During the cold winter months on Becker Road in Skaneateles, NY, you will find Tina Lader pouring over her seed catalogs planning for the summer's crops. Tina is thinking about her customers and fruits and vegetables they will be searching for at the local farmers' markets. Farming is a full time, year round occupation for Tina and Rick Lader, the owners of Mountain Morning Farm. This mountain top location above Otisco Lake is comprised of beautiful woodlands and exceptional vistas of the lake and surrounding areas. It also includes acres of rich farmland. The Lader family has owned this farm since 1947. Years ago it was a dairy farm. Today Tina and Rick painstakingly and lovingly plant a number of crops. This year they have planted more crops than they ever since Rick has retired from his full time job that took him away from the farm. Their love for farming goes well beyond planting and growing food; it is a way of life. For both Tina and Rick it is a way to build the local economy, to developing ties within community and to always be there to help others out.
As spring approaches, the house, greenhouse and the surrounding buildings are home to many sprouting seeds and seedlings. Tina takes great care of her new plants, making sure they have just the right conditions. Once the plants are hardened off and they are mature enough, the land is prepared and the seedlings are planted. They do not use chemicals on the vegetables and fruits they grow. Asparagus, different varieties of lettuce, peppers, eggplant, yellow squash, several kinds of peas, scallions, carrots, both regular and rainbow, tomatoes, and watermelon radishes are some of the vegetables they grow. Tina's grandfather's "Red & White" garlic is a local favorite, this year is going to be an enormous and delicious crop! The Laders also have apple and plum trees that yield delicious results!
Mountain Morning Farm has a large brood of chickens and the farm is known for their eggs. Tina and Rick have to keep a careful eye on "the girls" because a pesky fox has been making his or her way into the hen pasture. During the months when the Farmers Markets are closed, the Laders deliver eggs, maple syrup, and honey to their customers. Tina and Rick also sell products from other rural businesses in the area. This includes honey, maple syrup, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, and cherries.
You can purchase all of the fruits and vegetables and other products that Morning Mountain Farm has to offer at the Skaneateles Farmers' Market on Thursdays 3-6pm and Saturdays 9:30am-12:30pm and at the Owasco Farmers' Market on Wednesdays 3-7pm.