IIn Partnership with
a 501c3 Not-For-Profit Corporation

Connecting with creation so that creation can heal us
and we can allow creation to heal.

Summer Sun Disappears for the Evening

Time to Wing Home on the Sunset


time to wing home on the sunset,

partridges shuffle in their nests,

settling in for the night,
geese honk farewell in the sky
their V-formation decidedly southward


the wind gives way to quietness,

the full weathered walnut tree

sails golden leaves to an already

rich ground covered with goodbyes.


my heart hangs quietly by the small oak,

dark wine leaves stunningly bright

against the round red disk of the sun.


the deepest anchor of peace

settles inside my own nested heart,

and my feet seem unable to move.


for this is our time, Ever Present One,

our "you and me" time,

when all the world is benediction.

I meet you face to face,

veiled in the form of serenity,

winging homeward on the sunset. 


-- Joyce Rupp, The Cosmic Dance  


Sizzling Summer at Turtle Rock Farm 

Chicken tractor in the garden and chickens taking cover from sun in the lettuces.


The gardens were doing well - the best we've seen them in a long time.
But we didn't get the spring rains, the heat came early, got hotter
and is still with us, as are the grasshoppers.


The Big Pond at the Pond House, going dry. When oxygen saturation reached a critical point, the fish became dinner for raccoons and other wildlife. 



Guests from the Diakonia of the Americas and Caribbean feed the Alpaca,
meet all the animals, tour the Sallie McFague House (strawbale hermitage)
and then gather at table for a fresh, local foods lunch.



Jo Sheetz, United Methodist Deaconess from Baldwin, Louisianna, meets our Joe.
We've had two half-inch rains, for which we're grateful. Earth soaks it up quickly.
One morning, a much-welcome rainbow.


Cameron, Kimberly and Michael meet the alpaca boys during the
Earth Dinner Workshop. Then they turned a basketful of locally-grown ingredients
that are grown in ways that are healthy for people and the planet
into nine delicious dishes for lunch and supper.



Children in the Kaleidoscope Program at Sterling United Methodist Church
learn how to observe nature and how to cook brownies in a solar oven.



What a Difference a Hot, Hot, Hot Month Makes!   


There's no way around it: the drought and continuing  triple-digit temperatures have made life on the farm challenging. The most dramatic change is that the already-shallow Big Pond has gone dry and the fish died. Frogs, turtles, snakes and wild fowl, including the Great Blue Herons, have buried themselves in the mud or moved on. (We have seen the Great Blue Heron flying a mile away and a giant bullfrog has taken up residence at the little fish pond at the farmhouse. A large, evidently hungry, snake also came through - and ate the four goldfish.)


With the pond dry, watering the gardens and new tree plantings became much more difficult because Ann used the pumped pond water for watering. For awhile, she carried water (still is, for some of the trees) and used water from the rural water system. But, at this point, the plants have stopped producing and, like everyone else, we have abandoned watering the gardens. A plague of grasshoppers has chomped their way through many plants. 


We've opened up the barns to all the animals - alpacas, all the hens and rooster, goats, cats, dogs, rabbits, guineas - so they have shade and plenty of water. We spray water on the alpaca two or three times a day. 


In spite of the heat, we still have welcomed guests this month, for individual retreats, spiritual direction, workshops and farm tours. It was a joy to give the farm tour and talk about ecology from a spiritual perspective with a group of people from across the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean who were in Oklahoma City for the DOTAC (Diakonia of the Americas and Caribbean) conference. As usual, time spent with the alpaca was a favorite of many of the visitors.


We also had a fun day cooking - a great time to learn how to make a variety of fresh salads - during the Earth Dinner Workshop. And Pat loved being with the children of Sterling United Methodist Church as they took a nature walk, listened to and discussed a Native American story about respecting animals, while brownies baked in a solar oven.


We look forward this week to welcoming the Permaculture Institute for its first of four Oklahoma classes in permaculture certification. 


