Man cultivating garden
SHSND# 2003-P13-P17-109Yeager was perhaps the first of the AES horticulturists to recognize the extent of the horticultural problem in North Dakota. He was diligent in his efforts to improve on tomatoes, melons, corn, and other vegetables. He also recognized that with a limited growing season and periodic droughts, Dakotans were dependent on the fruits and vegetables they could grow easily at home for proper nutrition. He took a special interest in tomatoes which are loaded with vitamins and only needed to be selected or bred for a shorter growing season.
When Yeager published Vegetable Varieties for North Dakota in 1925 (see Vegetable Chart for his list), he intended to inform ND gardeners about varieties for the farm home garden (the AES did not recognize urban home gardens). He had tested 750 varieties at the AES gardens in order to compile this list. He prefaced this bulletin with advice to the gardener:
The garden is fast becoming an established part of every farm in North Dakota.
In a new state where new conditions must be met, one of the first steps necessary is to determine the value of those things which have been developed elsewhere.
While vegetables as a whole do well, here, some are better adapted than others. A few are hardly worth growing; some are valuable only when proper varieties are grown; while others are perfectly at home.
At the time of this publication, Red River tomato had just been developed and he said little about it. Earliana was still considered the best variety for western gardens.