In Support of
 GC logo

"It is clear that the primordial intention of the universe is to produce variety in all things, from atomic structures to the living world of plant and animal forms, to the appearance of humans, where individuals differ from one another more extensively than in any other realm of known reality...At each moment we must simply be what we are, opening onto a larger life.  

"Interior articulation of its own reality is the immediate responsibility of every being. Every being has its own interior, its self, its mystery, its numinous aspect. To deprive any being of this sacred quality is to disrupt the larger order of the universe. Reverence will be total or it will not be at all." 

                                           -- Thomas Berry, Creative Energy. Bearing Witness for the Earth

2014 - A Year of Wonder
Taking time to connect with our natural home, be astonished, be inspired to learn to live so that all can thrive.
Winter Gatherings

 A Boy Scout troop
from Oklahoma City makes its second trip to the farm...
...not only feeding visiting the alpaca, but doing bean duty as well.
Learning about tree-planting.

Carrying water to new trees.

They planted 60 trees
between the swales and berms
in our forestry ag project.

We are grateful for their time with us on winter retreat and doing service here on the farm.

At Oakcreek Senior Co-Housing
community in Stillwater...

...a Work that Reconnects
weekend retreat:  

Making the Cosmic Walk...

...and the mirror walk.

What a lot of light this intentional, collaborative, sustainable community...

...brings to the world.

The shepherds...

...on winter retreat.
Father and son check out
our chicken coops...

...during Ann's Raising Chickens

Undaunted by cold, wet February weather, guests came to Turtle Rock Farm for retreats and workshops. An Oklahoma City Boy Scout troop made a winter visit for the second year and helped us plant trees on the windy hill below the labyrinth where we have built swales and berms for a forestry ag project. Thank you Scouts! 


The same weather pattern continues as we enter March--spring-like days followed, immediately, by single digits and snow. Looks like another spring-like day on Saturday, when we hold our Mindfulness and Depression retreat. There is still room, for last-minute registrants. See the workshop description and registration link below. 


It was a privilege to spend a weekend leading a retreat at the Oakcreek Senior Co-Housing community in Stillwater. This intentional, collaborative community--Oklahoma's first--is also a sustainable community. They invited us to lead them more deeply into The Work That Reconnects--that helps us experience the interconnected, interdependent, self-organizing, organic system that is planet Earth. Their commitment to living sustainably and in community is an inspiration.  


A father and son joined Ann for a Saturday exploring the many aspects of raising chickens. They are well on their way to bringing home their first flock. And, as always, we loved the Shepherds' time at Turtle Rock Farm. We look forward to their quarterly visits.


We are very excited to welcome a new program into Green Connections, the not-for-profit that we support. TransitionOKC will be doing its fine work under the umbrella of Green Connections. A group of energetic, dedicated people, they are part of an international effort to help local communities become more resilient in the face of economic crisis, peak oil, environmental degradation and climate change. You can read more on the Transition Oklahoma City website: GoingLocal.com 


We are looking forward to working together to help sustainability efforts not only in the country, but also in the city. Look for Transition OKC and Turtle Rock Farm at the Open Streets Oklahoma City event Sunday afternoon, March 30.  A portion of NW 23rd Street in Oklahoma City--from Robinson to Western--will be closed to traffic, to provide people a chance to engage in connected urban community. Look for us there: Transition OKC will offer seed bombs and Turtle Rock Farm will provide the Cosmic Walk experience.  


We hope to see you soon--on the farm, in the city! 




Beauty, Peace,

Ann and Pat


Workshops and Retreats

Mindfulness Practices to Move Through Depression
March 15

Mindfulness Practices to Move Through Depression
March 15

Depression is common for many of us; it's something we deal with off and on. And in these chaotic times, times when we feel overwhelmed by the challenges we face environmentally, economically, we might experience depression even more often; in fact, it can become chronic. This retreat introduces mindfulness practices that actually help us break the thought patterns that increase depression. They are tools that can be used for the rest of our lives and break through the depression. Pat Hoerth leads this retreat.

