The Nieman Apple farm has been in the family for over 4 generations. The original farm was over 100 acres and started by Harold’s Great-Grand Dad. The original business was a growing and wholesale operation. Harold Nieman, grew up with apples in his blood, working the family farm by the age of ten. In 1970 Harold took over the business and moved it from a wholesale operation to a retail operation. He saw a great demand for you pick and a market. In 1970, The Market Stand was born.
Soon after The Market started group tours and outings were added for the enjoyment and education for all. Over the years many additional features have been added including play land, petting zoo, you pick raspberries, corn maze and more! Harold saw the need for a family friendly educational and fun agritourism business and he has made the most of it.
The current farm is 35 acres. Of the 35 acres, 17 are reserved for you pick apples and 17 are for retail. The largest off site retail that Nieman Markets participates in is Cedarburg’s Harvest Festival.
Nieman Markets also makes a delicious homemade cider which is a blend of 3-5 different apple varieties and sold by the quart and gallon throughout the season.
Nieman Markets is proud to offer educational tours to all ages and group sizes. Harold himself gives most of the tours and feels that the education of children is critical to future generations and that many people do not know where food actually comes from. While on an outing the real story of Johnny Appleseed is told in the barn theater.
Harold Nieman is a 20th century Johnny Appleseed he enjoys teaching and preaching about food and farming. Harold of course could not do all of this alone, his wife Deanie is by his side throughout the season. Helping to ensure that Nieman Market is ready for the season and open for business.
Over the years, Harold and Deanie have employed hundreds of high school and college aged students. Many of the workers have been coming back for 10+ years!
An apple farm has many seasons including Spring when pruning and trimming out the dead wood as well as excessive growth is in full swing. Water sprouts must be trimmed so that the tree can be opened up to gather more sunlight. When the trimming is done the excess wood is chopped up and added to the soil. This helps to strengthen the soil and benefit the future growing. Typically by Mother’s Day each year the trees are filled with fragrant and beautiful blooms with a promise for a strong season. By late August the orchard is ready for harvest for the early apples. Early apples include: Jersey Mac, Red Free, Paula Red and Wealthy. Mid-season apples include: Macs, Honey Crisp and Cortland. Late season apples include: Ida Reds, Jonathans, Empires, Pears, Russets, 20 ounce Pippins, Galas and Wolf Rivers.
Early season apples are sweet and mostly for eating. Wealthy apples are excellent for baking. The early season apples are softer fruit and work well for sauces and fresh eating.
Mid-season apples all-purpose apples. Mid-season apples produce both sweet and tart varieties. They are excellent for pies, sauces and juice.
In the winter, trees go dormant but can be lost due to excessive cold and draught. Nature runs its course, after a typically harsh winter trees can still dying after two years. New trees are planted every other year and require 3-5 years before they bear fruit. The average life span of an apple tree is 30-50 years and some can live up to 75 years.