2024-04-15 newsletter

Greetings from 12 Seasons Farm,

The tomato quality is superb right now! The added heat and length of day
creates a sweeter and deeper flavor profile on the tomatoes. Strawberry season
is winding down, but we have really good papaya if you are looking for some
delicious sweet fruit.

The Tuesday Naples market has officially ended. Thank you to those who
supported that market. 

Tuesday we are scheduled to be at the Captiva Farmers Market. We plan to be
there through the end of April and will likely resume deliveries at that point
to Sanibel and Captiva. Bailey’s General Store on Captiva is starting to carry
our tomatoes. Tomorrow will be our first delivery there. 

Here is our schedule for this week:

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

: 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, 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

Orders can be placed online at 12seasonsfarm.com

This is what we are harvesting:

  • Strawberries
  • Mulberries 
  • 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

Mike and I at the Captiva market last Tuesday. Mike and Justine left this
weekend to head back to Canada where they have their own beginnings of a farm
in Ontario near Ottawa. They plan to be back next winter!

We have beautiful cherry tomatoes right now! So fruity, sweet, and delicious!!
We are trying a new trellising and cherry tomato management system where we
drop entire rows of the trellised cherry vines by cutting the lower horizontal
strings and assisting the other strings to move down the posts. Each week they
get lowered maybe 6-12 inches. It compresses the base of the vines but allows
for us to keep the added top growth in check rather than it becoming too
voluminous at the top, creasing, and eventually shading itself out. Justin is
helping us learn this new technique that he has been trying at the Pennsylvania
organic farm he works at in the summer.

The red tomatoes are really good right now too. As mentioned above, the
increased heat and daylength really seem to make the tomatoes so full-flavored
and sweet. We are eating them like a tree fruit right now.

I harvested 3 bunches of bananas today so have added them to the online store.

Jeanna with daughter Myrah have been helping out with deliveries on Thursday
since Carrie left. We are blessed with having the Small Family help in so many
different capacities here at 12 Seasons Farm over the past 6 seasons. 

Justin is in his final week here at the farm for this season. He has been with
us for 10 seasons. He is my assistant and provides so much amazing help,
management, and skill. He loves organic agriculture and is a great promoter of
it having worked on so many different organic farms since high school. He is
pictured above with a repair he completed on a chair using the previous
season’s irrigation drip tape. He will be greatly missed as usual.

Pictured above is Sarah and Hannah Shiner along with Annika. The Shiner Family
is visiting and working at 12 Seasons Farm for the month of April. They are
planning to return to the Philippines where they have 10 acres. They came here
to learn more about production farming to help them in their efforts in the

Alexios at market after being given a French bread sandwich with 12 Seasons
Farm tomatoes, microgreens, salt, and olive oil. It is fabulous and was given
to us by Ileana with Pleyoo Mircogreens who sells at the Promenade Bonita
Springs Farmers Market. What a tasty treat at the end of market!

Each Friday, we prepare a large amount of excess produce for an organization
called Cultivate Abundance. They come in and “glean” produce that we might have
overproduction on or be slightly blemished, but of still good eating quality.
The produce gets distributed to hundreds of families each Friday afternoon in
Immokalee who are in need of food assistance. We are told that many of the
people that receive this produce actually work in the tomato fields but are not
interested in eating those tomatoes (I certainly wouldn’t either). They show
high preference for the produce and tomatoes from 12 Seasons Farm. Last week we
sent nearly 1000 lbs. of tomatoes plus many other vegetables including lettuce,
swiss chard, peppers, zucs, and cucs.

Here is Rick Burnette, the program and technical director of Cultivate
Abundance after loading produce from 12 Seasons. He visits farms, gardens, and
yards of people who want to donate fruit from their gardens and trees. The
produce from 12 Seasons is either sold to them at a reduced price or donated.
In addition to distributing wholesome food, they encourage personal dignity by
training people in home gardening, working with ethnically relevant foods and
distributing plant material so people can cultivate abundance in their own
yards. If you are looking for an organization to assist in a volunteer capacity
or for a charity to donate finances to, please consider Cultivate Abundance.
 And they support local producers by gleaning their excess produce and thereby
reducing food waste. It is a great model that I would love to see replicated on
a national level. 

Cultivate Abundance can use more funds to keep up their work of providing
healthy food options for those in need! They do hero work in our SWFL
community. It is a great pleasure to see the extra produce go to people who
appreciate fresh and delicious food. 

Here is a link to learn more about their work. Please consider donating to
their great cause.

Boys! We will miss the Harrington Family. They left early Sunday morning to
head back to Maine. Their current plan is to return next season. 

The 12 Seasons Team is a special community. We work hard together and strive
for an edifying dynamic workplace, farm and home. Several people as of late
have left and are returning to more northern, cooler latitudes. Big thank you
to Carrie, Anthony, Mike and Justine, and the Harrington Clan who played
tremendous roles here this season and have finished their time with us! Well

Though our numbers have dwindled in size, we still have a great team here and
we look forward to serving you.

Have a great week!

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

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