Hand Harvested & Wood Fire Parched Wild Lake Rice
So much better than commercial paddy grown 'wild rice'
Premium long grain. Very Light Color.
Fast cooking (under 20 min!)
Tender and delicious with such a rich nutty flavor
(Not black and hard like commercial 'wild' rice)
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Note: We no longer sell rice, but my old my ricing partner Scott Paavola has lots of great rice to sell, same quality rice as we've had naturally. They're a wonderful family, here's their website...
the Farm Next Door
 

 
$8.50 Lb + shipping

  Called Wild Rice, Mahnomin, or Zizania.
Harvest is the time we look forward to all year - it is the hardest work we do, and the most rewarding.
This year, 2007, was even more challenging than last with the low water levels - to find rice that could be poled through. After trying 7 lakes my partner Scott & I found one that was just do-able,we had to build a 100' boardwalk jsut to get out to the rice bed, but so worth it, the rice quality was excellent!

Sadly there is a shortage of hand harvested rice this year, as last, do to many of the best lakes not having high enough water to canoe through. Many of our native neighbors depend on the harvest for income. My wife and I use about 30 pounds a year - we sell the rest of the 100 pounds we garnered.

Harvesting. Careful harvesting is the first essential to getting high quality rice. I do the poling ( pushing the canoe through the rice with an 18' pole), my partner Scott does the 'knocking'. This is where the real skill lies. If a person is too aggressive they will get unripe rice as well as ripe - which is partly why 'paddie' commerical rice is such poor quality - mechanical harvesting gets rice of all stages.

Processing. This is second key to getting high quality rice. There are very few people left who do the wood-fire hand processing. We take it to a older White Earth Ojibway fellow called Sunfish. His skill and care is beautiful to watch - constantly monitoring the wood fire, sniffing and feeling the rice as it parches. (Parching is the slow heating of the green rice until it is separated from the husk and thoroughly dried.)

How is Commercial Paddy Rice Different?
Commercial rice is harvested by machine in one swipe - whether the kernals are ripe or green . Careful hand harvesting gathers only ripe grain. The hand processing over a wood fire Sunfish does in small batches - he is constantly monitoring - by sniffing, smelling, feeling - to know when any particular batch is exactly ready, not overdone! (which would make it hard, black, and tough to cook and eat like the commercial stuff.

 rich handfulls!
First Handfulls of rice, in its husk, after a day of harvesting.
  

 like a fine bearskin
12 inches deep in the canoe, like a thick bearskin
 Muscrat house in riceCanoe is filling up
                Muscrat House in the rice beds                           The ricing sticks atop half a load of rice

 the view of the  harvester
Trees a 1/4 mile away, solid stand of rice between, we'll reach the trees in about 15 minutes, then turn and rice in the opposite direction.

 COOKING WILD RICE


- Some folks like to wash the rice before cooking. (You are washing out the very fine dust residues which are a result of the processing of the rice - ie. heating the rice over an open tire, threshing it, and winnowing).
- To wash the rice, use one of these 2 methods: Put rice in a strainer, rinse thoroughly under a faucet . - Or Put rice in a pan, cover rice with cold water, stir, let rice settle, and pour off water. Repeat a few times until rinse water is clean.

-To COOK: - Put rice in pan, and cover with water or broth, using 2 parts liquid tol part rice. (Chicken, beef, or vegetable broth are all good). - Put a cover on the pan, bring to a boil, stir, then reduce to a simmer and cook approx. 15-20 minutes until rice is soft and tender (it kind of "pops" open, and curls a bit). Keep pan covered while cooking. When rice is finished, may take it off heat (with cover on), for another 5-10 minutes and it will continue to "fluff up".
Note: Many folks are used to seeing rice in commercial rice blends that is hard and black and never really gets cooked when cooked in rice blends. The reason for this is that the rice was commercially pocessed using higher temperatures, which results in a very black rice, which takes a much longer cooking time than the other rice in these blends.
Rice is excellent by itself - or add mushrooms, water chestnuts. It is great in soups or stews. Chicken wild rice salad is a favorite: Chicken, wild rice, sliced almonds, red grapes or craisins, and honey mustard dressing. There are many recipes that can be found on the Internet. Enjoy!


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