—by Stacie Robinson
Wild rice is a staple of Minnesota’s natural nutrition as well as cultural heritage. The waving stands of grass are part of the picturesque vision of Minnesota’s lake country. According to Anishinaabe lore, those rice-rich lakes, “food that grows upon the water,” were the signal that early tribes had found the right land to settle. The abundant grains fed native communities and nourished waterfowl and other wetland wildlife populations. Today wild rice is still a keystone of Minnesota lake ecosystems, and a delicious and popular wild crop.