We are looking  ahead to a break in the heat and the drought, towards autumn's workshops and retreats. Our wonderful annual Prairie Dinner and Concert is coming up October 1. You'll find the schedule for the rest of the year listed below.  As always, we are happy to schedule a visit for a few hours or a few days, for individuals, groups and families.


And on August 11, we'll spread the blankets and get out the lawn chairs to watch the Perseids Meteor Shower. Give us a call if you want to join us out here under the big sky.



In beauty and peace,

Ann and Pat 

Thank You Volunteers!

Thank you Fred and Carol.

And the baptism class from Pond Creek First Christian Church.

And Katie and Brok.

 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)
lunch included; lodging is not

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 annmcferron@hotmail.com; 580.917.6011 or email pathoerth@gmail.com


Keep Up with Us Daily on our Blog
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August 11
Perseids Meteor Shower Watching

August 13
Getting to Know the Animals

Date Change:  August 24

Composting Workshop


September 10
Beekeeping Workshop


October 1

Prairie Dinner and Concert


October 8
Living in the Moment Retreat


October 15
Meditation and Labyrinth Retreat


November 5
Simpler Living Retreat

Turtle Rock Farm Retreat Center is Eco-Certified Platinum





Reserve Your Tickets 




The Third Annual Prairie Dinner and Concert


Fiddler Extraordinaire Kyle Dillingham will be in concert


Kamala Gamble will prepare an amazingly delicious local foods dinner served alongside Doe Creek

Reserve your place at the table at:



Retreats and Workshops

Third Annual Prairie Dinner and Concert

October 1, 2011





One of our favorite events at Turtle Rock Farm. We welcome guests about 3 in the afternoon to tour the farm, meet the animals, take a country walk, spend some time at the labyrinth.... 


At 5, we gather alongside Doe Creek for Slow Food Chef Kamala Gamble's sumptuous local food supper, Woods and Waters Wine and the good company of and conversation  with people who care about the planet. Kamala always makes a delicious five-course meal featuring Oklahoma's naturally-grown foods.


After supper, we walk to the Round Top Barn where Kyle Dillingham dazzles us again and again with his fiddle and violin-playing and his singing. He's an incomparable entertainer and musician and our souls are always stirred by his musical presence. (Last year, he ended the concert under the stars where we could take in the Milky Way as he played "Shogun's Farewell.")


You can purchase tickets through Paypal or send a check. This event is sponsored by and is a fund-raiser for Green Connections, a not-for-profit corporation that supports the environmental education programming at Turtle Rock Farm.   







Last year's Prairie Dinner and Concert  


Go to our website to reserve your place at the table:






Getting to Know the Animals

August 13




We live on this planet with a multitude of species. At Turtle Rock Farm, we have realized that learning from and learning to live with animals is an essential part of an enriched life. During this retreat, Ann and Pat will share our experiences with animals. Writings of others who have "learned from the animals" will also be shared. There will be time spent with the animals that are part of the community of Turtle Rock Farm.


To register, go to our website: www.turtlerockfarmretreat.com





Building a Turnable Composter

Wednesday, August 24  

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 






We've combined two workshops into one. You can come for a full day and build both a four-by-four foot raised bed garden with a hoop 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 projects.


To register, go to our website: www.turtlerockfarmretreat.com



Beekeeping Workshop


September 10







In this day-long workshop, participants will learn information  

about the fascinating lives of bees, the importance of bees in our ecosystems and for our food supply. Ann, who is the beekeeper at Turtle Rock Farm, will teach how to put together a beehive, tips on raising bees and what goes on in the bee community during the course of a year. You'll get to don the beekeepers' garb and look inside a hive. She might even give you a sample of Turtle Rock Farm honey, which, we think is the best honey in the world.   


