We're excited about this!
Straw Bale Construction Workshop
6-12 June 2010
A week-long workshop during which participants will learn how to build a building with stuccoed straw bale walls. Led by Tom Temple, a sustainable designer and builder, and MudstrawLove's
Mollie Curry and Steve Kemble, of Ashville, N.C., this workshop will include classroom
instruction as well as hands-on experience. During this week, we will
stack the bales and apply the first coat of mud on a small hermitage at
Turtle Rock Farm.
We will be using clay found on the farm, as well as straw bales from last year's wheat harvest.
For those who want a shorter workshop, Molly and Steve will lead a Straw-Bale Introduction class from 2 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, 6 June, which week-long participants will also join. Fee for the Sunday afternoon workshop only is $25.
Not only educational about natural building methods, this workshop will
help build community - and be a whole lot of fun! Participants will be
lodged at one of the houses at Turtle Rock Farm or may camp out. Meals
will be provided by Turtle Rock Farm staff and shared by the community.
Fee for the week of instruction, lodging and meals is $425. Couples, $375 each. Instruction, meals and camping, $375. Deposit to hold your space is $150. Spaces for this retreat will be limited. For more
information, give us a call, at 580.725.3411 or 580.917.6011. To register, go to our website, www.turtlerockfarmretreat.com.
Limited spaces for this workshop. Register soon!
Photos of the Foundation-Building
Winter squeezed in one more blizzard
Another blizzard at Turtle Rock Farm, on the first day of spring Gardening class - making turnable composters
(on the first day of spring!)
then the greening began
Military women on retreat, hiking the prairie New to Turtle Rock Farm: Jae Clewell, our first intern. And Bella.
Bella's home above the Red Wiggler bins. Monika, a volunteer, camping on the hill. Cousins enjoying time in nature during their spring break.
It was a lovely blizzard, the last one, the first day of spring. The warming had already begun and we knew the snow wouldn't last long, though there was plenty of it, with high drifts. Seemed a fitting close to this winter, which had the highest snowfall in Oklahoma on record.
The wet winter has made for beautiful greening this spring. Trees are blooming (we're hoping for apricots this year,) as are flowers and bushes. Grasses are turning, which has pleased our Mr. Darcy. People seem eager to get out in nature following a wet and gray winter. We have had many guests in March. They've taken to the land and the water as if they've been waiting for the chance.
It's been an eventful month in other ways. The foundation for the hermitage is now finished. We squeezed in concrete pourings between spring showers, though a dump truck full of sand sunk at the building site and was immovable for most of a day, until a neighbor came with his bulldozer. The concrete crew - Bob and Chris - alongside Tom Temple, our designer and builder, and our new (first!) intern, Jae Clewell are a delight to work with. The nice thing about being in the country is the crew comes to stay while the work is being done and community increases delightfully.
We are grateful for Jae's assistance. She's learning about many aspects of sustainability: natural building, beekeeping, gardening, composting, raising chickens, a rabbit, Alpaca and Red Wiggler worms, as well as local, organic, ecologically-sound cooking (though she already knew quite a bit about sustainability before she came.)
There were two other very special events this month. We held the first military women retreat for service personnel who had been deployed. Thirteen women came and shared their day with us, much of it in the natural world. We were moved and inspired by their stories, their courage, their cameraderie, their good humor.
Also, two women (sisters) brought their children to spend time in nature during their spring break. This has been their tradition. It was a joy for us to watch children be at home and unafraid to be in nature. We have found this to be less and less the case, as fearful or busy parents discourage their children from enjoying freedom in nature. We salute these moms who have made it an important part of their childrens' lives to expose them to their environment and given them the freedom to enjoy it.
In both cases, we saw yet again the healing power of
the natural world.
We're looking forward to all that April brings. Considering the awareness to the food we eat that Jamie Oliver is currently bringing to the U.S., we're adding another of our Earth Dinner Retreats to the schedule in April. In one day, you can learn about a system of cooking and eating that improves human health, as well as the health of the planet.
We are happy to welcome Rebe Taylor and Pepper Hernandez, who are offering a yoga and raw foods weekend at Turtle Rock Farm. See below for details.
Work on the hermitage will continue this month, as we prepare for the very exciting week in June when we will hold the hands-on straw bale construction workshop. Be aware that, in addition to the opportunity of the week-long workshop, there is also a Sunday afternoon class for those who can't make it for a week. Register for either on our website: www.turtlerockfarmretreat.com.
