Laverne Forest was a professor of agriculture at UW Madison who grew up on a farm in western Minnesota. He dreamed of having a farm were people could pick their own produce. In 1985 he and his wife Betty bought a 100-acre farm in Fitchburg. They called it Eplegaarden which means the apple farm in Norwegian.
Laverne and Betty along with their three children planted apple trees and by 1992 they started to sell apples. The concept was a success and by 2019 they had 6,000 apple trees, 12 acres of pumpkins, an acre of fall raspberries and an acre of asparagus. Most people pick their own product but they do have a store where you can buy items from their harvest. They also sell at Dane County Farmers’ Market on the Square.