1873 Cass County Fair premium certificate
SHSND# 80009Fannie Mahood Heath, known as the Flower Lady of North Dakota, sold seeds and cuttings from a small home-made catalog for a few years. She didn’t have a strong interest in running a business, however. She preferred to send cuttings to anyone who requested and to trade with others to enlarge her own gardens with interesting plants rather than maintain seeds and plants for sale. (Heath Papers)
A few seed companies were mentioned in the premium lists of the State Fair. E. C. Hilborn ran the Northwest Nursery Company of Valley City in the 1920s. The winners of prizes in the categories he sponsored received currants, raspberries, or strawberries which suggest that his business emphasis was on fruit shrubs and plants. (ND State Fair, Grand Forks, 1921)
C. A. Chinberg ran a nursery in Hankinson. He offered prizes (unspecified) for Compass Cherries (really a type of plum known as a cherry plum), and Surprise Plums that had been grown in North Dakota, Western Minnesota, or Roberts County, South Dakota. (North Dakota State Fair, Fargo, 1912)
In addition, large seed companies also offered premiums suggesting the strength of their business in the area. Both Burpees and Gurneys offered prizes for displays of vegetables grown from their seeds at the state fair. (North Dakota State Fair 1912, 1921)
Since the 1980s, Neal Holland, a horticulturist who worked at NDSU for many years has had a nursery at Harwood where he sells plants (flowers and vegetables) and trees. Though he doesn’t sell seed or plants by catalog, his nursery features varieties that he developed including Sheyenne and Cannonball tomatoes and Tinkerbelle Lilac.