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George & Jack & MN Wild Rice

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S: George & Jack and Minnesota Wild Rice

BC: september 2011 k&l

FC: George & Jack and Minnesota Wild Rice

1: Over the years Jack would spend many hours ricing with George, Wally and Budd Tibbetts We would like to share the story with you.

2: Jack met George Tibbetts in 1948. George was a member of the Ojibwa tribe and lived near Ball Club Minnesota. George would be a good friend and a mentor to Jack for many years. It was through their friendship that Jack's natural inclination for hunting and fishing would flourish.

3: One of the things George introduced Jack to was the old way of harvesting a Minnesota gem, Wild Rice.

4: We invite you to share a brief look at a tradition in the Gause house hold.

5: In August when the leaves are just starting to turn color you might see a tall stand of weeds growing in the streams and lakes in northern Minnesota. | But thanks to George, Jack knows that those weeds are really a stand of rice, Minnesota Wild Rice.

6: Harvesting. It starts by taking a canoe and heading into the rice fields. Ricing is a two man operation; one to push the canoe through the tall, thick rice stalks and one to knock the ripe rice into the canoe. In the early years Jack would force the canoe through the rice while George would knock it in. George would have a three foot cedar stick to bend the rice stalks and use a shorter stick to knock the ripened grains into the bottom of the canoe before releasing the stalks. By knocking only the ripe rice the stalks can continue to produce rice which can than be harvested a second or third time.

8: A day’s work consisted of five to six hours on the water harvesting the rice. Wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants in an effort to keep the rice barbs and dust off their skin, the two men often collected two hundred pounds of unfinished rice. | Once the rice was collected the fun was just beginning.

9: Finishing After harvesting, the rice is spread out on tarps to dry in the sun. The first step is cleaning extraneous material-twigs, pieces of stalks, small stones and bugs. When it is clean and dry the parching begins.

10: The rice is parched by putting a small amount of green rice in a washtub over the fire pit and.... | Parching

11: stirring it with canoe paddles, watching carefully for changes in color, size and smell...

12: all the while fighting the smoke from the fire that seems to find you no matter which way you turn!

13: After parching, the rice comes off of the fire and is spread out on the screen for cooling

14: Sometimes there is one final "special"inspection before ...or after.....the rice is thrashed!

15: in his concession to technology, Jack runs the rice through the thrasher which separates the hulls and rice kernels...then he tests it in his own special way | Traditionally someone would separate the hulls using their feet to 'tramp' or 'dance' the rice. | Thrashing

16: Next the rice is put into an old fashioned fanning machine which is hand cranked to separate the chaff from the rice More than once George and Jack would fan the rice by hand, tossing the rice into the air and allowing the wind to separate the chaff from the rice.

17: Fanning

18: To finish it off the rice is put through the fanning machine a second time completing the journey that began in a northern lake of Minnesota. What is now a pound of finished rice was once two to three pounds of unfinished rice that will be enjoyed at many dinner tables over the years.

19: We have a most amazing family tradition thanks to George and Jack and Minnesota's wild rice

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lauri ordway
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About This Mixbook

  • Title: George & Jack & MN Wild Rice
  • final edit K&D&L
  • Tags: None
  • Started: over 6 years ago
  • Updated: over 5 years ago