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A  Bright May Day on the Prairie     

 

May

May, and among the miles of leafing,
blossoms storm out of the darkness -
windflowers and moccasin flowers. The bees
dive into them and I too, to gather
their spiritual honey. Mute and meek, yet theirs
is the deepest certainty that this existence too -
this sense of well-being, the flourishing
of the physical body - rides
near the hub of the miracle that everything
is a part of, is as good

as a poem or a prayer, can also make
luminous any dark place on earth.  

 

- Mary Oliver  

American Primitve

 



       And Along Came Pretty Little May 
 

 

 
Winds in an early spring storm ripped the tipi skin and it fell, again.
We love the enthusiasm of Erica Moore, our summer intern 
 

A prolific apricot harvest-and new guinea fowl keets



Plenty of sunbeams for cooking mac and cheese in the solar oven
and dehydrating apricots in the sun dryer



 
The Orpington and Leghorn shared a nest.
The guinea hen hid her nest of eggs in tall grass in the corral
  
 

Steve Upson of the Noble Foundation taught us how to build a high tunnel,
to extend the garden's growing season as weather warms year-round

 

Thanks to friends who came to learn, and help!




Composting is a constant at a center for sustainability.
And everyone helps. The barrel from the composting toilet in the hermitage that had been aging for more than a year is rolled out to the prairie.
Rabbits Thor and Fru Fru contribute their deposits to the red wiggler worms.

 


We welcomed the current class of Leadership Noble County
and the board of directors of Green Connections



Dave Conrad led a drum circle and retreatants relaxed in nature
during the Women in the Military Retreat

 

Participants in the Women on the Prairie Retreat
contemplated the Earth's rolling up as the sun disappeared in the evening
and took a walk along Doe Creek next morning.



With magnification, they looked at tiny flowers and tried to grasp
the universe's big picture on the Cosmic Walk.

 
And finally in May, there was Jay Miller's and Erin Nordquist's beautiful wedding
atop the windswept hill above the pond. John and Tanner played sweet music.
The bridal party walking up the prairie.

 
Erin and Jay make their vows beneath a canopy made of native brush,
then canoe across the pond following the ceremony to greet family and friends. 


And May the Gorgeous Days of May Continue in June!     

Though a strong wind felled the tipi early in the month, the days of May were exceptionally beautiful and we savored every one. Over three days, we received almost six inches of rain, for which we're grateful as the land has not fully recovered from last summer's drought. Plants and trees seem to be blossoming and fruiting about two weeks early. Apricots and mulberries and sand plums are delicious. Wheat harvest is more than halfway finished at the time it's usually starting.

As the photos show, there were many wonderful gatherings at Turtle Rock Farm in May. We happily welcome Erica Moore, an outdoor and community recreation graduate from University of Central Oklahoma. She is a joy to work alongside, eager to jump into any project and task and deeply committed to helping people connect with the natural world and live sustainably. It was a joy too to welcome visitors and retreatants. A group of women in the military came for their third annual retreat. They enjoyed an afternoon relaxing and visiting on the front porch and hanging out with the alpacas and goats.  The prairie, with its lush growth, was especially beautiful during the women on the prairie retreat. It was warm and breezy that day and as we sat beneath the old cedars and talked about our experiences of the day, one participant said, with obvious contentment: "It's been so long since I just sat and felt the wind blowing."

The most joy-filled event of the month was the first wedding ever to be held at Turtle Rock Farm. Friends Jay and Erin, both committed to spending time in the natural world and living sustainably, chose the prairie to begin their married life. We gladly welcomed their family and friends for a beautiful celebration. You can see more photos and read about the wedding on our blog.

June begins with cool nights and a little rain. We're eager to see if the guinea hen hatches keets in the corral (the two chickens have abandoned their nest), eat more tomatoes (the first one was wonderful), watch plants growing in the new high tunnel where we hope to garden all year long. Thanks to all who came to help, and to Steve Upson for the instruction.

