Harvest Moon Society Oral History Project

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The Harvest Moon society envisions a world in which healthy land and communities are celebrated by all, leading to equitable food systems, a sense of place, and care for the environment now and in generations to come.


Since 2001, a group of urban and rural farmers, educators, musicians and more called the Harvest Moon Society has consulted and worked with local residents of Clearwater in Southwest Manitoba (pop. 62) to develop an action plan for long-term rural environmental and economic sustainability. This work has consisted of volunteer-organized community meetings, the development of eco-agricultural education and training at the local elementary school (now the Harvest Moon Learning Centre) and one of Manitoba’s most prominent music festivals.


Despite the many challenges faced by a small rural municipality of Manitoba the collaboration between the residents of Clearwater and the HMS has benefited not only the local community but Manitobans in general. Using a diversity of strategies focused on grassroots and participatory practices the HMS has managed to produce successful educational projects and infrastructure for the benefit of the residents, farmers, educators, students and organizers.


The Harvest Moon Oral History project investigates the history of persons whom either lived in the community of Clearwater or have participated with the Harvest Moon Society. The goal is to gather the history of Clearwater and the development of the community after the foundation of the Harvest Moon Society; to document the impact, benefits and challenges for the organization and the community. The project explores a diversity of rich themes and valuable knowledge contained in stories of community building, rural and urban collaboration, sustainability, food security, education, farming, music, art and more. Through a careful examination of the impact of volunteer initiatives such as the Harvest Moon Society on the town of Clearwater we may assess the benefits, challenges, developments, experiences and historical significance of active community building.


In 2010 the HMS invited the Oral History Centre to record some of the workshops based on HMS projects and the growth of Clearwater.  These recordings would provide the basis for much of the project. Since 2012, Kent Davies of the OHC has been recording interviews with Harvest Moon Society and Clearwater community members along with other oral history researchers.


With the guidance of the HMS and community members; the stories are now ready to be shared on the project’s website: harvestmoonoh.com. The oral history is presented through a series of podcasts, sound clips, photographs, and GIS walking tour of Clearwater developed by Kim Moore. Although there are many stories yet to be told and research continues on the history of the HMS and Clearwater - the site can serve as a base for the voice of the community for all to hear.


For more information about the Harvest Moon Society go to harvestmoonsociety.org

A Brief History of the Harvest Moon Festival

The Harvest Moon Festival celebrates the harvest season and local food production, while providing an opportunity to link those from rural and urban communities. The festival is a key to promoting the Harvest Moon Learning Centre, the generous spirit of the Town of Clearwater, the talents of local artists, tasty produce of local producers and the beauty of the Pembina Valley. An important economic development activity, the festival brings in over 1,500 patrons annually and revenue generated from the festival gives an important boost to Clearwater organizations and businesses.


In this soundscape podcast two of the original Harvest Moon Festival organizers Robert Guilford and Dr. Ian Mauro provide a general history of the festival, its impact on the Clearwater community and participants, the evolution of the Harvest Moon Societies’ programs, workshops and organizations and what the future may bring.


Recordings and podcast by Kent Davies

Music by the Reverend Rambler and Stage 3 “Stage of the Free” players.

Originally Recorded at the Harvest Moon Festival Sept 13-15 2013 and Sept 12-14 2014.

Released September 30 2014.


For more podcasts, stories and information on the Harvest Moon Society go to harvestmoonoh.com.

Audio File:

Soundscape podcast: A Brief History of the Harvest Moon Festival.

  • Dr. Ian Mauro - Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Winnipeg.

  • Robert Guilford - Organic Farmer Clearwater, Manitoba.

  • Harvest Moon Festival Photos by Emily Christie

  • Harvest Moon Festival Photos by Emily Christie

Clearwater Cabins: From History to Rebirth

For the past seven years Lancelot Coar, an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Architecture at the University of Manitoba, has been working with the Harvest Moon Society and the community of Clearwater to offer architecture students a chance to discover how design, materials, people, and history all contribute to and can continue to support healthy communities through meaningful design projects. These studios have resulted in the deconstruction of several century-old area buildings to recover valuable old-growth lumber that the students then use to design and build new structures for/with the community. In this workshop audio excerpt Assistant Professor Lancelot Coar and students Joshua Adria and Stephen Faust provide a history of the on-going architecture projects in Clearwater ending with their latest project Clearwater Cabins. This year students used wood from a settlement house to build 3 new three-season cabins that can be rented to visitors. 


Clearwater Cabins: From History to Rebirth talk took place in Clearwater in the Harvest Moon Learning Centre on Saturday, September 14th. 


For more recorded workshops, podcasts, stories and information about the Harvest Moon Society go to http://harvestmoonoh.com.


For more information about the Clearwater cabins go to  clearwatercabins.ca 


For more information about the Harvest Moon Society go to harvestmoonsociety.org

Audio File:

This audio workshop features University of Manitoba Prof. Lancelot Coar and students Joshua Adria and Stephen Faust speaking on the Clearwater Cabin project.


A time lapse video of the build and the move of the Clearwater Cabins by Cory Aronec.

  • Participants in the 2013 Clearwater Cabins Project

  • Participants in the 2013 Clearwater Cabins Project

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