Wild Rice House Manoomin Waakaa’igan Villirisi Talo Nears End of First Season

by Abby Roweder ~ Wild Rice Project Coordinator

Blake Hawbaker (Processor) and Abby Rohweder (Wild Rice Project Coordinator)
work at the gravity table separating the different quality wild rice kernels.

It has been an interesting season for wild rice. The drought impacted rice stalks and bed numbers, some waterways were deemed inaccessible due to forest fires or lack of water for a canoe, and the fire bans left processors unable to parch their rice!  However, even with all of the challenges, the Wild Rice Project still made leaps and bounds toward its goals!

So far, the Wild Rice House Processing Facility has processed over 2000 pounds of finished rice with 18 customers and more to come this week. We also plan to begin processing other small-grains to expand our reach to small-scale farmers in the region! Due to decrease in fire hazard conditions, we are now able to operate our small parcher for those with smaller batches of rice! The last drop off day was Wednesday September 15th, and the last processing day will be Friday September 17th. If you have questions, please call Blake at 612-298-8561 for more details.

The mentorship program gave 5 wonderful mentees experiences they will cherish for a lifetime and the project team hopes to give those experiences to many more next season!

Poling a canoe through wild rice plants at a wild rice camp in Floodwood, Minnesota

It is crazy how your respect and bond with the plant increases dramatically
when actually harvesting. I know everything about the plant, but had never
actually seen the plant in person until this experience, and it changed
everything for me.” -2021 Mentee

For the educational portion of the Wild Rice Project, we are in the process of planning a second webinar event for the end of September! We will also have a table at the Harvest Booya Festival this coming weekend. More information to come. Updates will be posted on the @FinlandWildRice Facebook Page and our website www.finlandwildrice.com.


Pictures by Photo Journalist Lorie Shaull and used with permission. See her full 50 photo spread HERE

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