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Killingworth Cranberries

KILLINGWORTH CRANBERRIES  RENOVATION

Diversification in Agriculture continues by the Bishop family, as cranberries are now a new crop taken on by Keith Bishop, taking the reins from the Evert family’s century old bog.

The Evarts family has continually grown cranberries in their Killingworth, Ct. Pond Meadow bog since Cyrus Evarts purchased it in 1896.  His son Sydney followed by grandson Kenneth continued the annual care, production and harvest on a 4.5 acre section of the original 30+ acre bog.  The Killingworth Land Trust purchased a portion of the bog in 2000, and was donated additional land as part of a subdivision open space plan.  The KLT stewardship has maintained limited wild production of cranberries.

One of the largest retail market purchasers from 1970 on of Killingworth Cranberries from the Evarts was Bishop’s Orchards in Guilford. Like the Evarts, the Bishop family roots are deep. John Bishop signed the Guilford Covenant in 1639 with Henry Whitfield et al. The land the Bishop farmstead now occupies was purchased in 1871 by Burton Walter Bishop when he moved his family back to Guilford from Orange, Ct.

Kenneth utilized assistance from Bishop’s Orchards multiple times to weed and care for the bog. Needing help again in 2011, he talked with Keith Bishop about options, and discussion turned to long term production renewal, ways to increase production yields, quality and then marketing options.  Both realized they had common agricultural goals, family traditions and the desire to continue cranberry production. Kenneth and Sandy Evarts’ children and grandchildren grew up with the fall cranberry harvest ritual. They all have other jobs and interests that precluded them from active involvement in the work to keep the bog productive and keep ownership in the family.

5th generation Keith Bishop dug in to research cranberry production, growing techniques and knowledge that is needed to commercially grow cranberries. Keith’s involvement in numerous Northeast agricultural groups and contacts through the College of Agriculture at his alma mater Cornell, helped him connect to cranberry growers and suppliers in New Jersey and Mass. Keith, his father Al, and his son Ryan,  (Cornell 2012, Plant Science) visited with Cape Cod Cranberry Growers and a business plan evolved, with experts consulted to evaluate soils, growing conditions, water management and renovation requirements. In January 2012 the bog renovation plan was accepted as meeting the Agricultural requirements by the Killingworth Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission, and Killingworth Cranberries took on a new life.

The 4.5 acre property on Pond Meadow Rd was bought by Killingworth Cranberries LLC  in June and the renovation started.  A new hybrid variety of cranberries, Scarlet Knight, developed by the Rutgers University breeding program was selected for planting in July of 2016 and  2.5 acres of Scarlet Knight cranberries were planted.  Only 3 acres of this new variety were in production worldwide in 2011, with 21 acres being planted in 2012.  Scarlet Knight produces a large size, dark red, long keeping berry, well suited for retail fresh fruit sales from late Sept. through the winter. Bishop and his children look forward to bringing the bog to full production capabilities and herald Killingworth as Connecticut’s Cranberry Capital once again.  Bishop’s well known expertise in agriculture and dedication to the preservation of farmland and production of local crops will now provide an abundant local source of cranberries when full production is reached in 2019, 3 years after replanting. Like most other fruits (blueberries, raspberries, grapes, apples, peaches and pears) plant development takes several years before substantial fruit is produced, and cash flow starts to repay the capital investment. Keith is optimistic that the family stewardship, dedication and farming knowledge will combine with community support to produce plentiful crops of cranberries for decades to come while protecting and respecting the bog environment and its history.

 

The Killingworth Cranberries brand is now available at Bishop’s Orchards

 

Holiday Traditions Baked Here!

It’s that time of year again when the holidays are quickly approaching and our lives become more chaotic each day! We are gearing up for Thanksgiving here at Bishop’s Orchards and that means delicious and freshly baked pies! Make Bishop’s a part of your holiday traditions with local flavor! We strive to make the holidays as convenient as possible by providing Grab N’ Go pie orders. No prep work or baking needed, simply order anything you want from fruit and nut pies, to cream and no sugar added pies.

Stay traditional with Apple, Pumpkin and Pecan pies, and then pack a punch with Crumb Pies and berry blends like our Fruits of the Farm! Cream pies are easy as well, and kids always love the custard/cream fillings. We have Key Lime, Chocolate Cream, Lemon Meringue and Banana Cream. Take them out to thaw an hour before you serve and scoop some Bishop’s own ice cream alongside! Also in the freezers are a few of our frozen fruit pies. Keep them in the freezer until the day of when you can bake it fresh and have the smell wafting through your home! No sugar added pies are available in a few of our popular flavors like Apple, Fruits of the Farm and Peach. Indulge during the holidays while refraining from non natural sugars.

