Wild Rice
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Doug Rennpferd
Posted on: February 8, 1999

I have a question or two about the process of growing wild rice. Is it important to protect the seed from birds when it is broadcast? Is rice easy to harvest? Does it perpetuate itself? Generally, I’d like to know about the conditions necessary to grow wild rice, and how it is done.

Before sowing wild rice it should be put into coarse cotton bags and sunk into water for 24 hours. Sow in water 30 to 150 centimeters deep which has a soft mud bottom. Once it has been soaked it will sink and is no longer in danger of being eaten by aquatic birds. Fish can of course still eat it and they do love to do so. When you get your own first harvest you will have to protect the seeds from birds first and waterfowl later for the last bit of the ripening period. The easiest way to harvest the ripe seed is to do it the way the indians do it: get into a canoe, dend the seedstalks into the canoe and beat the seeds out of them.

The plants will self sow in congenial environments.

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