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Seeds to use and where to get 'em

A brief discussion of seeds used in the
Minnesota State Fair Crop Art Exhibit.

(Not endorsed or approved by the Minnesota State Fair.)


Where do you get these exotic seeds?

After each seed I'll put a symbol noting where you can get the seed.

(C) = Food co-ops

(P) = Pet food stores (for bird seed)

(X) = Farmer's seed exhanges (for unusual seeds)

Note: Exotic seeds can also be purchased online. Google the name of the seed and -- good luck!

Good seeds

There are very specific guidelines as to what seeds allowed to make up the entries in the Minnesota State Fair's Crop Art Exhibit.

The main requirement is the seeds should be able to grow in Minnesota -- whether they are grown as a crop or not. The rule book states that "seeds, stems, heads or panicles and fruiting bodies or structures" of the following plants are allowable in Crop Art:

  • oats (C)
  • wheat (C)
  • barley (C)
  • flax (C)
  • rye (C)
  • corn (P)
  • soybeans (C)
  • navy, lima, kidney and other "field beans" (C)
  • pinto beans (C)
  • sunflowers (C) (P)
  • common buckwheat (C)
  • field peas (C) (X)
  • millets (C) (X)
  • safflower (C)
  • sorghum (C)
  • sugar beat (C)
  • sudan grass (C)
  • common forage grasses (X)
    (timothy, bluegrass, bornegrass, and wild grasses, etc.)
  • clovers (X)
  • alfalfa (X)
  • wild rice (C)

Good seeds not specifically mentioned in the rule book

There are other seeds that seem to be allowed. While not listed in the rules, they are commonly used in seed art pictures at the Crop Art Exhibit. These seeds are:
  • Amaranth (C)
  • Canola or rape seed (X)
  • green, red and French green lentils (C)
  • popcorn (C)
  • quiona (C)

Okay seeds

Processed grains are allowed, but only on 20 percent of a Crop Art picture. These are particularly tempting to use, as there are few small, white seeds.

  • Cream of Wheat
  • corn grits
  • corn meal

The bad seeds

Weed seeds are not allowed.

White rice is not allowed.

Sesame seeds are not allowed.

Weird seeds

There are a couple categories in Crop Art in which you can use "seeds, stems, heads or panicles and fruiting bodies or structures" of forest, tree and shrub plants.

Official questions answered

Questions about what is allowed and not allowed are answered by the Minnesota State Fair's Division of Farm Crops Superintendent, send him an email using this link. The rule book for the Minnesota State Fair's Agriculture-Horticulture-Bee competitions (that includes Crop Art) is available in a PDF document at the State Fair's web site, www.mnstatefair.org. An updated version is posted in early May.

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[tiny seed]


Images on this site ©2014 copyright by the individual artists. Crop Art web site ©2014 copyright David Steinlicht. Use of these images without permission is prohibited. Questions or comments? Write to steinlicht@pobox.com.