We hope you check out the schedule of workshops and retreats in this newsletter, look for new photos on our website (on the home page and in the photo gallery), keep up with us daily on our blog (www.turtlerockfarm.wordpress.com), come visit us soon and, wherever you are, enjoy spring!
In beauty and peace,
Ann & Pat
P.S. Save the date! Green Connections' fabulous Prairie
Dinner and Concert is October 9.
Thank You Volunteers!
Paul helping move the hensWant to be a Turtle Rock Farm Volunteer?
Have we got a deal for you!
a 24-hour stay (on us)
for 4 hours of labor (yours)
As we grow and expand our offerings and our facility, we couldn't get along without the wonderful people who volunteer at Turtle Rock Farm. They have become a cherished part of our community.
If you're interested in helping out, let us know. We'll work together and you can have some retreat time, a good night's rest and some community time around a table set with home-cooked fresh food.
Note: This offer does not pertain to our programmed workshops and retreats.
Call us at 580.725.3411 or email firstname.lastname@example.org; 580.917.6011 or email email@example.com
Mr. Darcy gives a kiss
to Green Connections Board
member Stephanie Jordan
A QUICK LOOK
AT RETREAT DATES
April 10 (Call today!)
Transitions Book Discussion
Earth Dinner: Considering Food
April 30-May 2
Yoga and Raw Foods Retreat
Gardening Workshop: Building a Raised Bed Garden and/or a Turnable Composter
Save the Date: Green Connections Prairie Dinner and Concert: Oct. 9!
COMING JUNE 6-12
Straw Bale Construction Workshop
Check it out here:
Keep Up with Us Daily
on our Blog
Read about our Beekeeping, Creek Monitoring, Porch Sitting, Observations on the Prairie...
Find out what we're reading, what the Alpacas are doing, what we're learning about living sustainably...
There's a Sabbath Meditation each Sunday, a little prose and lots of photos...
Retreats and Workshops
How to put Sabbath Rest - and Sacred Play -
Back into Your Twittered Life
(There is still space; call today: 580.917.6011)
this busy, multi-tasking world, a day for rest and spiritual nurture,
a day for play, solitude or relaxed family time is difficult to
schedule. On this retreat, participants have the opportunity to
consider the idea of Sabbath-Keeping. We will look at the
possibilities for keeping sabbath, including what some people do on
their sabbath day, and then each participant or couple or family will
look at their lives and plan for ways to bring sabbath-keeping into
their particular lifestyle.
To register, go to our website - www.turtlerockfarmretreat.com- and click on Workshops and Retreats.
Cook as if Earth Depended On It
Decisions we make about food not only impact
but also the health of the planet. On this retreat participants will
learn how food impacts climate change, why it matters what we eat and
what we can do about it: where to get food, what kind of food to get
and how to cook it. We'll learn cooking local fresh food using methods
that are simple and create healthy, flavor-filled meals. Half the day
will be spent in the kitchen. The retreat ends with a supper we prepare
together, and a reminder of the joy of eating together.
To register, go to our website - www.turtlerockfarmretreat.com-
and click on Workshops and Retreats.
for United Methodist Clergy and Laity
Preparing for Eucharist Service
To register, go to our
website - www.turtlerockfarmretreat.com- and click on
Workshops and Retreats.
A 24-hour time apart for spiritual nourishment in community, for those in ministry in the United Methodist Church. Taken from the Five-Day Spiritual Academy, the format begins with Eucharist Monday evening, followed by readings, silence, group sharing and ending with Eucharist Tuesday afternoon. For information call Pat at 580.917.6011 or email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To register, email Rev. Susan Ross: email@example.com
Women's Yoga and Raw Food Retreat
April 30-May 2
This will be like an all weekend Raw Food class! When we are not eating,
we will enjoy a variety of Yoga activities including asana (physical postures), pranayama (breathing techniques),
and meditation. There will be plenty of free time for hiking, kayaking, hanging out with alpacas, reading, journaling,
socializing, or whatever you can think of! This is an all-women yoga retreat (ages 16+).
Rebecca "Rebe" Taylor is a certified advanced yoga teacher (RYT500) and Reiki Master. She
teaches yoga to women in all stages of life. Director of Women's Yoga Center
in OKC, it is her goal to create a sacred space for women to practice yoga and
connect with their true selves. Learn more about Rebe at www.womensyogacenter.com.
