MSHS State Fair Volunteers Have More Fun!

This article originally appeared in the July/August issue of Northern Gardener.

statefair volunteers

The MSHS booth is a popular spot in the Agriculture Horticulture building at the fair.

“I love volunteering for MSHS all year, but I absolutely love the Minnesota State Fair—combining the two is heaven for me,” says MSHS volunteer Kris Solberg, who leads an international team of writers for Intel Security and “got the gardening bug” from her father who had a vegetable garden in the summer. “The taste of those fresh tomatoes on warm summer mornings still lingers,” says Kris.

When she bought her most recent home in 2007, she decided to renew her lapsed MSHS membership at the fair, knowing that she would get a lot of great ideas from Northern Gardener magazine. Kris now has a dozen garden beds, including perennials and roses, and like her dad, she has a vegetable patch that includes only those things that she likes to eat regularly: tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and herbs. “Gardening grounds me like no other activity,” Kris says, “and I’d much rather pull a weed or two than mow a lawn.”

She started volunteering in 2009 to meet other gardeners and to connect with people about MSHS’ Garden-in-a-Box and Minnesota Green programs. Like dozens of other State Fair volunteers, she enjoys working with MSHS staff and those volunteers that she has come to know over the years.

Get your picture taken with Mr. Tomato Guy at the fair.

Get your picture taken with Mr. Tomato Guy at the fair.

Kris says that her most memorable experience volunteering at the fair was helping her favorite professor from graduate school pick out a T-shirt at the MSHS booth. Kris continues, “And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention having my photo taken with Mr. Tomato Guy!”

Interested in volunteering at the fair, contact Diane at  for details, or visit our Volunteer page for details and to sign up.

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