To register, go to our website: www.turtlerockfarmretreat.com



Shepherds' Retreat

September 12-13 




For United Methodist Lay and Clergy


A 24-hour retreat modeled on the Spiritual Academy with cycles of holy reading, silence, group sharing. The retreat begins and ends with Eucharist and includes Morning and Evening Prayer. From 5 p.m. Monday to 3 p.m. Tuesday 


For questions and to register, email Rev. Susan Ross at ross-susan@sbcglobal.net or Pat at pathoerth@gmail.com



Living in the Moment Retreat


October 8 



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? On this retreat you will learn how to live in the moment.

Learning to live in the moment is an ancient spiritual practice that has been rediscovered for our multi-tasking, 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.



To register, go to our website: www.turtlerockfarmretreat.com


Meditation and Labyrinth Retreat

October 15   





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 and walking the wonderful prairie labyrinth. The 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. 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



Simpler Living Retreat 

November 5




It's been a wonderful surprise to discover that every time we choose to take another step toward simpler living, we find great joy in it. It turns out that living more simply is a more joyful way to live. We know this from our own lifestyle changes and from those who've come to Turtle Rock Farm to learn how they want to simplify their lives. The reports we get back are stories of happy success at living in simpler ways that bring meaning back into their lives. The changes toward simpler living turn out to be not challenging at all and, indeed, are fun and fulfilling. 


This retreat helps participants realize the causes of our consumptive lifestyles, be inspired to shift priorities, learn ways to simplify, take inventory about what changes we want to make next and experience the support of others simplifying their lives.




To register, go to our website: www.turtlerockfarmretreat.com 


Comments from our guests...

 "My stay in this hermitage has been the capstone experience to an amazing week. I came jut yesterday directly from a three-day workshop on the ecology of the North Canadian River watershed conducted by the Oklahoma Conservation Commission. I find great inspiration from those who are living and working to protect and educate others in awareness and harmonic living within our dynamic ecosystem. Perhaps God is reaching out to us in a silent yet profound conversation as we become more 'in tune' with natural systems. I am thankful for this experience. Peace." -- S.C. 
"Turtle Rock Farm experiences are for people who care about the environment now and for future generations. We need to treat our world and others with more respect. (Important vocabulary: we, our, together.)" -- M.A. R.

"Peace on the prairie
In my soul I will carry.
To share and to live
Is the gift I will give."
-- L.A.

"Our time at the hermitage has been a tremendous blessing. The solitude, silence and serenity allowed a sharper focus on our relationship with our Heavenly Father. The labyrinth, the books and your gracious demeanor enhanced our stay. Thank you for your heapin' helpin' of hospitality. Peace and grace to you." -- Jeff and Vicky

"What a treat to be able to stay in the straw bale/adobe hermitage. It reminded me of 'home' in New Mexico! We are looking forward to collecting fish from Doe Creek. May the Lord continue to bless you." -- Jean Lemmon

"A perfect place! Thank you for this sacred space - and for all those sister travelers who have stayed here. Blessings." -- Jeannie Martin

"Thanks to God and to you who have provided this place of rest and reflection. We are blessed by your hospitality. May peace, hope and joy come to all who linger here."
-- Danny and Joyce

"Very nice place to relax and find yourself. Can't wait to return. Wish we could have stayed longer." -- T. J.

"I had a lot of fun. Hope I can come back soon." -- A.M.

"Thank you for letting me stay the night. I liked it. I loved the prairie and I loved all the animals. Most of all I liked spending time with you. Love, E.M."

"Earth Plunge-a great experience and opportunity. Many thanks for this place." -- M.L.

"Thank you for making my 'desert day' a special one. It was good to be with Jesus in his passion while walking the labyrinth. I enjoyed my companions - Maizey and Joe - and everything about this day. I hope this is only the first of many visits to Turtle Rock. May God continue to bless you and the work you are doing." -- D.L.