Pepper Hernandez is Naturopathic Nutritionist, a Raw Food Chef, Raw Personal Fitness Trainer, Raw
Lifestyle Coach and Raw Food Nutrition Specialist. She is the organizer and
director of the raw food group of Oklahoma city, Simplyrawsome. Her information
website is www.Simplyrawsome.com.
To register, go to our website - www.turtlerockfarmretreat.com- and click on
click on Workshops and Retreats.
Build a Raised Bed Garden
and/or a Turnable Composter
combined two workshops into one. You can come for a full day and build
both a four-foot-by-four-foot raised bed and a turnable composter, or
come half a day and build one or the other. With a growing awareness of
the value to our health and the health of the planet, more and more
people are growing some of their own food. In addition to going home
with tools to garden and compost, you'll get information about growing
vegetables and composting. We'll show you our gardens and composting
labyrinth is an ancient, spiritual tool used for centuries as a way
to get in touch with the inner life and inform the outer life. Making
the slow walk of twists and turns toward the center and back out
again is a transformative experience. On this day retreat, we will
look at the historyand stories of labyrinths, as well as walk them
and create them.
To register, go to our
website - www.turtlerockfarmretreat.com- and click on
Workshops and Retreats.
for spiritual renewal
and sustainable learning (& living)
second monday is
Second Monday of the month is Get-Away Day at Turtle Rock Farm. Come
for an unprogrammed day of quiet, walking, writing, making art,
reading, napping, gardening; just being in the country. To schedule, call 580.917.6011 or email pathoerth@hotmail or go to www.turtlerockfarmretreat.com
monthly book discussion
May 17, June 21...
"Rob Hopkins has written the most thorough description so far of how we
get from the present chaos of cities and towns that are killing the
planet and the people in them, to viable new ecologically sustainable
urban and rural systems. This is more than a theoretical how-to manual;
it is based on his own team's ground-breaking work, engaging whole
communities in a transformative process that accepts the crucial need
to reverse course, and has succeeded in doing so. The book is a great
guide for how we must live in a future world where the limits of nature
are honoured, but so are the basic comforts and joys of communities
coming together in a great common cause. There is no more important
book than this one for any community seeking change toward ecological
-- Jerry Mander, founder/director of the International Forum on Globalization and author of In the Absence of the Sacred
We will meet 9:30 to 11 a.m. Cost is $15. Call or email if you're interested: firstname.lastname@example.org. 580.917.6011.
|Comments from our guests...
"Thank you so much for your hospitality and generosity. Our kids had such a blast feeding the animals and using the kayaks and canoe. The fresh eggs were delicious and your home was so cozy and comfortable. We enjoyed being out in nature and being together as a family. The kids LOVED it all!" -- Lisa, Madi and Christian
"Thank you for these great times of our lives. I'm sure we'll come back soon." -- Bethany
"Thank you so very much for giving us this amazing opportunity. Our children have experienced such wonderful, memorable things that we will cherish for a lifetime. What a beautiful home and farm. Thank you so much for sharing it with us." --Dana, Evan, Bethany and Olivia
"A blizzard on the first day of spring. I should be worried about getting home, but I can't find it in myself. There's such peace here. Thank you for a quiet place to rest with God." -- Sara Marie Bodenstein
"We came for a gardening workshop and found so much more. We treasured our time here due to the incredible scenery and lovely people. We felt welcomed and at home. These days helped us rekindle our love and commitment to Earth. Thank you for sharing your land, passion and talents." -- Wendy
"This retreat is a great idea. Women who are military can get together to bond, share their stories and life with others who have the same experience. It is a 'happy' place." -- J
"I almost didn't come. Today was the anniversary of my son's death. I really wanted to stay home. It's easier feeling depressed and sorry for myself if I'm at home. But being here with this group let me see there are people out there who really care and I'm not alone. Thank you so much for everything and for your time and support." -- Vickie Lykins
"A good retreat for women veterans. A place to let your hair down." -- Sandy
"Just knowing we, the women of the United States military are not alone is beautiful. Thank you to Turtle Rock."
-- Max, US Army"This retreat provided an excellent opportunity to network experience comaraderie with other women veterans and to relax and enjoy the day. Thank you, thank you, thank you!" -- Barbara Curry, USAF retired
"I loved camping on the hill - beautiful views of the Oklahoma prairie. Beautiful place - thanks for sharing." - M.C.
