Introduction: Finishing Wild Rice

About: I love playing in the woodshop, I'm a bee keeper.

We start with green wild rice which was harvested in northern Minnesota on the Leech Lake Indian reservation.

Step 1: Air Dry

First you spread the green rice out on a tarp on the garage floor for about a week and moving it around with a rake to just let what moisture you can dry off.

Step 2: Preparing to Parch

You first dig a long shallow trench with a lip one side. Then you lay a pipe across the trench. You make the trench deep enough so you can build a small fire underneath it and lay number three washtubs across from the little side of the trench to the pipe. This process dries the remaining moisture out of the wild rice

Step 3: The Fire

This is getting the fire going what you're really looking for is a bed of calls with small amount of flame.

Step 4: Parching

These are the tools you use to parch wild rice

Step 5: We Are Beginning to Parch

As you stand there in the smoke of the fire because it always follows you. You start slowly turning the rice with the canoe paddle so it doesn't burn in the washtub. You then pick out the large pieces of broken rice stock and throw that stuff in the fire. Then you slowly increase your speed the dryer the rice gets the faster you have to move your paddle saw the rice again does not burn. This process turns The rice from green to a golden brown or golden color that's when you know that it's done on the fire.

Step 6: Cooling the Rice Off

I just made a frame of 2 x 4 and then tact screening onto it. This sets up on a set of sawhorses so the air can rotate from the bottom up and cool it off a little bit before the thrashing process

Step 7: Thrashing

This step is how you remove the hull from the rice so you can get to the finished product. This is a homemade thrashing machine with a 35 gallon drum on it and an electric motor to turn a shaft that has three beater bars on it. You put The rice in that you just finished parching and run it for about 15 minutes and then check up to see how it's doing.

Step 8: Fanning Mill

This is a turn-of-the-century handcrank Fanning mill. You pour the thrashed rice into the top and turn the crank which makes the rice go down through several screen starting with a large screen and getting smaller in size. There is a fan that is in the bottom of the machine that blows the rice chaff off and comes out as finished product.

Step 9: About the Rice

We've been doing this process as long as I can remember and I'm 60. The difference between store-bought and Hand harvested wild rice is we leave a little moisture in the grain of rice itself. This lets you pop it in hot oil kind a like popcorn. It is also excellent in soupsand hot dishes.