What began as a couple of garden beds showing some of the state's native plants and their uses has now blossomed into a block-long, living, thriving outdoor exhibit highlighting North Carolina's rich agricultural legacy.

History of the Harvest serves as an exciting outdoor classroom that gives visitors and passers-by a hands-on opportunity to learn firsthand about North Carolina agriculture. The exhibit covers everything from medicinal plants grown by American Indians before European contact to new hybrids developed using advanced plant-breeding technology.

Through public programs and by working with agencies like Farm Bureau's Ag in the Classroom program, the museum extends learning about the state's dynamic agricultural history to teachers and students across the state.

This living, changing outdoor exhibit brings the story of our agricultural past to life. North Carolina has been and continues to be an agricultural state, and what is being done here in agricultural research and development continues to make history around the world.

Welcome to History of the Harvest exhibit by NC Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler.

About Ag in the Classroom - https://www.ncagintheclassroom.com

The Ag in the Classroom program extends Farm Bureau’s commitment to communities directly to the classroom, providing instructional, classroom-ready lesson plans for teachers, conferences and programs, and literacy development through their book of the month. Lesson plans explore fibers, animals, and produce through vocabulary and activities for all levels of instruction.

History of the Harvest Exhibit Outline and Links

Tab/Accordion Items

History of the Harvest is presented in six sections with distinct planting beds. Large informational signs guide visitors as they walk along Bicentennial Plaza.

Exhibit Intro: Welcome video by NC Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler: http://youtu.be/6HHIzZB-NN0 

Nature’s Garden and Gardens of Life and Health: The first two sections focus on medicinal and culinary plants that were indigenous to the state or introduced by settlers. This section highlights plants such as sassafrasrivercanerosemary, and rue.

Early Agriculture: This section centers on the “three sisters” companion planting arrangement traditionally used by American Indians in North Carolina. Corn, beans, and squash, the “three sisters,” were grown together because the plants benefit each other.

Changing the Landscape and North Carolina as an Agricultural State: Cash crops, such as tobacco and cotton which were important to the Tar Heel State, are featured in these beds, as well as other crops grown by today’s North Carolina farmers, such as our state vegetable, the sweet potato. North Carolina currently leads the nation in sweet potato production.

More Information:

Agriculture in North Carolina During the Great Depression

Farm and Factory Struggles in the 1920s

Boll Weevils

What is a Hogshead? 

Your Food Has Ancestors Too!

The State Fair

From Field to Lab: Agriculture is a billion-dollar industry in the state and North Carolina continues to be a leader in the complex web of agribusinesses competing on a world market and at the forefront of biotechnology research and development.

  • Dr. Chilton talks about spending part of her childhood growing up in North Carolina, her work producing the first transgenic (genetically engineered) plants, and her role in creating a world-class research facility at Research Triangle Park. Approximate run time: 36 minutes.

Symbols of the StateFrom dogwood trees to blueberries, strawberries, and muscadine grapes, North Carolina’s signature plants are highlighted in this area.