"Wow! What a peaceful, lovely place. Thank you for your hospitality. Looking forward to future visits and more peace..." -- Molly Helm
you find belonging in your solitude, your external longing will remain
needy and driven.' Thanks again for your hospitality in this Sacred
Space. Gracias! Blessings! Namaste!" -- Mary Lou Bender
"Retreat is neither whim nor luxury nor self-indulgence, but a rock-bottom staple of a healthy life. We need retreat as surely as we need oxygen or protein. While any given retreat may start out as a joyride - a few days away from spouse, kids or job; a chance to spread one's wings, loosen one's belt, kick up one's heels - it always winds up as a pilgrimage. We start to look for what really counts." -- Philip Zaleski, The Recollected Heart
How does one 'do' a Retreat?
"retreat" at Turtle Rock Farm is a chance to get away into the quiet
and beauty of the prairie. But not everyone is used to the quiet and
find the idea a bit intimidating, even if they know they long for it.
retreat can be a time when you sleep, listen to music, read, walk,
visit, play musical instruments, do art, bask in silence, get a
therapeutic massage, sit in a rocking chair on the porch, visit with a
spiritual director, explore nature...alone, with friends, family.
It can be what you need and what you want it to be. We are happy to guide and assist, or give you solitude.
To reserve your individual, group, couple or family retreat:
email or phone email@example.com; 580.917.6011
or firstname.lastname@example.org; 580.725.3411
Photo by Candace Krebs
The First Annual Green Connections
Dinner on the Prairie - October 2009
Green Connections is a 501c3 Not-for-Profit corporation committed to helping people connect with Earth, be healed in it and learn to live more sustainably. In addition to supporting the mission of Turtle Rock Farm, our dream is to build a retreat center and hermitages with sustainable building methods, including straw bale construction. We now have straw bales in the barn! And, thanks to those who came to our Dinner and Concert on the Prairie, as well as other supporters, we are on our way.
If you believe in the work of Green Connections, please consider gifting us with your supportive wishes and hopes, with your volunteer labor, and with your dollars. Even a small amount now and then would be appreciated. If you have questions, please call 580.725.3411 or 580.917.6011.
We are seeking sponsors...
...for the Straw Bale Workshop. Considering being a sponsor of this educational event in the amount of $2,000, $1,000, $500, $250 or less.
...for the Prairie Dinner and Concert.
And we are seeking grants and donations for the building of a retreat center.
You may send tax deductible donations to Green Connections, 5900 CR 90, Red Rock, OK 74651. Or, go to our website - www.turtlerockfarmretreat.com - and click on Green Connections Partner, and use Paypal to send your donation. Or, click here:
Green Connection Board members meet the Alpaca
Meet our board members:
Green Connections: Beverly Alexander (treasurer), Elizabeth Box Price, Dorothy Gray, Pat Hoerth, Stephanie Jordan, Ann McFerron, Mary Moloney, Alan Ware (president.)
Turtle Rock Farm Advisory Council: Barbara Hagan, Bruce Johnson, Tom Temple, Corey Williams
|Buying locally-grown food saves fossil fuel, supports our local growers and provides fresher and more nutritious food. What food you can't grow yourself, consider buying directly from a producer/farmer, a farmer's market or the Oklahoma Food Coop. To find out about becoming a member of the Oklahoma Food Coop, go to: www.oklahomafood.coop. Information about the work of the Oklahoma Chapter of Buy Fresh Buy Local (including food guides and reasons to buy local) is at: www.buyfreshbuylocalok.com
We Support the Buy Fresh Buy Local Movement
Turtle Rock Farm LLC:
A Center for Sustainability, Spirituality
Connecting with the Natural World
We believe that Earth - part of the Creator's good creation - has intrinsic value.
We believe that human beings are interdependent with all of creation and that the Creator is calling humans to re-connect with creation, with Earth,
and participate more consciously in the web of life. We want to provide
opportunities for people to experience our connectedness with creation
in three distinct ways:
+ organizing and leading retreats that afford people the experience of our
connection and interdependence with the web of life: all of creation, each other and the Divine.
+ promote healing - of Earth, creation and humans, through connecting with
Earth which, we believe, can heal us - as well as through the various modalities of holistic health care including Energy Kinesiology.
Learning to Live Sustainably
+ living sustainably and teaching and supporting others in their efforts to live sustainably. By sustainability, we mean honoring, bringing, enabling life rather than harming and disposing of life; learning practical things to do to sustain life on Earth. Because we believe this is done in community, we hope to promote community life.