Like many Minnesotans, I’m feeling a bit glum today. It would have been the first day of the Minnesota State Fair, and for the past few years, that has meant it was time for my first volunteer shift in the hort society booth in the Horticulture Building.

giant pumpkins at Minnesota state fiar

Things we will miss from the Minnesota State Fair? Giant vegetables, of course!

One of my jobs was telling visitors about what MSHS does and how Northern Gardener is different from any other gardening magazine. I usually worked two or three shifts during the 12 days of the fair, but the first day was one of the most exciting. No one is tired of the noise or fried food yet, and the state fair gardens look so clean and neat. It was usually the first day of the MSHS Potted Plant Show and on a break from selling memberships I enjoyed walking through the show and taking photos of the winning entries.

With the fair cancelled, the hort society staff has come up with some great ideas to have fun and replace what was usually the biggest event of the year for the society. Here’s how you can join in:

Renew and View

If you usually renew your membership at the fair, do so online this year by Sept.7 and we’ll send you a link to watch Five Seasons, the much-lauded movie about the work of garden designer Piet Oudolf.

state fair shirt radishShow Off Your Garden Humor

Last year, we were so happy when visitors came to our booth and said, “You’ve got the best shirts at the fair.” We agree — they’re fun, they’re filled with garden humor and they are top-notch t-shirts. So whether you like Lettuce Turnip the Beet or want to tell everyone you are The Sodfather or a Plant Mama, we’ve got the shirt for you. You can order the shirts only here (shirts only sale endsĀ Sept. 7 so don’t miss that opportunity) or get them as part of a state fair bundle from our friends at It’s Not Fair MN.

Support the Hort

Did you know the hort society has been part of the Minnesota State Fair for 154 years? To honor that long association, we’re asking members to donate $154 (or any amount) to the hort society this year. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the cancellation of many classes, fundraisers and other events for MSHS. If you donate any amount before Sept. 30, we’ll send you a link to the Five Seasons movie. We appreciate your support!

 

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