Immigrating from Oslo, Norway, Jacob and Maren Brensetre had the original farm homestead back in 1848. Their son Ole adopted “Jacobson” as his American name and after serving in the civil war built a farmhouse around 1865, which has been in the family for six generations. One of the first things they built on the homestead was a brick smokehouse that is still standing today. It was a vital part of farm life where neighbors helped each other by getting together and butchering their hogs. Using cast iron kettles filled with 157 degree water they cleaned and repurposed almost every part of the hog. Those antique cast iron kettles can be seen today peppered around the flower garden near the historic farmhouse. The smokehouse had a slow-burning fire that added the distinct hickory smoke flavor to the sausages, hams and bacons as a way of preserving them. The historic smokehouse stands as a landmark and symbol of Ole Jacobson’s life vision that he has passed down from generation to generation.
. . . was established back in 1846 and was recognized in 1998 with the Sesquicentennial Farm and Home award at the Wisconsin State Fair for farms that have been in the same family for 150 years. Premium Green Farms (now known as Apple Barn Orchard and Winery), like most Wisconsin farms, was a vibrant dairy operation for years. Steve Jacobson grew up on the farm, working it with his brothers, mending fences, feeding and milking cows, haying and picking rocks. The farm life was in Steve’s DNA and he decided to study horticulture at Michigan State University. After graduating Steve returned home to the family farm with a young orchard originally established by his parents, Jim and Karen Jacobson.
Beginning in 1985 Steve and his wife, Judy, converted the dairy barn and buildings into the vibrant orchard setting that it is today, while raising five girls. It began slow, by planting trees on 40 acres of fertile Walworth County soil. Soon they were changing the barn and milk house into cold storage and processing areas as the orchard grew around them. Later, they began making their own cider that is sold locally and regionally to grocery stores along with fresh-picked apples.
The Jacobson’s have over 4,000 apple trees in their orchard now and grow and sell 14 popular varieties of apples such as Honey Crisp, Jona Gold, McIntosh and Cortland. Besides raising several varieties of apples they also grow, strawberries, pumpkins, peaches, spearmint, peppermint and supply corn, soybeans and alfalfa to local dairy farms.
Then they added a bakery and country store to provide fresh pies and cider donuts for patrons. The winery was added in 2004. All of the fruit wines are made on premises and offer a fruitful experience.
Consumers today want eating apples,” Steve says. “They desire an apple that’s crisp, juicy and sweet.” There’s something crisp and sweet that’s just right for the picking in the strawberry field, apple orchard or off the shelf in the Country Store and Winery. Choose from numerous unique gifts, fresh seasonal fruits, apple cider, cheeses, baked goods and bottles of fruit wines inside the store.
The Apple Barn Story began in 1846 with Ole Jacobson and continues today with Steve and Judy as they share their orchard with those who choose to experience it. Pick us™. Pick The Apple Barn Orchard and Winery.