New side dishes will be coming out from Chef Michael. These will include diced butternut squash, stuffing and cranberry sauce made from BISHOP’S OWN CRANBERRIES

from the bog in Killingworth. Seasonal flavors can be brought straight to your table without any work on your part!

All pies and side dishes are baked fresh daily thanks to our 24 hour Bakery Department. Planning for special holidays or events can be made simple by submitting your order online or by giving us a call at 203-453-2338!! Let us know your pick-up date/time so we can guarantee your items! As with every year, we look forward to being a part of your festival spreads with friends and family!

Cranberry Orange Relish

This blend of cranberries and oranges makes a sweet and tangy relish that is perfect for pork chops, chicken or turkey dishes.

Cranberry Cookies

Incorporate cranberries into your cookie collection with this tasty recipe that might just be better than another one of your favorite cookie flavors.

Cranberry Pumpkin Bread

Combine the flavors of the tart cranberries to the subtle pumpkin in this tasty bread that is excellent served warm with either butter or honey.

Fresh Fruit Crisp

This is a wonderful crisp to have on the table as a dessert option that incorporates fresh peaches, cranberries, raspberries or apples  with nutty cinnamon and rolled oats.

Strawberry Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

A bountiful salad option to serve prior to dinner or for a lunch option at the office. If strawberries aren’t in season, you can substitute with mandarin orange slices or cranberries.

How to Host a Successful Friendsgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving time, to me, is about several different things: food, family, friends and being thankful for all three. I’ve always celebrated with my family, but this year my friends and I decided to do something different. Even though our families live close by, we decided to put together a second dinner – a Friendsgiving dinner.

For some, Friendsgiving is about gathering all your closest friends when your family isn’t around. But for my friends and I, it’s simply to celebrate how we’ve become our own family. Whatever your reason may be, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s going to take preparation and organization to get everyone on the same page. But thankfully, we’re here to help! All you have to do is follow the tips below and we promise you’ll deliver a successful friend filled bash.

Create the VIP List

The best part about Friendsgiving is that you can pretty much invite whoever you want. But, I would definitely make sure you invite only as many people that you can comfortably sit at your table. Start with your closest pals and then, if you still have some room, reach out to the people that might not have any family close by. It is Thanksgiving after all, and you could really make someone’s day if they don’t have any plans!

Turkey Time

Now that your guest list has been created, it’s time to talk turkey. The host should make the turkey (or if you’re my friends, a rotisserie chicken). This should be the one and only thing the host has to make, since they’ll be in charge of decorations and making sure the house is clean. It’s important to make sure you have enough, so decide how big your turkey should be. The rule of thumb is half a pound per person. So, if you have ten people, you would need a five pound turkey (and if you like having extra for leftovers, consider going a little larger with an eight pound turkey!). There are plenty of places where you can preorder so you are guaranteed you aren’t birdless the day of.

Don’t Stress Over the Menu

Getting all your guests involved is the fun part! And the best part is you don’t have to worry about having the normal Thanksgiving foods. If someone wants to make pigs in a blanket, go for it! But, there’s no need to bring green bean casserole or any vegetables at all if no one wants it. I do however, recommend sticking with some of the crowd favorites, because let’s be real, the more stuffing and mashed potatoes, the better.

For the non cookers of the group, you can give them the task of bringing the booze. Sparkling wines are perfect for this time of year, especially when kicking off the holiday season with a toast. If you’re not a fan of that, there are some great hard ciders that will do just the trick! And whatever you do, don’t forget to assign someone to bring the dessert. You know what they say, the more the merrier. So bring on the pies, ice cream, cookies and tea breads. Any and all is welcome!

Get to the Grocery Store Early

Don’t wait until the day before the party to get your cooking essentials. Beat the crowds and get to the grocery store early. And if you all live near each other, why not go together! It could make for a very interesting adventure and who knows what random items you’ll pick up along the way that make for a funny story later on. A lot of the memories come from the preparation before you sit down at the table. So, try to do as much together as possible to get the full Friendsgiving experience.

Get Festive With It

There’s no need to go over the top with decorations, since the food should be the star of the show. But, a decorative tablecloth, cranberries, gourds, and even some candles could go a long way. Decorating will give you the finishing touch you need before kicking off your Friendsgiving festivities.

Enjoy Yourself!

Friendsgiving is meant to be fun, a way to create a new tradition with the people you choose as your family. But it all means nothing if you don’t get a chance to sit down and actually enjoy it. So be creative with it, the sky is the limit! And make sure to soak it all in. If everyone’s stomachs are full and the table is filled with friends, you’ve successfully thrown a Friendsgiving dinner.

Apple Cranberry Crisp

This apple cranberry crisp has a mixture of sweet apples and tart cranberries that make for a festive holiday dessert option or cool summer treat.