It's Only a Month Away!
And we've added a barn dance to the
festivities. (See below)
Straw Bale Construction Workshop
Limited spaces for this workshop. Register soon!
Using natural building materials is an age-old practice that is good for the planet and provides beautiful, comfortable, energy-efficient, sound housing.
During this week-long workshop, 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, in a tipi 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.
New! We've added supper and a barn dance to the
festivities on Sunday evening - because we've discovered how much fun contra dancing is. (Think
Virginia Reel; think Jane Austen's country dances - only in shorts, in a barn on the
Oklahoma prairie.) Wayne Cantwell (the "Flyin' Fiddler") will provide
the music and Scissortail Oklahoma Traditional Dance Society, the callers to lead us through the dances. Beginners are welcome. And it's free!
The foundation is poured.
Composting toilet vault is built.
Post-and-beam framing is finished.
Roof is on its way...
Ah, the joys of sweet, sweet April. Gardening class learns about making composters and raised beds -
and spends some time with the Paca boys
Our first al fresco meal of the season
and sharing communion during Shepherd's Retreat
Our intern, Jae, and young guest watching Bella (hiding) in the rabbit pen;
board member Mary Moloney holding Bella. Guests from North Carolina feeding the hens;
new batch of kittens at the farm house.
Mr. Darcy and Biak Bay down for their spring shearing. Darcy's silky fleece and Shearer Extraordinaire, Paul Wolf Newly-shorn Alpaca seem happy about the greening grass
and Kye seems happy with his cooler, summer shearing too. Master Carpenter Bob Powers and, making their own kind of music, Guinea Keets
The pictures tell the story, really. April has been a sweet month, as everything burst into bloom and began to grow at once. It's lush and green - a striking contrast to the gray days of winter and the late-March blizzard. Rabbit, kittens and keets are already twice the size they were just weeks ago. Well, the keets have quadrupled in size! Honey bees are gorging on the blossoms and we have apricots - the first time in several years they didn't freeze.
Visitors from as far away as North Carolina have come to the farm and we've been especially busy with the building of our straw-bale hermitage. It's been great to work with the foundation crew and the carpenters, all who come stay here the days they are working. Turns out, the carpenters are all musicians too. So, we've even had jam sessions with fiddle, stand-up bass, guitar and piano.
Our intern Jae Clewell is a delight to work with. She's been learning about many things, including shearing Alpaca, building hives for honey bees, raising Guineas, feeding chickens. She attended the state beekeeping convention with Ann, helped Pat with the monthly monitoring of Doe Creek and has improved our granola recipe, learned how to bake a couple different kinds of bread as well as a delicious Carmelized Onion Tart. Of course, she's also helped us with more tedious, but necessary, chores, like weeding.
The Promises of May - and June!
Besides the greening, we are warming and May looks to be a beautiful time. There will be two new offerings this month - the raw foods portion of the Yoga Retreat and later in the month - May 22 - our first Labyrinth Retreat. We're mowing a large labyrinth right in the prairie, up on the hill overlooking the big pond. We think it's the perfect site and look forward to sharing this way of meditation with our guests for years to come.
Of course, the work on the hermitage will continue, as we prepare for the big week in June when guests will come learn how to build with hay bales and stucco. We are very excited to be engaged in this process with Tom Temple, Steve Kemble, Mollie Currie and all those who have registered for the workshop. There are still some spaces available. We've also added a contra dance to the opening festivities. See the notice above for details. We are so glad we can offer this important education here at Turtle Rock Farm and are expecting this to be a very meaningful event.
Looking even further into June, we are happy to announce that Cherokee Basket Weaver Renee Hoover will be joining us for the Prairie Retreat. Renee's baskets are exquisite and so is her gift of sharing this reflective, spiritual practice with others. We are grateful that she is able to bring her Native American practices to our weekend of experiencing a prairie eco-system.
We are grateful for the community that is developing around the work here at Turtle Rock Farm: the wisdom of our board members, the energy and interest of our young intern, the courage and inspiration of master builders, the depth of understanding of people who bring their knowledge about ancient sustainable practices, the animals and birds who teach us, and, most certainly, the guests who come here to re-connect and learn and share their commitment to and care for this beautiful planet.
In beauty and peace,
Pat & Ann
P.S. Notice a change of date - and Save it! Green Connections' fabulous Prairie Dinner and Concert is October 2!
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 email@example.com; 580.917.6011 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Darcy gives a kiss
to Green Connections Board
member Stephanie Jordan
A QUICK LOOK AT RETREAT DATES
April 30-May 2
Yoga and Raw Foods Retreat
Building a Raised Bed Garden
and/or a Turnable Composter
Straw Bale Construction Workshop
(Intro session and barn dance
(including Cherokee Basket Weaving)
NOTICE DATE CHANGE!
Green Connections Prairie Dinner
and Concert: Saturday, Oct. 2
Retreat and Workshops at
Keep Up with Us Daily
on our Blog
and on facebook
our Beekeeping, Creek Monitoring,
Porch Sitting, Observations on the
Find out what we're reading, what the
Alpacas are doing,
what we're learning about living sustainably...
a Sabbath Meditation each Sunday,
a little prose and lots of photos...
Retreats and Workshops
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
To register, click on Workshops and
Retreats at our website: www.turtlerockfarmretreat.com
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 history and stories of labyrinths, as well as walk them
and create them.
To register, click on Workshops and Retreats at our website: www.turtlerockfarmretreat.com
Straw Bale Construction Workshop
See details above.
register, click on Workshops and Retreats at our website: www.turtlerockfarmretreat.com
Prairie Retreat for Women
of Oklahoma was native prairie, part of The Great Plains. This retreat will take us back to the
prairie, where we can learn about its history (from its ancient
beginnings as an ocean, as hunting ground for Native Americans, as
home for pioneer families and modern farming and ranching) and its
ecosystem. We will spend time on the prairie noticing the grasses,
birds and wildlife - the prairie community. Too, we will take a "cosmic walk" and Cherokee basket maker Renee Hoover, will teach us how to make a basket the Cherokee way.
And we will come
away, having experienced more intimately the prairie ecosystem of
which we are a part, with the wisdom that only the prairie can offer
and a deeper understanding of how to live in harmony with God's
This is an overnight retreat, beginning Friday
evening at 7 p.m.. You are welcome to bring a tent
and camp out on the prairie.
register, click on Workshops and Retreats at our website: www.turtlerockfarmretreat.com
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
"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: email@example.com. 580.917.6011.
Comments from our guests...
A Quiet Evening at the Big Pond
"Thank you for your hospitality and your spirit of love and grace. May the Lord continue to call hearts apart to rest in this place." -- Ursula L.
"Awakened to a world washed clean from thundershowers. The birds are cheerful and greet us with morning song. A lovely retreat to enjoy the wonders of creation! My only sadness - it was much too brief. Eager to return." -- Shelley R.
"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 firstname.lastname@example.org; 580.917.6011
or email@example.com; 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.