2023-02-27 newsletter

Greetings from 12 Seasons Farm,

The crop production remains good in spite of the heat and dry
conditions. We started to overhead irrigate some of the more sensitive
areas to keep our raised beds from drying out as the drip irrigation has
a harder time keeping the edges of the beds moist. This is why we spend
so much time getting compost down in the off-season to increase the
moisture holding capacity. Our irrigation challenges are on the new land
where we have been farming fewer seasons. This should improve in
successive seasons as the carbon content of the soil improves.

We continue to see production improve in strawberries and finally
have the next cucumber crop coming along. We lost the last crop to an
aphid infestation. This combined with the loss of the two cucumbers
greenhouses in Ian are why we have had so fewer cucs available.
Hopefully you will see more at the markets and available online in the
coming weeks.

As usual, we plan to be back at McCarthy’s Marina on Captiva tomorrow
(Tuesday), 9-11 am and Lakes Park in Ft. Myers on Wednesday,

If you would like to place an order for Thursday home
deliveries or farm pick up, please do so before 8 pm Tuesday at

Here is a summary of this week’s schedule:

order online before Sunday, 8 pm, if you want to pick up an order at
McCarthy’s Marina in Captiva on Tuesday, 9-11 am. Extra produce will be
available for those who want to buy off the table. ****

** We will be at the Lakes Park Farmers’ Mkt. each
Wednesday from 9 am to 1 pm. in Ft. Myers. Parking is free during the
farmers’ market.

an order online before Tuesday, 8 pm, if you want home delivery or farm
pick- up for Thursday.

Market runs 8 am to noon. Please place an order by Thursday, 8 pm to
pick up your preorder at the Bonita market. If preordering, please pick
up preorders after 10 am.

Orders can be placed online at ** www.12seasonsfarm.com**

This is what we are harvesting:

  • Strawberries

  • Summercrisp Lettuce

  • Baby Butterhead Lettuce

  • Romaine lettuce

  • Large Leaf Butterhead lettuce

  • Cherry tomatoes

  • Heirloom/Specialty tomatoes

  • Red Slicing tomatoes

  • Arugula

  • Curly kale

  • Flat kale

  • Mixed kale

  • Cabbage

  • Broccoli

  • Broccoli greens

  • Cauliflower (limited)

  • Rainbow carrots

  • Cucumbers

  • Zucchini

  • Sweet Peppers

  • Eggplant

  • Round radish

  • Daikon radish

  • Watermelon radish

  • Green onions

  • Italian Basil

  • Dill

  • Cilantro

  • Italian flat parsley

  • Curled parsley

  • Saw Palmetto Honey

  • Nasturtium flowers (new!)

  • Sunflowers

We have gorgeous sunflowers in abundance right now. The sunflowers
enjoy these longer days and warm temperatures.

Last week we had our largest restaurant orders for the week! We have
a faithful hard-working crew that worked late into the night.

Zach washing the daikon and round radishes. This season, we have seen
more and more customers trying out the daikon radish as the demand has
really grown for these. Vicki makes an amazing radish salad where she
prefers to use the daikons due to the ease of cutting them in thin
diameters. She alternates layers of very thinly cut radishes with white
balsamic vinegar, salt, and olive oil. She repeats the process over and
over with alternating layers of radishes with vinegar, oil, and salt.
She lets it sit out for 30 minutes to off-gas and then will put in
fridge to chill before serving. It is amazing! The kids devour it.

Our greenhouses passed inspection by Conor and Santos, local
NRCS-USDA agents (NRCS stands for Natural Resources Conservation
Service). We are enrolled in several NRCS programs where they provide
technical support and/or compensation toward implementing certain
conservation practices. For example, they help provide funds toward crop
rotation, bird houses, and help toward a portion of the greenhouse
costs. It is a good cooperation between farmers and the government. Some
of these practices we do anyway, but the program formalizes the process
and keeps farmers accountable to being faithful with conservation
practices and record-keeping.

Here is some of the 12 Seasons produce that is leaving with
individuals working for Cultivate Abundance. This organization comes
each Friday to take extra produce, donated produce, or some of our
seconds at a much discounted rate. They redistribute the produce to farm
workers in the Immokalee area. We have been told by Cultivate
Abundance’s Director, Rick Burnette, that 12 Season tomatoes are highly
esteemed and much preferred to the tomatoes that the individuals work
with coming out of Immokalee.

Myrah and mom, Jeanna, working together to wash the lettuce.

Jedilo “weaving” the tomatoes, using twine between metal t-posts to
keep the tomato plants upright and contained within their rows so to
have better airflow and not shade out nearby plants. As one of the
largest corn farmers in Africa once said to me, your worst weed in a
corn field is another corn plant that is much taller and shading out the
surrounding corn plants. We try to ideally space all our crops and do
the appropriate maintenance that encourages cooperation between plants
vs. competition between plants for air, waters, space, light, nutrients,
etc. As farmers, our role is to steward those kinds of optimal
interactions and conditions.

The picture is a bit blurry, but wanted to put this photo in of Jack.
He is doing such a great job this season. This photo is from this
afternoon’s picking with berries going to Captiva market and

The temperatures have remained especially high for several weeks.

As mentioned above, we are supplementing the drip irrigation with
occasional overhead sprinklers on the new farm where we have farmed
fewer years. The sprinklers help increase and optimize the soil moisture
in the raised beds for better crop growth.

This last Friday, Ek and Bianca shared about their life story during
a group lunch. Ek explained to our team how his family escaped across
the Burma/Thai border as a young boy. His family settled in Thailand and
became farmers. After applying himself hard in school, he eventually
received Thai citizenship and got a position at an agricultural training
center where he later met Bianca. She was working as a linguist with the
Lahu people in northern Thailand. They eventually married and came to
the United States where he has worked for us now over 5 years. Around 3
years ago, Ek received his American citizenship. He has been an amazing
worker and mentor to our children.

Everyone has a unique story! Part of the joy in farming is doing it
an edifying community. While so many of us really enjoy the work, it is
still demanding, exhausting, and many parts of it are mundane. But when
working together, this burden is shared and having an uplifting
community makes for a better life journey for all! We strive for this
excellence in our community life and in our crop production– to bring
fresh, delicious, and healthy produce to you all.

Thank you for your support!

All the best to you and those you love.

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






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