2022-04-19 newsletter


When we started out on this journey to farm full time just over a
decade ago, we had no idea the direction the farm would take. My job
situation had changed during my 2 year masters program in Thailand and
Germany (2010-2012) and we were faced with a decision when we were
heading back to the States. We were pregnant with our first child,
Simeon. We had paid off the farm but only had a few thousand dollars to
our name as we were starting to the sell the citrus crop that fall of
2011. When discussing whether to find employment elsewhere, I remember
Vicki stating, “we have the farm and each other– we have all that we
need.” She wisely said let’s go all in for 5 years– any money that was
made and every significant decision will be an investment into the farm.
And that is what we did and have not looked back.

To make matters more challenging, we were starting to experience the
first significant impacts of citrus greening disease on tree health and
yield back in 2011. This occurred at the same time we also wanted to
transition the farm to organic practices which was against conventional
wisdom. We were already leaning towards growing organically, but after
long discussions, research, and wanting our child (and now children) to
be able to eat the dirt under the trees without consequence, we began to
drop the conventional sprays on the citrus trees and opted for a
nutritional approach to deal with citrus greening disease.

We knew the citrus income could not sustain our family and so we
started with strawberries using an inheritance check from my Grandma
Krueger that was enough to buy the original plants in the fall of 2012.
My grandma loved strawberries and that first strawberry season was a
success! With the generous help of so many friends we began to diversify
and the following season we added tomatoes which then led to a host of
other vegetables. It was not an easy transition to full time fruit and
vegetable farming, but as my wife Vicki often says, the best things in
life usually take work. We also know that whatever success we experience
is not without the generous and big hearted support of so many friends
and family and faithful customers. We are grateful to those who have
hung with us this last decade. It has been an intensely full and
remarkable journey!

This week we still have a good supply of our core crops. While
strawberry season is winding down, the blueberry quality is exceptional
this week.

As a reminder, the Bonita market at Promenade is now scheduled to run
through the end of May. Next week will be the last farmers’ market at
Captiva on Tuesday.

If you order online, please remember to put your requests in the
customer notes if something is out-of-stock.

Place orders at 12seasonsfarm.com

Our schedule remains the same:

** ** ** ** ** Thursday** : Please order by
8 pm tonight (Tuesday), April 19, for Thursday, April 21, farm pick up
or delivery to Bonita Springs, Naples, Ft. Myers Beach, Ft. Myers, N.
Ft. Myers, and Cape Coral.

Saturday: Bonita Springs Farmers’ Market at
Promenade Shops (8am-noon). BONITA MARKET
EXTENDED THROUGH MAY. You may also select a preorder
option each week (by Thursday 8 pm) and pick up your prepared orders at
the Saturday market, preferably after 10:30 am.

Farmers’ Market on Captiva (9am-1pm at Starbuck’s
Parking Lot, Captiva) and Sanibel/Captiva home deliveries on Tuesdays.
Place order by Sunday, 8 pm. You may also select a pre-order option
(order by Sunday 8pm) to pick up at the market.

****We are currently harvesting:

  • Cherry Tomatoes

  • Heirloom/Specialty Tomatoes

  • Red Beefsteak Tomatoes

  • Summercrisp Lettuce

  • Large Leaf Butterhead Lettuce

  • Arugula (limited)

  • Curly kale

  • Flat kale

  • Mixed kale

  • Broccoli

  • Cabbage

  • Cucumbers

  • Zucchini

  • Eggplant

  • Sweet Peppers

  • Round radish

  • Daikon radish

  • Green onions

  • Italian Basil

  • Italian Flat Parsley

  • Curly Parsley

  • Grapefruit (add to customer notes)

  • Papaya

  • Strawberries (limited)

  • Blueberries (certified organic from farm in Central

  • Bananas

  • Sunflowers

  • Orange blossom Honey

Here is a photo from last week Saturday’s Bonita market at the
Promenade Shops. We have been selling at this market well over a decade
now beginning with just citrus and now much greater diversity!

Last week we had an all ladies team at the Captiva market. Cate is
such a tremendous mentor to all the younger girls on the farm, including
Myrah (who is in her 4th season, works part time for us and does amazing
work, now at age 15) and our daughter Annika, who has become such a
capable worker at age 8. She works only an hour a day on the farm,
except for Tuesdays and Saturdays when she goes to market and puts in
long days! Next week will be the last Captiva market of the season.
Thank you to those who regularly go there. We will continue doing home
deliveries to Sanibel and Captiva.

Simeon at market this past Saturday.

We harvest kale 3 days/week and grow about 10 different varieties.
Kale is one of the first crops to begin wilting so we harvest early in
the morning before the workday for most has begun. Vicki who does the
kale harvesting picks according to orders, quite often the day before it
is in your hands so it is exceptionally fresh.

Tomatoes are my absolute favorite vegetable! When we started raising
tomatoes, I wanted to change the narrative about Florida grown tomatoes
which in my estimation were generally mediocre at best. I remember
buying tomatoes at the farmers’ market when we use to only sell citrus
and being so utterly disappointed in the taste and quality. So the
summer before we grew tomatoes commercially, I spent countless nights
reading scores of state fair tomato taste test results, farmers’ blogs,
and university extension publications and journal articles from all
around the country. I took careful notes to see which varieties appeared
in multiple publications across the U.S. and vetted varieties according
to taste and crop performance. That is how we began with a core of 35 or
so varieties many of which remain as part of our regular core planting
group to this day. In the last decade, we have raised well over 150
varieties of tomatoes and settle on somewhere between 30-40 varieties
each season. We are always experimenting to test new varieties and
evaluate them to see if they should make it into that core group.

My dear mother! I am visiting my mom this week in California. She is
went into the hospital this past week and so I decided to leave after
market on Saturday. My mom has always been a pillar of strength in our
family, and she continues to put up a good fight. She is currently
struggling with congestive heart failure and low kidney function and has
mainly had issues with labored breathing from excess fluid. She is
stabilized now and I am enjoying visits with her in the hospital. My mom
use to take me often to a produce stand as a kid here in San Lorenzo, CA
and we would enjoy eating so many different seasonal fruits together. We
are hoping and praying for her improved health. Soon I will head to the
hospital and hopefully play a spirited game of scrabble where she will
probably beat me.

The time home together with extended family has been special. On
Sunday, I enjoyed being with 2 of my 3 brothers and their families, my
dad (at far end of table), and a family friend, Doug (to my right).
Vicki is managing the kids back home and taking care of a lot of the
farm administrative details while Cate along with our talented team is
running the day-to-day farm operations. It is great to be with my
family, especially mom and dad, and know the farm is in such good

I hope you are getting special and cherished time together with
family these days.

Thank you for your generous support over this season and years

Danny, Vicki, the kids, and the 12 Seasons Team






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *