2024-01-15 newsletter

Greetings from 12 Seasons Farm,

We received nearly 5 inches of rain this evening. This was the most
intense rain we have had since Hurricane Ian. Thankfully, the farm
should do fine with it. In spite of our low elevation, the water does
infiltrate quickly into soil. The healthier the soil the better it
absorbs. It is mainly on our compacted roads where we have the most
standing water.

Our crop diversity and production continue to increase. The market
table at the Bonita Springs market was the fullest and most diverse of
the season. In spite of another rain event at market, folks still came
out and we had a splendid day.

On Tuesday we plan to be at the Captiva Farmers market. There is
forecast for rain as well, but the wind speeds are not suppose to be
high. We hope to see many from Sanibel and Captiva at the market as we
still have opted to not include a delivery route due to traffic
congestion with late afternoon departures from Sanibel back to the

Here is our updated schedule this week:

TUESDAY CAPTIVA MARKET : Tuesday, 9am-1pm at South
Seas Island Resort , Captiva. Buy directly from the
stand or place a preorder online by Sunday, 8 pm and
pick it up at the market.

: Please place an order online
before TUESDAY, 8 pm. For farm pick-up on Thursday, please come to 14840
Old Olga Rd., Ft. Myers, FL 33905.

8am-noon at the Promenade Shops at Bonita Bay. Buy directly from the
stand or place a preorder online by Thursday, 8 pm.

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

This is what we are harvesting:

  • Strawberries
  • Summercrisp Lettuce
  • Baby Butterhead Lettuce
  • Large Leaf Butterhead Lettuce
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Arugula
  • Curly Kale
  • Flat Kale
  • Mixed Kale (multiple varieties)
  • Swiss Chard
  • Green Beans (limited)
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Sweet Italian Bull’s Horn Peppers
  • Broccolini (limited)
  • Cabbage (limited)
  • Carrots
  • Green onions
  • Celery
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Campari tomatoes
  • Heirloom/Specialty tomatoes
  • Red Slicing tomatoes
  • Round radish
  • Daikon radish
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Curled Parsley (limited)
  • Flat Parsley (limited)
  • Lemongrass
  • Avocado
  • Pummelo
  • Lemons
  • Papaya
  • Starfruit
  • Banana
  • Sunflowers
  • SW FL Saw Palmetto Honey
  • SW FL Wildflower Hone

In spite of this cooler winter slowing production of many warm
weather crops, we have been harvesting beautiful vegetables!

We currently are harvesting lots of delicious starfruit. This is a
tree of tropical origins and has a unique crispy texture. Some
starfruits are tart and unimpressive earning it a less than stellar
reputation. However, we mainly grow a variety called ‘Bell.’ that is
pleasantly sweet and tasty.

Beautiful green baby butterhead lettuce after an early morning rain

One of the lettuce plantings at 12 Seasons Farm

Citrus continues to be a challenging, almost depressing crop, to
grow, but it is hard to give up on it. It is how our farm began as
primarily a citrus grove when purchased back in 2002. While we still get
some harvest off the couple hundred large trees mostly planted in 2006,
the yields are very modest. The bacterial “greening” disease really
takes its toll on the tree health. The bright spot is that we have done
well raising the younger trees in protected nets. I am hoping as they
come out of the nets that the trees’ improved rootstocks will allow them
to perform better. I am still debating whether to release the trees from
the net as most have filled their 5×8 ft. nets. We have several hundred
younger trees with protective nets. I am also considering the purchase
of a larger size net that would be 12 ft tall and allow them to stay
healthier longer, but the costs are extremely high.

This is a portion of a ‘Ray Ruby’ grapefruit tree growing inside a
5×8 ft. net or screened bag. The net excludes the citrus psyllid insect
responsible for spreading the bacterial disease called citrus greening
or HLB. The trees are quite productive in these bags and I plan to start
selling the fruit from within the bags now that they are several years
old and giving the first decent yield. It is nice to see the bags

A group of students from Taylor University in Indiana are taking a
January term course at the Heart Institute in Lake Wales where I work as
their ag instructor. Their course is called Sustainable Development and
the students are camping at our farm for several nights. They worked on
the farm today and I gave them a tour. Tomorrow the students will visit
an NGO called Cultivate Abundance working with farm workers in Immokalee
and on Wednesday visit ECHO in N. Ft. Myers that works in agricultural
development in the tropics.

In the photo, they are eating a piece of Honeybell as you can see in
their orange smiles!

Anthony is seen here explaining to the students how we do tomato

Last week Meredith and Annika were at a windy Captiva market. It is
fun to see these 2 friends together helping out Carrie!

Here is a photo of the two of them last season when we were set up at
McCarthy’s Marina. It makes a dad glad to see these two friends enjoy
working together and growing in their friendship at the farm.

Thank you for supporting our farm and the many team members there
that are building friendships and learning the honorable craft of
cultivating healthy soils and crops.

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






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