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About this project

Boozhoo (Hello!)
Manoomin (ma-new-men) is the Ojibwe word for wild rice. It means the “good berry.” That is a good name for this food because it is good for you and tastes good too.
For hundreds of years manoomin has been a very important food for the Ojibwe people. They gathered it from rice fields, called rice beds, along the shores of northern lakes and rivers in the early fall. Then they prepared it so it could be stored for use over the long winter when food supplies became hard to find. Can you imagine trying to find enough food to feed a family in the middle of winter?
That is why foods that could be dried and stored, like manoomin, were so important to the Ojibwe people long ago. It was also important because of its nutrition—that means it has a lot of vitamins, protein and minerals and is low in fat. So wild rice could not only be stored but also was important to a healthy diet.
Today, manoomin is still important to the Ojibwe and to other people as well. It is served during special feasts and holiday meals. Because it is so good for you and good tasting, it is enjoyed by many people. Real wild rice that comes off our lakes and rivers is a little hard to buy because it is a wild food and there is only a limited amount to harvest each year. Actually, it is not a rice at all, but rather a grain, like wheat, but it grows in water like rice.