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Friday, September 4, 2015

Wild Ricing 2015

After a two year hiatus from ricing - one year the rice was poor and the other year I suspect I was busy - my friend Tom and I were out on the water again.  We riced for two days, in nearly perfect weather: overcast and on the cooler side, but not too cool.

We are combining our efforts with several other people; individually (ie, pairs - it's a two person job) we don't harvest enough for the processing places to want to deal with.  Collectively, though, we can get 200lbs and then the processing places will handle the rice.

After two days and two different lakes, Tom and I harvested 67 lbs.   After processing it should yield just over 30 lbs, which will be 15 lbs each.  Nice!

So what does ricing involve exactly?  As I mentioned above, it's a two person job.  One person slowly poles the canoe around and the other person knocks the rice into the boat.  There are all sorts of regulations on the size and weight of the knocking sticks, the length and type of duck foot and pole, when you can start (9a) and end (3p), and more.

This is also assuming you don't mind sitting in a canoe full of spiders (I counted 7 different kinds), rice worms, ladybugs, grass fleas, and flies.  

On a really good  year, a experienced pair can easily harvest 80-100lbs of rice.  We...are not quite so experienced.  And it wasn't a really good year.  Rice conditions are very dependent upon the weather, water depth, temperature, and lake conditions.

Still, it's a boat load of FUN when we can go!  I absolutely love ricing! 

What a wild rice lake looks like in Northern MN.  Grass out there is about 5' tall.

This was 47 lbs of rice.
View from the bottom of the canoe. 


Anonymous said...

I've never heard about ricing! But, I like the idea that you can get your own food! Cool!

Karl A. said...

You do know they have it in great big bags at the grocery store, right?

I get it... it is way cooler to harvest it yourself.

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