National Festival Highlights Wheat

Wheat weavers, farmers, bakers, millers and educators will greet visitors to the United States Botanic Garden (USBG) on Saturday, June 14 as part of the Amber Waves of Grain Family Festival.

The Festival runs from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and highlights the USBG’s summer exhibit on the history and beauty of wheat. The festival includes hands-on activities for children, live wheat weaving, baking demonstrations – including samples, hand-crank flour mills and a tabletop threshing machine as well as a mixing activity illustrating the function of different wheat classes and flours.

In addition to USBG staff and volunteers, participating groups include farmers from Maryland and Kansas as well as representatives from the American Bakers Association, Home Baking Association, Kansas Association of Straw Artists, Kansas Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom, Kansas Wheat Commission, Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board, National Association of Wheat Growers, Nebraska Wheat Board, North American Millers’ Association, Wheat Foods Council and U.S. Wheat Associates.

The USBG will feature the baking demonstrations in the West Gallery from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, June 13 as a preview to the main festival.

The Amber Waves of Grain exhibit will continue to feature wheat on the outdoor terrace until Oct. 13.

The exhibit also honors the addition of Dr. Norman Borlaug to the National Statuary Hall Collection in the United States Capitol on March 25, the 100th anniversary of his birth. In addition to the outdoor exhibit, a panel exhibit highlights Dr. Borlaug’s research in the USBG’s West Gallery.

Dr. Borlaug is credited with sparking the Green Revolution and saving more than 1 billion people from starvation through his development of high-yielding, semi-dwarf wheat. Borlaug was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his work. Several Borlaug varieties are on display as part of the USBG exhibit.