Arbor Day Farm welcomes guests back to Apple House Market

It's been 18 months, but Arbor Day Farm is finally ready to officially welcome back some old favorites.

NEBRASKA CITY, Neb. (KLKN) – It’s been 18 months, but Arbor Day Farm is finally ready to officially welcome back some old favorites. Ravaged by fire in 2020, the Apple House Market was missing from a few AppleJack Festivals, but it’s back and better than ever.

“It just feels complete”, says Arbor Day Farm Vice President Austin Mackrill. “We finally have a space that our team can really enjoy, our guests can enjoy. It feels like the right kind of space for the story we’re trying to convey and the right experience we’re trying to give people.”

Part of that experience is a look behind the curtain, to see just where that tasty cider comes from, whether it’s apple season or not.

Marketing specialist Connie Van Nostrand explains, “You can watch apple sorting, tree shipping, and when those aren’t happening there are QR codes that you can scan and watch videos. We’re really excited to be able to share that information and really take people beyond just being a retail space.”

Of course, the Market is a retail space, featuring local goods, and a few other refreshments that can be served up at the bar or at the revamped Porter’s Barbecue. It does, though, accomplish just what Van Nostrand says it does, as the newly reopened building has quite a few stories to tell.

“We also added a history element, and more information about the Arbor Day Foundation”, Van Nostrand says. “We’re a property of the foundation, so we wanted to make sure people are hearing that story, not just about our history, but about our mission to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees.”

The building itself is a part of that mission with a story of its own, according to Mackrill. “We wanted sustainability to come to the forefront”, he says, “so we chose a lot of wood from our own property: some fallen trees from storms, and just scoured the property for a storyline.” That story is most evident in the “wood cookie wall” where sections of the 22 species of tree from around the farm are spread across a wall.

With the official reopening, on Thursday morning, a special thanks went out to the firefighters who helped preserve the structure, and a portion of the proceeds from this opening weekend will go back to the firefighters, as a further thanks.

Categories: Nebraska News, News