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June – LaMora Farms, 5925 Ontario Center Road, Ontario, NY

LaMora Family, l to r, Ava LaMora, age 12, Chase, age 7, with Dad, Earl, and Mom, Lindsay with Elle, age 2

LaMora Family, l to r, Ava LaMora, age 12, Chase, age 7, with Dad, Earl, and Mom, Lindsay with Elle, age 2

Their tagline captures the spirit of their farm, inviting the community to come “Grow with us”. Earl and Lindsay LaMoraare partners in their fresh fruit and vegetable farm, which they have been “growing” for the past 11 years.

Also growing together is their lovely family; children Ava (12), Chase (7) and Elle (almost 2). The LaMora’sinitiated their venture by renting 5 acres in North Rose, NY. Neither of their parents were farmers (which is a unique situation). Their primary tractor was a 1950 open-cab Ford, and along with it, the LaMora’swelcomed the challenges farming presents. Since their first season they continued to rent additional acres and made the “big” transition ownership in 2013 when they purchased their home farm here in Ontario, now totaling over 100 acres. The LaMorateam has a professional background; Lindsay, with a degree in marketing and Spanish and Earl, in business. Through college (and still today) they both work for an orchard consulting business and have a long history of ties to the agricultural community. With Earl’s passion for growing produce and Lindsay’s love for sales and marketing they progressed into a much-needed offering within our town and Wayne County.
“The Garden Gazebo is open from dawn to dusk, 7 days per week from June through November.” The Gazebo is 100% self-serve, with payment in cash or check. A collection of recipes is always available as a courtesy to customers. They also provide U-Pick strawberries, peaches, apples, pumpkins in season. The LaMora’ssell a large variety of their apples commercially to fresh fruit buyers and processers. Their high-quality peaches, sweet cherries and strawberries, provide both whole-sale and retail avenues, while supporting the local food hub and farmers markets.  In all, the LaMora’sgrow more than 30 different commodities of vegetables and fruit including, but not limited to strawberries, apples, peaches, plums, nectarines, cherries, raspberries, squash, broccoli, peppers, eggplant, beets, beans and a variety of leafy greens. They are CSA (community supported agriculture) benefactors, debuting their unique “Garnish and Gather” spin on the philosophy, and quickly sold out shares for their opening season. Share and non-share customers may come to the open gazebo any time to shop, a full selection is available 7 days a week. The LaMora’s“like to grow what people want” and continually petition feedback from their customers to improve.  Integrity and true grit capture much of the LaMoratradition. Their farming practices are exemplary. They pass regular food safety audits, and practice IPM (integrated pest management) and sustainability. As stated by the LaMora’s, “We strive to grow the highest quality fruits and vegetables, with the most conservative inputs.” Along their path to success there have been setbacks and hardships, a byproduct of farming, but they have a whole group of people behind them.

“They say it takes a village to raise a child and by the same token it takes a community to grow a farm.
We are constantly humbled and inspired by how much this community has embraced and supported us,” replies Lindsay. Farming in itself is a labor of love and hard work, and the LaMora’sinspiration to succeed and prosper, is reflected in their children. “It is important to us that they see the value of working towards a goal. We hope they learn to go after their interests and dreams no matter how difficult the road ahead is.”
A final message the LaMora’swould like to close with, regarding small business in general, is the importance of supporting local. The number of farms keeps dwindling as consolidation continues to swallow up the traditional family farm structure our country was built on. They urge people to “buy local, to keep agriculture strong in your communities.” When asked about their hopes for the future their answer was simple: “We just hope we are still here in 5 to 10 years. Because nothing in farming is a guarantee.” Website:  www.lamorafarms.com

Interviewed by Joellen Simone, Nature’s Way Floral & Garden

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