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Wild Rice, Minnesota’s State Grain, is as old as history itself. Called “manomin” by the Ojbway peoples, this highly nutritious grain is actually an annual water grass seed. Wild rice is naturally abundant in the cold rivers and lakes of Minnesota & Canada, and was a staple in the diet of the native peoples.IMG_0098

Harvesting of wild rice is a significant cultural event that typically takes place mid-August through the end of September. Today, the wild rice grown naturally on MN state waters is regulated and must be harvested in the traditional ways.The rice must be harvested from a canoe, utilizing only a pole for power and two rice beater sticks to knock the mature seeds to the bottom of the canoe.images

Black Bear Crossings Cafe & Banquet Center uses only hand-harvested and wood-parched wild rice from northern Minnesota in our cafe. This wild rice is also available for sale is one pound packages. It makes a great gift, especially when combined in a small birch winnowing basket.