.
  • St. Tammany Parish Public Works- Fritchie Barn
  • 63119 Highway 1090 in Pearl River
  • St. Tammany Parish Public Works Barn- Keller Barn
  • 63131 Fish Hatchery Road, Lacombe
  • St. Tammany Parish Public Works Barn- Covington Barn
  • 1305 N. Florida Street, Covington

Emergency preparedness information will be available to citizens, contingent on the forecast, through our television station: STPG-TV —Channel 710 on Charter, Channel 99, AT&T U-VERSE, or livestream at www.stpgov.org/, through our storm page: www.stpgov.org/storm, through social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, and through the local media. Citizens can also subscribe to automatic email updates from the Parish by visiting www.stpgov.org.  

Citizens are reminded to enhance emergency preparedness plans to include masks, hand sanitizers and other items needed to continue to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. For more storm preparation tips visit www.ready.gov.

St. Tammany Parish Emergency Operations Update – October 27, 2020

St. Tammany Parish Government announced the following Emergency Operations updates at a news briefing earlier today.

  • Parish President Mike Cooper signed an Emergency Declaration in advance of Tropical Storm Zeta
  • Parish Officials continue to monitor Tropical and the potential impacts on St. Tammany Parish
  • The St. Tammany Parish Emergency Operations Center will partially activate at 7 a.m. Wednesday, October 28, 2020
  • Six Self-Serve Sandbag locations will be open from 7: 30 a.m. until 12 p.m. tomorrow (Wednesday October 28th). There will be someone to assist the elderly and the disabled at each location, with the exception of the Old Levee District site.
  • Non-essential Parish Government Offices will close Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at noon. Essential personnel are expected to report as assigned. Animal Services will be closed to the public.
  • The October 28th Agenda Review and Special Council Meeting has been cancelled due to the approaching storm.

The following will close Wednesday, October 28, 2020:

  • Camp Salmen Nature park, located at 35122 Parish Pkwy, Slidell, LA 70460
  • The Tammany Trace
  • The St. Tammany Fishing Pier located at 54001 E Howze Beach Rd, Slidell, LA 70461
  • Kids Konnection Playground located at 21410 Koop Dr, Mandeville
  • Northshore Beach located at 267 Debbie Dr, Slidell, LA 70458
  • Bayou Lacombe Bridge. No Marine traffic.

Public works has contacted Debris and Monitoring contractors and they are on standby/monitoring potential impacts.

  • Public Works and Tammany Utilities personnel are on call, if needed, out of an abundance of caution.
  • STAR TRANSIT will run until 3 p.m. Wednesday, October 28, 2020, and then once the storm has passed and road conditions are reassessed they will let us know when services will resume.
  • 22nd JDC, Clerk of Court, St. Tammany Assessor and District Attorney will be closed tomorrow.

Citizens can visit www.stpgov.org/storm for information.

Continuous updates will be posted at www.stpgov.org, on STPG-TV; Channel 710 Spectrum; Channel 99 AT &T U-Verse, as well as on Social Media.

Residents are asked to clear any debris from culverts and drainage pathways, and to monitor the weather forecasts in the coming days through your local media outlets. Prepare your enhanced plan to accommodate COVID-19 precautions.

Sign up now for ALERT St. Tammany, here. This is the Parish-wide emergency notification system for St. Tammany Parish Government. If we can’t reach you, we can’t alert you.