Adrienne Mollor is ‘all in’ when it comes to cranberries and the challenges of creating a sustainable future in the industry. Together with her father, Stanley, they own and manage properties throughout the region. On a gorgeous spring morning, CCCGA recently met with Adrienne at one of her relatively new Middleboro properties.
Growing up as a 4-Her, Adrienne has always had ties to agriculture. While she started off with animals in her 4-H projects, she has definitely made the transition to horticulture and it is obvious she enjoys her current lifestyle. Adrienne and her father, Stanley, have been working together in the cranberry business since she left her job after 14 years to come home and help after he had some health issues. Stanley started with just 4 acres on his own in 1989 and together they have built up their acreage over the last 20+ years. In 2019 they will harvest approximately 130 acres.
Adrienne has found that she really enjoys the challenge of taking bogs that may not be perfect and fixing them up so they can reach their full potential. This has been the case for most of her years in the business. At the property we visited, the newer bogs were large rectangles in stark contrast the older polygon-shaped bogs indicating a change to more efficient bogs.
Figuring out how to make the bogs more energy efficient and sustainable is part of what makes the business exciting for Adrienne. The quality of life cranberry farming offers and the opportunity to see something long-term are what she likes best. She sees agriculture as being part of the solution to a lot of problems as it contributes to a healthy environment. All the bogs they farm make use of a closed tailwater recovery system which ensures they know where their water comes from and its quality. Automated irrigation has been installed on all their properties as well. While they grow an assortment of the standard Massachusetts’ varieties throughout their bogs, Adrienne and her father are trying out some of the hybrids to see how they produce in different bogs instead of going ‘all in’ on the new varieties in any one location.
In addition to the changes to the bogs themselves, Adrienne says they are putting in pollinator habitats on bogs as well. They mostly use their own bees but also have a local beekeeper who brings his bees to their bogs.
Adrienne believes the current challenges of the industry are forcing people to think creatively. Thinking outside the box, working more effectively, reflecting on why you are passionate about this way of life and developing a long-term plan is what will bring growers through the downward turn. There is also the challenge of how to help new generations understand why cranberries should be part of their daily diet—that it is good for you and for the environment.
Her involvement in cranberries is not tied just to the bogs. Adrienne is active on several committees and boards including CMC, CCCGA’s Marketing & Promotions Outreach Committee, CEF and previously served on Ocean Spray’s Grower Council for 6 years.
Away from the bogs, Adrienne is a mom to three daughters and a son. She and her husband, Chuck, also own MCG Partners, a leadership and talent consulting business. She is also Chair of the Advisory Board for Bridgewater State University’s Business School.