Franklin Land Trust - Conserving Farms, Fields & Forests Since 1987 Donate

Jaap Molenaar

Located in Deerfield

Jaap Molenaar grew up near Amsterdam/ the Netherlands on a vegetable and flower bulb farm which has been in his family since the 1880`s. After agriculture college he worked in New England as a traveling salesperson for a import export firm selling plants to wholesale growers and garden centers. In 1992 he started with his college friend and colleague Pioneer Gardens on 1 acre of rented land. The company has grown to 80 acres fields and 3 acres of greenhouses. In the 23 years Pioneer Gardens has been fortunate to be able to buy farm land from landowners who had the desire to have their land farmed and thus protected by the APR program. Without their vision and APR`s help all these acres would have been unaffordable for PG, not to mention the 35-40 employees who now make a living on the nursery. Having seen the effect of housing development on the farming community in his hometown in the Netherlands were 8000 houses were build in the last 20 years and traveling throughout the us where the threat to the long term availability of productive farm land and open space has been very noticeable. These experiences have awakened a deep awareness for the need to protect land for future generations and therefore he is happy to be a board member and not to forget loves to see 1500+ riders enjoy his fields when they camp and start /finish on his fields and hopes to ride the ride in the near future.

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