"Earth Day and Good Friday. An inspiring, relaxed sharing, praying and playing together; to shear alpacas-and have the fleece spun and plied into yarn!; to bless this hermitage, where I am privileged to stay tonight; to share a simple yet delicious meal, and finish off the evening with music and dancing! What a blessed day! Thank you so very much!" -- Sr. Terry

"It's been a very quiet couple of days for me to do some deep and difficult psychological work. I benefited greatly from the energy kinesiology session, the massage, the crickets, Joe the Dog and the quiet." -- A.V.

"Played my flute in the teepee with the wind keeping time by flapping the canvas. Pounded my djembe within these thick walls {at the hermitage} and absorbed the solid, solitude, solidarity. Strummed my ukulele and was softened by the timbre of the taut, short strings. And sang in a voice only God heard. Thanks." -- D.C.

"We really enjoyed the Taize service as well as the quiet and peaceful evening and walks outdoors (although the wind was brisk and a little cool!) -- Maribeth and Greg

"Woke to coyotes howling and geese honking-it couldn't be better. An oasis for a weary soul! Thank you. Blessings." -- N.

"To a beautiful planet! Thank you, Ann and Pat, for great food and a peaceful time."
--Tina, Christopher and Ila

"Thanks so much for your hospitality and great food. We've all enjoyed our time together immensely. This is a ministry of blessing which you so generously share with others." -- Loma Sullivan

"I enjoyed feeding the animals and helping with salad. Hospitality and entertaining are my 'forte.' Thanks for letting me help." -- Loretta Payne

"This is a beautiful place! So quiet and restful. Thank you for the experience."
-- Dorothy Coy Light

"What a beautiful and peaceful place. Thanks for working so hard to make it available to sojourners." -- Steve Roach

"What a wonderful place to retreat. Thank you for all your hard work in making this place happen." -- Frank Denney

"If you want or need a serene, spiritual place to go, Turtle Rock is perfect for prayer and reflection. It has all the elements you need to find God and yourself."
 -- Cindy Bullen, Wickline UMC

"If you are looking for the opportunity to slow down so you can think, you will find it at Turtle Rock Farm. The Simpler Living Retreat gave lots of food for thought and helped me to find a focus from it that I can take home and apply to 'real life.' Your life will be impacted in ways unexpected. I feel like I not only gained more ideas for simpler living, but also acquired realistic ideas to coping with and sorting out various areas of stress in day-to-day life. Choose one small positive change you want to work on, commit to it, focus and anything is possible. Thank you Turtle Rock Farm!" -- Michelle Hamilton

"Turtle Rock Farm is a wonderful place to come and be refreshed. To relax with nature surrounding you. To come away a stronger person - more able to cope with all the pressures of our modern lifestyle. I would highly encourage people to 'escape' to Turtle Rock Farm."
-- L.D., Kansas

"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 all 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

"'Unless 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?

A "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.
A 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 pathoerth@gmail.com; 580.917.6011
or annmcferron@hotmail.com; 580.725.3411
our partnership

with GreenConnections...

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 through its programming, our dream is to build a retreat center and hermitages with sustainable building methods, including straw bale construction.  


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: 


alpaca with GC board members

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, Claudia Scribner, Alan Ware (president.)  

Turtle Rock Farm Advisory Council: Barbara Hagan, Bruce Johnson, Tom Temple, Corey Williams 

We Support the Buy Fresh Buy Local Movement
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

Turtle Rock Farm LLC:

A Center for Sustainability, Spirituality and Healing

Mission Statement

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.

Morning Over the Prairie - 30 September 2009

Thanks Mom and Dad


onsider giving a retreat at Turtle Rock Farm as a gift for a friend or loved one. Perhaps a weekend getaway or one of our scheduled retreats or workshops. Email us at pathoerth@gmail.com or annmcferron@hotmail.com. Or call 580.725.3411 or 580.917.6011.

Turtle Rock Farm LLC
5900 CR 90
Red Rock, OK 74651