About the Finland Wild Rice Project

 The Finland Food Chain project, formed in 2018, was founded to support the development of a comprehensive local food system for the Finland area, and the greater Arrowhead region of Minnesota. This project aims to provide educational training, mentorship, a sense of responsibility to protect the rights of Manoomin (Wild Rice) and opportunities for processing of other small grains in the region. 

The diversity of methods and equipment used by wild rice harvesters and processors along with personal and cultural perspectives, is reflected in our learning modules. Modules include: 

a) benefits of wild ricing on individual and community health and economics 

b) the  natural history and ecology of wild rice

c) technical skills for harvesting and processing wild rice

d) historic and modern ways of cooking and building meals around wild rice. 

Based on traditional transfer of wild rice skills & knowledge, a group of expert mentors will provide firsthand experience as personal guides for young producers to learn wild rice harvesting & homestead-scale processing skills. For those who wish to develop their skill-set  further, the apprenticeship program will give aspiring processors a deeper hands-on experience  around the technical skills of processing wild rice as a business.  Such work is of vital importance in the face of the challenges posed by climate change,  environmental degradation and the current global pandemic. At a time of increased awareness  around sustaining local food systems for food security and resilient local economic systems, the  loss of wild ricing knowledge and processing capability must be avoided.