We did it!
15 University of Manitoba students from a range of faculties (architecture, landscape architecture and engineering) along with numerous volunteers came together in May 2014 to complete the 3 rental dwellings fondly known as the Clearwater Cabins.
When we left off working on the project in 2013, the cabin structures were more or less complete—complete enough that some of our favourite local musicians, Chic Gamine, could stay there during the Harvest Moon Festival in September 2013. The walls and roofs were up and clad, but there was much left unfinished. This included insulation, ceilings, flooring, trim work and furniture.
Over the course of two pretty magical weeks, from May 20 to June 2, all of these things were completed… and then some! We also managed to erect the 2nd half of the Honey House cabin, which we will use as a workshop and teaching space for those coming to the cabins interested in farming, gardening, bees or any of our other farmstead activities.
The recent course, named Sustainable Design through Community Engagement, also had the students rooted in the community of Clearwater for the two weeks. During the days the students and volunteers worked together, learning many new skills, including how to work together and how to work with reclaimed lumber. For some, this was the first time they had ever picked up a power tool or built anything other than the plans of buildings.
In the evenings, meals were prepared by many community members and organizations, including the Clearwater Memorial Hall Board and the Clearwater Women’s Institute. This enabled locals to come together with the students, sharing stories and community history.
Each cabin now has two or three beds, some singles, some doubles. Though rustic, all three are completely insulated and comfortable. Rentals are open now! The cost to rent is $30/night/person, with part of the proceeds going to the Harvest Moon Society.
When you rent the cabins you will need to bring your own mattress or Thermarest and any bedding you will need. There are no showers, no WiFi, very limited cell reception and no flush toilets, so come prepared for a camping experience. Coming soon: if you prefer some additional comforts, you will also be able to rent the use of an all natural wool mattress and organic bedding.
Showers are available at the Harvest Moon Learning Centre (just up the hill) for $2. You may make coffee and breakfast either over a fire or camping stove near your cabin, or in the Learning Centre kitchen for $5 per use. Breakfast or dinner (evening supper) may be ordered with your cabin rental, B&B-style, with advance arrangements (number below).
Cabin renters will enjoy waking up on the farm of Carissa and Greg deJong, to quiet, beautiful views and perhaps some farm work. Guests are encouraged to roam around the Cypress Creek valley, use the Lessons from the Land trail system and check out Clearwater, especially the Clearwater Country Junction Restaurant.
For more information or to book contact Carissa and Greg deJong at 204-873-2331 or visit make-do.ca