2024-04-01 newsletter

Greetings from 12 Seasons Farm,

Production and diversity continue strong on the farm. The warm season
crops are prospering in this weather with lots of solid tomato, cuc,
zuc, pepper and eggplant production. Baby butterheads and romaine will
start to slow down in this heat though the forecast ahead looks good
with mild temperatures except for a couple hot days. Sweet Italian
bullhorn peppers are back after being dismally low for awhile due to me
missing one seeding date on the peppers in the fall. One little missed
notation in my planting calendar caused me to miss an entire flight of
peppers, but now we have really strong production and should remain so
for several weeks.

Tuesday we plan to be back in Captiva. Mike and Justine from Canada
plan to run this market for us with help from Annika as Carrie headed
out on her westward journey today. The Captiva farmers market managers
informed us last week that the Captiva market is now extended to the end
of May. We will update you all if we will continue into that month. We
would be curious to hear from our Sanibel and Captiva regulars, whether
you plan to still be here during this time.

The Naples market is scheduled for 2 more weeks into mid-April.

The Bonita Springs Farmers market at Promenade Shops is scheduled to
run to the end of May. We are scheduled to have production through the
end of June when the market will return to our farm that last month. We
are gifted with a long season here in SW Florida. We embrace and try to
maximize what we can do for 3/4 of the year with vegetables and all 12
months (“12 Seasons”) with different fruits.

Here is our schedule for 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.

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
  • Mulberries (New!)
  • Summercrisp Lettuce
  • Baby Butterhead Lettuce
  • Large Leaf Butterhead Lettuce
  • Romaine Lettuce (limited by the heat)
  • Arugula
  • Curly Kale
  • Flat Kale
  • Mixed Kale (multiple varieties)
  • Swiss Chard
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Sweet Italian Bull’s Horn Peppers
  • Broccolini
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Green onions
  • Large onions
  • Celery
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Campari tomatoes
  • Heirloom/Specialty tomatoes
  • Red Slicing tomatoes
  • Round radish
  • Daikon radish
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Curled Parsley
  • Flat Parsley
  • Lemongrass (preorder only)
  • Ray Ruby Grapefruit
  • Papaya
  • Starfruit (just about over)
  • Banana
  • Sunflowers
  • SW FL Saw Palmetto Honey
  • SW FL Wildflower Honey
  • Strawberry Butter

Peppers are plentiful now on the farm. The sweet Italian bullhorn
peppers are so good raw or cooked.

Our spring tomato production is very high compared to what we were
getting in this past cooler winter.

Here is Alexios harvesting tomatoes this morning. Alexios is a Greek
and American citizen here on a mission to study regenerative, organic
farming. His family has land in Greece that he hopes to bring landcare
practices that are a part of the solution to improving water, land, and
air quality.

Regenerative farming is a term you may have heard lately catching on
more and more. I like it because those who practice regenerative
agriculture keenly emphasize soil health as foundational to nearly all
farming practices– mainly those practices that increase soil carbon
levels– as a means for bringing about restoration to land and crops. As
I have seen at 12 Seasons Farm the carbon content is the real game
changer in these very sandy soils to reducing mineral leaching,
increasing fertility and holding more water, and providing a rich food
source for good microbes that participate in crop health.

Sunflowers blooming next to a row of finished cauliflower.
Cauliflower season is mostly done as the spring weather tends to be hard
on those plants. They really are a solid winter crop here.

Bruce and Jan are back on the farm. They left for a week’s vacation
to celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary. They are heroes here at 12
Seasons Farm. They have been our longest standing helpers with us now 13
years. Last year they moved on the farm where Ek and Bianca used to
live. We are so grateful for them. The kids and Vicki and I are so happy
they have chosen this farm and community to make their home! The 2
youngest kids have enjoyed several sleepovers while the 2 older kids
join us for market. Bruce and Jan like to work crazy hard and bring
order to the farm!! They keep the farm looking great with all their
mowing and trimming and are a great example to all of us at the farm of
a fun, loving marriage and full life.

Mulberries are in season now– a favorite of the kids as evidenced by
their stained fingers. If you want to add them to your order, please put
in the customer notes on your order. They are $6/pint. The kids earn
$3/pint and the farm the other $3 because the kids pick them for a
little side business. They are so labor intensive to pick and the kids
do a good job and we impress upon them the importance of clean fingers
when picking for others!

There was a beautiful near full moon rising over the orchard of mango
and lychee last Tuesday evening.

And here is a photo of tonight’s sunset over the farm!

Last Thursday we gathered as a team to say goodbye to Anthony and
Carrie who are both heading out soon. It was a very fun and meaningful
time sharing highlights of the season together. It was so encouraging to
hear from different team members what working at 12 Seasons has meant to
them. We also split up the tip money for the season. It was great to
pass on your gratitude and affirmation to so many of them. Thank you.
Each person got a generous portion, even the children who help out in
small but helpful ways.

Last Saturday was Anthony’s last market and workday this season at
the farm. The photo above is during the cleanup after Saturday’s

This was Anthony’s second season with 12 Seasons Farm. On a practical
work level, he has been our main tomato manager this season, sprayer,
radish harvester, and a market seller at 2 markets. On a more personal
level, we are so touched and grateful for his presence and friendship.
He has taken such a special interest in our children, coming over often
to the house to read novels and stories to the children. He is a mentor
to Simeon who has accompanied Anthony to the Tuesday Naples market.

Anthony is soon returning to the Boston area to begin a job as a
tractor operator on an organic farm there. We are blessed that he played
a significant role in the farm and our family life. We will miss his
bright presence and our children will especially miss his friendship. We
are hoping he returns here next season.

Carrie who I mentioned in the last newsletter left this morning, and
now Anthony tomorrow. Their presence will surely be missed!

Thank you all for your continued and generous support that enables
the 12 Seasons team be able to produce fresh fruits and vegetables that
we all so enjoy and benefit from!

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






Leave a Reply

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