September and October
Progress on the hermitage: the north outside wall has its last plaster coat,
as does the north inside wall. The Truth Window (that shows the haybales)
and the composting toilet, are installed. The kitchen is well on its way.
Sheperd's Retreat participants gathered for morning prayer in the tipi
and took the turns through the prairie labyrinth.
Honey bees shared the fruits of their good work. The honey harvest crew (thanks Abby, Ben and Everett) took five pounds of the most delicious honey in the world.
Seven amazing two- and three-year-old girls came to Turtle Rock Farm and planted radish seeds, picked apples, petted rabbits and chickens and brought their abundant joy.
Women from Church of the Servant in Oklahoma City made a Living in the Moment Retreat.
Women from Bethany Disciples of Christ Church in Tulsa came for a day's retreat as part of their study on caring with creation.
Our very first Paper Shell Pecan harvest has begun (thank you, Dad) and we have a new resident - La Femme Flem; "Flem" for short. She's a Flemish Giant.
What an Autumn!
After a rather grueling summer, weather-wise, we are experiencing a perfect autumn. Day after day after day of perfectly beautiful weather. After a summer in which little grew in the garden (Ann says we had more tomato plants than we got tomatoes) the eggplant, peppers, melons, okra began to produce deliciously. We have reveled in these days, as have our guests in September and October. (No newsletter in September, by the way - a major glitch with the newsletter service.)
It's been a time of harvest and renewal. Besides vegetables, we've harvested 5 pounds of honey - it truly is the most delicious in the world - and our first Paper Shell Pecan harvest. It is a festive and poignant harvest, as our dad, who planted the grove late in his life, died a year ago. (See our blog: It's Pecan Harvest!)
As is our custom, we attended The Land Institute's annual Prairie Festival and were encouraged and renewed in our efforts to practice sustainability and the spiritual work that is its underpinning. Hearing Wendell Berry, Wes Jackson and others speak to the critical work of conservation and learning natural systems was hopeful and inspiring. We also joined our neighbors and friends, the Blakelys, for the 350.org Global Day of Action and planted trees in Maggie's Wood.
It has been a particular pleasure these last couple of months to engage with the guests to Turtle Rock Farm. The Prairie Dinner and Concert was, as many said, one of the most memorable nights of our lives. It was another affirmation that if you spend time in nature, eat food that has been healthily grown, sit at table together, take the time to tell the stories and listen to the music and look at the jillions of stars on a cool, clear night, you will be healed.
We thank all those who participated in these autumn days at Turtle Rock Farm - the children, the volunteers, the church women groups. Showing you around the farm, working together mudding the hermitage, talking about living sustainably, spending time in nature in silence and contemplation, walking the labyrinth, sharing meals, welcoming morning in the tipi, laughing and singing and engaging in conversation with you has been a joy this beautiful autumn.
As we move toward winter and the holiday season, we look forward to those times we can join with you in learning to live in the moment, learn ways to work with natural systems for healing, meditate, tour the farm, pet the animals, walk the labyrinth and do the final layers of mudding on the hermitage. Who, we wonder, will be the first guests to stay in this wonderful space (we think, in the new year)? We look forward to seeing you.
In Beauty and Peace,
Ann & Pat
Thank You Volunteers!
Thank you Matthew!
Want to be a Turtle Rock Farm Volunteer?
Have we got a deal for you!
a day at Turtle Rock Farm (on us)
for 3 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 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
A QUICK LOOK AT RETREAT DATES
Living in the Moment
Top Ten Pain Releasers
Hermitage Mudding Day
Retreats and Workshops
Living in the Moment Retreat
Or...How to put the spiritual back into your
multi-tasking, multi-messaging life
There's still time! For last-minute registration - Call today.
Do you have trouble quieting your mind? Are you constantly thinking about what you have to do in the future - later today, or tomorrow, or next week? Are you missing the graces of this day by worrying about all the things you have to get done?
Learning to live in the moment is an ancient spiritual practice that has been rediscovered for our multi-tasing, multi-messaging culture. Learning to live in the moment is indeed a great stress-reducer. And it is so much more. It helps us find our deepest, truest selves and the Source of life and love. On this retreat you will learn how to live in the present moment, which is the only time the spiritual life can be lived, the only time we are open to experience the touch of Divinity.
For more details, go to our website - www.turtlerockfarmretreat.com
Call us to make your reservation: 580.725.3411 or 580.917.6011.
