2024-03-04 newsletter

Greetings from 12 Seasons Farm,

Many people at the markets ask how the current weather is affecting
the crops… for a most of this season it was about the extended cool fall
and winter and now recently it is about the warm weather. Each of the
crops respond differently with their own environmental preferences. For
example, the lettuce and cauliflower definitely prefer cooler temps
while the tomatoes and zucs and cucs are pushing strong now. It is a
hard question to answer, but the average sweet spot where most crops
seem to perform well (that we grow) is highs in the mid-70s and lows in
the mid-50s. Above 64 at night is not ideal. There is nothing we can do
about weather except plan for the changing seasons and potential
extremes for heat and cold. We do this by rotating crops in and out of
the planting calendar based on their heat and cold tolerances. For
example, romaine will soon not be available due to its low tolerance for
heat. Summercrisp, however, does much better with the heat and are the
bookends to our lettuce season when it gets hot in the fall and spring.
Romaine is mainly just a winter lettuce here.

We should continue to have strong diversity for this new month of
March. Onions are starting to bulb well now as the daylength increases.
We have a huge crop of cherry tomatoes coming on. And cucumbers and
zucchini finally seem to be making a comeback. The broccolini is still
going strong and plentiful this week. We got our first meaningful
harvest of sweet peppers after a long drought with scant production the
past couple months.

We plan to be back at the Tuesday Captiva and Naples Farmers markets.
Both markets run 9am-1pm.

Our schedule remains much the same 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.

Tuesday 9am-1pm at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Naples. The St. John’s
Farmers Market is located at 500 Park Shore Dr., Naples, FL 34103, just
south of Pine Ridge Rd. Due to vehicle space and staff limitations we
currently don’t plan to do preorders for this 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. 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 (crop over), more hopefully in a couple weeks
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Sweet Italian Bull’s Horn Peppers
  • Broccolini
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • Green onions
  • Large onions (pre-order only)
  • Celery
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Campari tomatoes
  • Heirloom/Specialty tomatoes
  • Red Slicing tomatoes
  • Round radish
  • Daikon radish
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Curled Parsley (limited)
  • Flat Parsley (limited)
  • Lemongrass
  • Turmeric (by pre-order only)
  • Avocado (1 to 2 weeks more)
  • Pummelo
  • Temple Tangor
  • Ray Ruby Grapefruit
  • Papaya
  • Starfruit (just about over)
  • Banana
  • Sunflowers
  • SW FL Saw Palmetto Honey
  • SW FL Wildflower Honey
  • Strawberry Butter

Here is last week’s Captiva team with Carrie, Alexios, and Annika
from 12 Seasons and Rebekah, the market manager, on the left.

Here is Simeon at the St. John’s Farmers Market in Naples. It was
quite the experience last Tuesday for Vicki and me to ponder as our two
oldest kids got up super early on their own, packed their own food,
water, made their morning tea, and headed out for a day of business and
math class! I have been doing farmers markets since 2002. Now my
children are rising up! We are proud of them!

The metal and hardware for the next 2 greenhouses arrived last week.
Lots of work ahead!

While most of the season the strawberry field has been shy on
production, today was our largest harvest. New berries continue to come.
The onions intercropped down the middle of the berries are doing well
and getting decently large.

This was a whopper of an onion, well over 2 lbs.!

We also are starting to harvest sweet purple ones called ‘Southern

We enjoyed last Thursday evening a family outing to the Southwest
Florida Ag Expo. We watched the goat agility event through the local 4-H
club and went on some fun rides. Here the kids are in the ferris wheel!
They had a blast.

Today is Simeon’s 12th birthday (March 4). We went on a bike
adventure to the Caloosahatchee Regional Park bike trails with his
friends and sister and brother.

We are proud of Simeon. He is a great son fun full of observations,
questions, stories, and a thirst for life. He so enjoys being active in
the created world– engaging with all creatures, especially birds,
swimming in the creeks, climbing trees, managing and harvesting the
crops, running, biking, etc. He has been such an enormous help this
season doing his morning chores on the farm faithfully and with vigor.
As I reflect on one of my original intents in buying the farm nearly 22
years ago, one major reason was to hopefully have a family that would
enjoy being raised on it. Simeon certainly loves the farm and really
enjoys being a part of the 12 Seasons team working alongside so many
great people that serve as mentors and friends. Simeon plays hard and
works hard! He still has a lot of growing up to do but we are so
grateful God has blessed our lives with Simeon.

We look forward to seeing you at the markets or on deliveries or at
the farm!

Have a great week!

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






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