Mennonite Heritage Village

Harvest Season

October 5, 2023

By Gary Dyck

When it comes to the calendar year, those of us from an agrarian background (like Mennonites) would probably agree that harvest season is the climax. Before harvest, there is suspense, rising action (plants growing), complications, and 11th-hour heroics as harvesters work late to get crops off before the impending rain and frost. Finally, the denouement of Thanksgiving is the time when we celebrate how it all came together. May we all be grateful for the food we have!

It used to be that this life-and-death story engaged everyone. My mother-in-law has a few stories of harvest days including bringing lunch meals for dad that included a thermos of cold coffee. One time she got so engrossed in her book while waiting at the edge of the field that she didn’t see her father jumping up and down by his combine waiting for her. She still wonders how long he had been waiting. In this tradition and to express our appreciation to the farmers in our community, Mennonite Heritage Village’s (MHV) Livery Barn Restaurant has been providing ‘Meals on the Farm’ for several years in partnership with GoldenWest.

With a mind to harvest and bounty, after a couple of years of loss, our restaurant is finally a source of revenue for the museum again. It is amazing to see the joy and enthusiasm that gathering around the table with loved ones has brought back to MHV this summer. For those who came and enjoyed the Livery Barn offerings, we thank you!

With a major operations budget that provides community programming, education, and the preservation of 17,000 artefacts, we are so thankful for any support that comes our way. The giving that starts in October and continues through December is like a harvest season for non-profits like MHV. We are thankful for your support so that we can keep fulfilling our mission of care and well-being for the community.

Did you know that MHV is a charity? We may not directly feed the homeless, but we do tell stories of when Mennonites were landless and needed help. We may not directly shelter families in need, but we do provide free passes to those who need a safe and positive place that provides needed perspective and distance from current woes. We may not directly heal minds and bodies, but we do provide a place and activities that nurture healthy minds and bodies. Well-being is not a one-time work; it is ongoing for all of us. None of us have arrived, but all of us must keep working at it each day. Museums like MHV are one of the best places for the ongoing work of well-being that we all need to do for ourselves and the communities that support us. The upkeep of culture, heritage and strong community connections that we provide is vital.

Upcoming Events:

The village buildings and Livery Barn Restaurant are now closed for the season. However, you are still welcome to enjoy the grounds and check out all the waterfowl activity around the pond. MHV also has two galleries including the award-winning Russländer exhibit, which is about the Mennonites who immigrated from Russia to Canada in the 1920s.

Volunteer Appreciation Night, October 5th, 7pm. Thank you for all that you do! Our events & festivals, education program, and day to day operations would not be possible without the time and talent you put into volunteering. We appreciate you! – MHV Staff & Management

Christmas Market, November 11, 1-6pm. Our Christmas Market will feature local vendors, children’s crafts, and hot lunch! Admission is a Tin for the Bin, new toys, or a cash donation to Southeast Helping Hands.  

Local Authors Night, November 15, 7pm. Join us for a night of local authors, celebrating the books written in and about Southeast Manitoba. Includes live music and refreshments.