By 1900, technology had developed to the point where horses could replace oxen in the field. The greater strength of the oxen was no longer needed, and the greater speed and agility of horses made plowing larger farms possible. Horses supplied most of the energy on farms, from plowing to pulling wagons to powering various pieces of equipment, such as those for grinding corn. As a result of this dependence on horses, oats were added to the list of crops that were grown, because horses like oats. Most people are surprised to learn that, even though tractors began to gain popularity in the 1920s–1930s, horses continued to be used on some farms until World War II.
Also visible at the bottom of the photo is a hint of the classic white picket fence that surrounds the house. These fences not only made the homes more attractive, they also kept out livestock that might eat the kitchen garden to the ground.