2024-01-29 Newsletter

Greetings from 12 Seasons Farm,

The produce diversity is very good except for cucumbers and zucchini. The cool weather and the rabbit pressure on the cucumber plants have been devastating for those crops. There are many highs and lows in farming. One of the advantages of being a diversified farm is the ability to weather these losses. Cucumbers have historically been one of our top 5 selling crops. We are trying to deter the rabbits with natural repellents and blocking access to the cucumbers. 

The cool weather continues to slow production but we are thankful for no damaging frost or freeze events thus far. This is quite unusual and I don’t recall a time we haven’t brought out the frost blankets in the month of January. Most severe freeze events end by mid-February so we are not out of the woods yet. In fact, the coldest temperature ever recorded in Florida was recorded in Tallahassee on Feb. 13, 1899 with -2°F.

We are hosting a ‘Cooking with Medicinal Plants’ class led by Anna Klein. The class is being offered, Feb. 10 and March 9. The information for the course is explained here as well as in a photo further down in the newsletter:

Please come join us on the farm this season for one or both of our interactive cooking demonstrations and tasting events presented by local herbalist Annaliese Klein. Learn how to design your meal plans around fresh and abundant local produce and incorporate medicinal herbs to boost the nutrition and healing potential of your food. All recipes will be plant-based, gluten and dairy free. Space will be limited to 20 participants, so please contact Vicki Blank to reserve your spot at [email protected]. Be sure to specify which date or dates you will be attending. There is no charge for attending, but
any donations are appreciated. All proceeds will go toward supporting the farm in its continuing mission to provide our community with nutritious organic food grown with love.

Children are welcome, but please include information about how many children you plan on bringing and their ages with your reservation so that we may plan accordingly to have child-friendly activities available.

We look forward to returning to the Captiva Farmers market again on Tuesday and the Bonita market on Saturday and farm pick ups and deliveries on Thursday!

Here is our updated schedule this week:

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

THURSDAY FARM PICK-UP & HOME DELIVERY FOR SW FL (NOT INCLUDING SANIBEL AND CAPTIVA): 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.

SATURDAY BONITA FARMERS MARKET: Saturday, 8am-noon at the Promenade Shops at Bonita Bay. Buy directly from the stand or place a preorder online by Thursday, 8 pm. If possible, please pick up after 10:30 for pre-orders as this will reduce the long line that often forms early in the morning. When picking up, you are welcome to skip the line and go down the south side of the tent to the back of our van where Annika will help you get your order and grab any add-ons you might want.

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 (limited)
  • Cucumbers (very limited)
  • Eggplant
  • Sweet Italian Bull’s Horn Peppers 
  • Broccolini
  • Cabbage (limited)
  • Cauliflower
  • 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 Honey
  • Strawberry Butter

Meredith at the Captiva market again. Her older sister Myrah went to this market for years. It is fun to see Meredith now stepping into this role.

Jeanna (Meredith and Myrah’s mother) with an X-larger Summercrisp head, the ‘Nevada’ variety.

I am so delighted to see the ‘Zipperskin’ tangerines making a comeback in the nets. It is a painstaking and very costly method to raise trees in screened bags to exclude the psyllid insect that carries the damaging greening bacteria. However, it is makes my soul rejoice to open a bag and see a vibrant tree laden with fruit– a taste of the former days of Florida when citrus was abundant and so sweet and juicy. Not all the trees bore heavy, but at least we can offer some fruit this season. 

Lemons as I have mentioned in a previous newsletter also have done extraordinarily well in the bags. Their season is winding down in the next couple weeks.

Izzy and Meredith picking strawberries this morning for the Captiva market.

We still need to work on our strawberry butter label– a bit oversized– but we printed it on what we had. At least you can see the ingredient list. It is very tasty made at the farm with last season’s surplus strawberries!

Glorious tomatoes!

The red slicing tomatoes are very good as well!

We have 2 classes we are hosting on the farm this winter. They are already close to being booked up without us even advertising as people learned via word-of-mouth. However, if you are interested, please do write us soon at [email protected] to book a spot for either Feb. 10 or March 9. For those who have not met Anna, you are in for a treat. She is a dear friend of the family and farm and a wealth of valuable information that contributes to healthier living.

On Feb. 10 only, after the cooking class and some light refreshments, Don Slinger will have a 30-40 minute presentation on the benefits of the Sea of Cortez sea salt.

Some of the kids with Anthony on break. Fun to be a farm kid!

We are so pleased to have Anthony Linderman back with us this season! He was here a couple seasons ago as a volunteer and now returned as full time staff. We are grateful for his contributions and wonderful presence on the farm. He is a role model for our children. Sunday he turned 30. The Saturday market in Bonita was his first market experience. He normally is back at the farm tending to the tomato maintenance where more than half of his time is spent. He thoroughly enjoyed seeing the final step in bringing the produce to market and meeting face-to-face so many of you that enjoy the good produce he labors hard to cultivate. Anthony is another bright soul in this world.

We hope you are enjoying this season’s produce. We are grateful to have a part in bringing health and goodness to you.

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






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