Gardening at Fort Yates, ND, Fiske Collection
SHSND# 1952-1762Potatoes get a lot of interest at every fair until the beginning of the State Fair in 1965. The Morton County Fair only asked for red or white potatoes from 1895 to 1900, but the Pembina Fair was more specific. The premium list called for entries of Beauty of Hebron, or Early Rose potatoes in the first couple of years, but by 1899, potatoes included Vermont, Early Ohio, Early Sunrise, Early Perfect, Maggie Murphy, and Vaughn’s Beauty. Early Ohio remains a staple at fairs and in the NDAC lists of vegetables, but the others disappear quickly. After 1900, the Morton County Fair also lists blue potatoes, and in 1904, the list expanded to include Snow Flake, Early Rose, Triumph, and Blue Victor potatoes.
The North Dakota Agricultural and Industrial Fair at Fargo (also called State Fair at Fargo) continued the pattern of specific varieties of potato entries. In 1910, the premium list called for potatoes early, medium, and late, but in 1915 potatoes could be entered in several other categories including Early Ohio, Early Rose, Triumph, Burbank, Carmine. In 1929 Green Mountain and Rural New Yorker were added to the list. Burbank, like Early Ohio, becomes a staple variety. When Grand Forks hosted a fair called the State Fair in 1921, the potato list was shorter.
Few other vegetables at state or county fairs had this extensive list and specificity. Peas, for instance, are seldom anything but peas. Cabbage had a few types, such as winter and summer, but not a named variety.