Sunday, August 22, 2010

#11a - Wild Rice

Okay, so this wasn't on my list, but mostly because I didn't think of doing it.

Yesterday evening, I got a call from my friend Amanda asking if I wanted to go ricing.  Wild rice season opened last week in Minnesota, and she was curious to give it a try.  I said sure - as long as she recognized the fact that canoes are not always my friends.  She said that she would paddle (or pole if necessary) if I would do the actual harvesting.

The procedure is fairly simple - one person poles or paddles the boat through the rice, and the other uses sticks called knockers to get the rice to fall onto a tarp inside the boat.  Check out this video for a visual example:

We set off this morning to get to our chosen spot just at 9 am (when the ricing hours start).  Setting up the canoe was easy, and there was lots of rice on the river.  It took me a few minutes to get the hang of bending and knocking the rice stems.  I have no comparison for the motion, but I will say that Amanda could paddle faster than I could keep up with the knocking.  I mentally thanked Peter (who had given me some advice the night before) for suggesting long pants tucked into socks.  The rice has a very itchy beard and hosts a wide array of insects and spiders.  The rice seemed pretty green, so after trying a few different sections to test ripeness, we turned the ricing experiment into a simple paddle.

Will I go out again?  Probably, it would be fun to get a big haul and was a pleasant way to spend the morning.

1 comment:

  1. Neat! I would love to know how to do this myself.