Check the schedule below for our programmed retreats and contact us if you want to come for a visit or a stay or if you want us to help you plan a programmed retreat. We hope to welcome you here this summer.


 
 

In wonder, beauty and peace,

Ann and Pat 



Thank You Volunteers!






Thank you Doug and Nelda Sander
for your many days helping out


Thanks to all who helped raise
the High Tunnel 
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 want to come spend a few hours helping out, let us know.



 

  
Keep Up with Us Daily on our Blog
  
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A QUICK LOOK AT TRF

EVENTS COMING SOON
 
 


June 9
Earth Dinner: Cooking to Save the Planet (And Ourselves)

June 23
Meditation and Labyrinth Retreat

June 39
Sabbath-Keeping Retreat

July 7
Pain, Stress and our Energy System Workshop

July 20-21
Earth Plunge for Families

August 4
Earth Dinner: Cooking to Save the Planet (And Ourselves)

August 11
Photography Workshop

August 18
Vermi-Composting and Fall Gardening

__________________________________________________
 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:

Green Connections'   
Fourth Annual Prairie Dinner  
and Concert  
 
Saturday, September 22 

 

Local Foods dinner
by Kamala Gamble

Concert by Ann Zimmerman

Make your reservations here.

_____________________________

Our entire 2012 calendar  
is on our website:

Turtle Rock Farm Retreat Center is Eco-Certified Platinum

 

 


Upcoming

Retreats and Workshops
 

 

Earth Dinner: Cooking to Save the Planet


(and ourselves) - June 9   

  

  

 

  

Decisions we make about food not only impact our health, but also the health of the planet. On this retreat participants will learn how food impacts global warming, 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 about cooking local fresh food using metods that are simple and that create flavorful 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

 

   


Meditation and Labyrinth Retreat

June 23
 



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


Sabbath-Keeping Retreat

How to put Sabbath Back into Your Life

June 30 

 

  

  

"Sabbath keeping values our ability to rest, not merely our ability to work. In sabbath we live in God's economy, where our purpose is not production but play. In keeping sabbath we measure ourselves by a different yardstick: we try to see how much delight we can take in the world, not how much we can get 'done.'"--Donna Schaper, Keeping Sabbath

  

In 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   

 
 

Pain, Stress and Our Energy System Workshop

July 7

 
 

Pain is a clear message that we need to pay attention to our bodies. We may need to make changes to our lifestyle. This fun, hands-on workshop for reducing stress and pain integrates simple and highly effective techniques you can use on your self and with your family.

  

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

       

 

Earth Plunge for Families

July 20-21

 

  

Bring your family to the country for a night and a day in nature. Give your children a chance to take a plunge into nature - see wildlife, stroll in a pasture, discover plant life, canoe, explore along a creek, breath fresh country air. This retreat offers your children a safe day exploring in nature, which experts say is essential for healthy development. We'll provide some activities for experiencing nature, but there will be family free time and alone time as well.   
This retreat is scheduled as an overnight retreat, so that families can watch Earth roll up and the sun go out of view, observe the night sky (it's dark enough here to see jillions of stars) and (depending on the conditions) sit around a bonfire. 
 

 

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

 

 

  
Comments from our wonderful guests...

  
  


"The moment that I walked in here it felt warm and safe. I was able to do such needed work in the quiet and safe place. The labyrinth was wonderful. I will never forget this place. For the first time in 40 years, I talked to God, and he spoke to me. Thank you a million times."-- J.

