I’m sitting in the Harvest Moon Learning Centre reflecting on the tenth anniversary of our organization, festival, and efforts to bring about “Healthy Land, Healthy Communities”.
It’s been quite a journey.
The seed for the first festival was planted to celebrate rural communities and culture, bring urban and rural people together to discuss local food and sustainability, and to screen a film some of us had made. Although that first fest was, in retrospect, a “glorified picnic”, it occurred on the rare convergence of the fall equinox and full moon, and created the magic, inspiration, and collaboration that allowed this seed to grow.
Over the past decade, we have seen the former Clearwater Elementary School turned into the Harvest Moon Learning Centre, a sustainable agriculture and environmental education facility. We have also developed various food initiatives and events, creating a bridge between local area farmers and urban consumers, our attempt to increase food security and farm income for participants. Throughout all of this, most would agree that building relationships, with friends and the land, has been the most rewarding.
Celebration has always been core to our success. Our approach, at Harvest Moon, has been to collectively envision new ways of thinking and living in our world, and support one another in our efforts to achieve this. We have learned that it’s critical to have fun and be inclusive, as this builds community, and capacity to navigate our future.
Scoping out the festival program, it’s easy to see why Harvest Moon Festival is considered Manitoba’s perennial educational and entertainment event. The workshops over the years have created a space for building tangible skills and having lots of fun. Each year, the music line-up features some of Manitoba’s best talent, and can be enjoyed in the beautiful rural town of Clearwater.
We are indebted to the artists, volunteers and contributors that have put their hearts into this festival, it is the energy that first germinated this seed, and allowed it to grow into what it is today. The garden is in full bloom this year.
We have a new decade to dream, a new moon to guide us, and with more Mooners involved than ever before.
Look around, you’re part of…
HARVEST MOON HISTORY,
IN THE MAKING!
—Ian J. Mauro
This article was published in the 2011 Harvest Moon Festival guide.