Top Ten Pain Releasers
Pain is a clear message that we need to pay attention to our bodies. The Top Ten Pain Releasers is a fun, hands-on workshop for reducing stress and pain that integrates massage, energy work, kinesiology, polarity, acupressure and various reflex techniques. You will learn
a wide variety of simple and highly effective self help skills to benefit yourself and your family.
To register, go to our website: www.turtlerockfarmretreat.com
Mudding the Straw Bale Hermitage
This is a volunteer opportunity!
We'll be adding mud to the straw bale hermitage walls. It's fun and a great way to get a feel for building with natural materials.
Call or email to let us know you're coming. 580.725.3411 or 580.917.6011 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
There are many forms of meditation from many traditions. Meditation is one of the oldest and most beneficial spiritual practices. On this day-long retreat, led by spiritual director Pat Hoerth, participants will have the opportunity to learn and practice several kinds of meditation,
including centering prayer, breath prayer, guided meditation, lectio divina. This retreat is for both beginners and those who've been
practicing, but want to deepen their practice.
To register, go to our website: www.turtlerockfarmretreat.com
For United Methodist Lay and Clergy
A 24-hour retreat modeled on the Spiritual Academy cycles of holy reading, silence, group sharing. The retreat begins and ends with Eucharist and includes Morning Prayer.
For questions and to register, email Rev. Susan Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org or Pat at email@example.com
Comments from our guests...
"It was a perfect retreat...New understanding has dawned illuminating my path with added clarity and compassion...The labyrinth was transforming, as was working with the mud in building inside walls of the hermitage. These three days signified family, roots, births, mothers, grandmother and the Great Mother, Earth. Your perspectives added richness to the experience as did Ann's energy kinesiology session. Thank you both for providing a safe, sacred place and opening it to us. Favorite mental image: Grasshopper dancing in the fields!" -- J.S.
"Thank you Pat and Ann for a wonderful stay. Our Creator God blesses us to be a blessing and that's what you're doing with this farm; allowing it to be a blessing to others, so that they may come and rest in God's awesome beauty and presence and love. Peace and Joy." -- C.H.
"We felt renewed and relaxed (yes, even at the same time!) by the sense of community we experienced. Preparing the healthy and spiritual food was calming and centering for us both. I will always remember watching the momma cat affectionately loving on her white litter of kittens. The afternoon rainstorm was just what the land, and the soul needed! Thank you both!" Raven Crowl
"It's been rewarding and inspiring to be with people that love and care about life so much. Thanks for teaching me so many different things." Denise Bertoncino
"What fun, what joy, what a solid experience. To see all of us join together to create the hermitage was inspiring. This will continue to inspire me into building my own dwelling. Thank you!!!" Cassandra Bachrad
"What a privilege, what a blessing to be part of building the first retreat building on your beautiful property. May the love spread through all who come to experience peace in creation at its best." George Kilmer
"It has been a beautiful experience learning about beautiful buildings that help save the Earth and meeting such wonderful people in such a beautiful setting. Thank you all." Jim McKinney
"What a wonderful piece of Oklahoma! I have very much enjoyed the time I have been here and enjoyed the spirit of this place. I wish peace for all who come here. Thanks." Scott Jordan
"Your kindness and the community that has formed here make me fall in love with Oklahoma ll over again. I feel so thankful for the old, open wisdom that has been shared. So many wonderful lives. Love it!" Steven Wooley
"Have you ever felt as if you could see the world in every direction? The labyrinth at Turtle Rock Farm is perched on top of a rolling hill, surrounded by wildflowers and prairie grasses and as you walk the sacred path, you can see beauty in every direction. Come and see." -- Jeni Markham Clewell
"What an amazing experience! Thank you ladies for sharing your love and land with us all. The labyrinth retreat is a must for anyone seeking to dive deeper into themselves." -- Shela and Kiran, Tulsa
"When you come to Turtle Rock, the world changes. There is an intentional connection to Earth, to the past, to the present, to the future. Turtle Rock is a place of incredible grace, a place of peace." -- Paul Calkin
"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
"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
"Just knowing we, the women of the United States military are not alone is beautiful. Thank you to Turtle Rock." -- Max, US Army
"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, receive an energy kinesiology session, explore nature, walk the labyrinth, feed an alpaca, gather eggs, garden, kayak or swim in the pond, sit at a farm table...alone, with friends, family, or with the community gathered here at the farm.
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
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 are in the process of building the first strawbale and mud hermitage.
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. All gifts, large and small, would be appreciated. If you have questions, please call 580.725.3411 or 580.917.6011.
We are seeking sponsors...
...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: Kay Adair, 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 and Healing
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.