"On a cold and windy winter night in February on the prairie, I nestled secure and warm and slept within the walls of glass, mud, dreams, sweat and energy of the strawbale vision come to life as the Sallie McFague Hermitage-dreaming of what can be and is! Thank you! (Sallie would love it here!) -- Elizabeth

"'Live Simply so others may simply live.' Enough said, I think. Praise be to God for retreats, workshops, time away...encouragement in sustainability. Thanks!"
-- Mary Lou Bender, Caldwell, KS

"It was a pleasure staying out here and reconnecting with the wild. I enjoyed your variety of animals and I am glad the alpacas did not get upset to spit. I will always keep this place in mind for another get-away." -- Amanda

"Thank you for everything. From the moment I arrived here under the star-lit sky, to the moment of my departure, it has been a restorative experience. It was just what I wanted and needed for this Thanksgiving weekend. I especially enjoyed observing the wildlife and absorbing the fabulous sunrises and sunsets. Your care with the many details such as providing a crockpot and stocking teas and honey in the cabinet were much appreciated. I will treasure the guinea fowl feathers and the time spent in the barn with the animals. (I like it that you have so many varied species who all seem to get along so well toether-a nice microcosm of peace on the planet!) My best wishes to you and all of Turtle Rock Farm." -- Janece, Tulsa

"So many wonders of coyotes, hawks, crows, geese, rabbit, full moon, Joe and Maizey, afternoon doze in the straw, Enrique's muy sabrosa comida, caring Vicky for healing massage, morning frosted fields; Pat and David conversations, wondering where peace is created, my insistent mind waning a break! Breathing deeply the contemplated air, and wishing to come back to a place which is another home, here." -- Lawrence Krizan, Houston TX

"We've enjoyed the peace and spaciousness that Turtle Rock Farm offers. Thanks so much for your hospitality. What a blessing it has been to find kindred spirits who care so deeply about God's creation!" -- Bill and Jeanne Finley, Blacksburg, VA

"So incredible to see this place finished. I'll never forget all of the bales that were stacked and cob that was stomped. It was worth it, because this dwelling is a vehicle for absolute bliss. I'll remember it, and its creators, dearly. We'll be back."
-- Steven Wooley

"This place is so beautiful and peaceful. It felt like home the second we walked in. Thank you so much for your hospitality. We have plans to visit again next year."
-- Shauna

"Thank you, thank you, thank you for seeing the gifts in this place and sharing them so generously. The hermitage is lovely and the weather has been amazing but your hospitality has made it great. I greatly appreciate your sharing your farm fresh eggs and other items with me, and thank you for allowing me to help with the animals. As a city girl, my experience with farms is minimal to say the least, but you both made me welcome from the very start. As a Deaconess sister and fellow Christian on the journey, blessings to you and on this place; that it will thrive and continue to impact many lives with its offerings of peace, spiritual renewal and connections with God's creation."
-- Deaconess Mandy Caruso, Kansas City, Mo.

" Thank you for a wonderful respite of peace and solitude. I needed that!"
-- Janet Barrow, Dover, AR.

"I came here tired and soul-weary from the chaos, noise and clutter of city life. I leave renewed and at peace. Thank you for that gift. I thank God for the beauty and simplicity of pastures, animals and sunsets. May God bless you and this place!"
-- Dawn Richards

"The inspiration of your hearts has created a glorious place for retreat and renewal. Your warmth blesses us all. Your peacefulness transfers to each of us who visit. Thank you for creating this comforting place to renew and refresh our spirits. Great blessings shower down on you for all your days. The God in me honors the God in you."
-- Linda Puckett

"Came to help little brother and found a unique farmhouse that we really enjoyed. Keep up the good work." - V. & G.

"Thank you so much for your kindness and hospitality during our time of need. You and your hermitage are a gift from God. We cannot express how thankful we are that you opened your home and hearts to us." - T. and S.

 
"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.

"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

"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.

"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


"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.

"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

"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
 
______________________________________________________
in support of

 GC logo
  

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 and learn to live more sustainably. We welcome the opportunity to bring their programming to Turtle Rock Farm.  

 

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, and use Paypal to send your donation. Or, click here: 

Donate 

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, 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

Gifts

C
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
580.725.3411
annmcferron@hotmail.com 
pathoerth@gmail.com
www.turtlerockfarmretreat.com
www.turtlerockfarm.wordpress.com