To register, go to our calendar:



Beekeeping Workshop
March 22

 In this day-long workshop, participants will learn about the fascinating lives of bees and 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, what equipment you need to get started, where to get bees and what goes on in the bee community during the course of a year. You can sample Turtle Rock Farm honey, which, we think, is the best honey in the world.

To register, go to our calendar:
Creating Creation-Centered Liturgies
March 29


Liturgies tend to use human characteristics to image God. One way to help people come to understand creation as not only centered around human beings, but including all in creation, is to write liturgies using many images from the natural world. This workshop provides training for worship teams and others in faith communities to develop liturgies that include images and metaphors from creation in prayers, calls to worship. The day will include some time observing nature and time writing liturgy pieces that help parishioners begin to see themselves as part of the Great Web of Life. Pat Hoerth leads the workshop.

To register, go to our calendar:
Gardening and Composting Workshop
April 5

We've combined two workshops into one. You can come for a full day and build both a four-by-four foot raised bed with a hoop and a red wiggler vermi-compost home, 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. With this system you can extend your growing season and garden all year. Vermi-compost (composting with worms) is an excellent and easy way to compost. It provides rich nutrients for your garden as well as "compost tea" for all your plants.    

To register, go to our calendar:

Active Hope--
The Work that Reconnects
April 12

Some days the state of the world can overwhelm us. Despite our intentions, our hopes, our work, we sometimes find that the environmental and economic problems are mounting. Using experiential exercises developed over 40 years by Joanna Macy, an eco-philosopher, teacher and author, The Work That Reconnects helps us look deeply at the graces of life on the planet, face our feelings about the rapid worsening of the environment, begin to develop a vision that will carry us forward, and the practical steps we can take to bring about change so that all on the planet can thrive. Pat will lead the group through the spiral that helps us develop a supportive community as well as gather strength, meaning and purpose for our lives at this critical time. 

To register, go to our calendar:

What the Owl Knows-- 
A Writing Workshop

May 3 


This offering is a day-long workshop for new and experienced writers who want to explore or deepen his or her understanding of poetry as a lyrical form. Form will be a guide, but not a strict rule.  Emphasis will be on the mysteries of language, our relationships to the earth, and on listening, discovery, and compassionate sharing. The Owl will serve, as she has over the ages, to remind us of the mythologies we encounter and carry with us in our daily lives. You are invited to spend an extraordinary day at Turtle Rock. Wear your comfortable clothes and shoes for possible hiking. Bring your ordinary stories and be transformed in a natural circle of writers.

Workshop leader is Oklahoma poet Jane Vincent Taylor.
Find out about her here:

To register, go to our calendar:

Green Connections Earth Day Festival  
Saturday, April 19 
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Come celebrate this beautiful planet with us!!

Drum Circle, Solar Exhibit, Cherokee weaving, Alpaca fleece spinning and felting, Transition OKC's seed bombs, music, meet the alpaca, tour the strawbale hermitage, walk the prairie labyrinth, visit the high tunnel garden, Earth Day ceremony...
cook yourself a Bison hot dog over the fire...

It's all free!
But let us know you're coming so we have a hot dog and cob of corn for you!
annbdenney@gmail.com       pathoerth@gmail.com 

To Learn More about Turtle Rock Farm


Young Adults from Boston Avenue United Methodist Church, Tulsa.
Digging spring beds in the high tunnel greenhouse.

If you, your group or family is interested in helping out or providing a service learning project at Turtle Rock Farm, let us know. It takes a village!

Scholarships are available for youth to experience nature at Turtle Rock Farm, thanks to a generous grant from the Oklahoma Disciples of Christ Foundation.

Call -- 580.725.3411, 580.917.6011
Or email: annbdenney@gmail.com   pathoerth@gmail.com

How Does One Make Retreat?

 A "retreat" at Turtle Rock Farm is a chance to get away into the quiet and beauty of the prairie.
 It 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, walk the labyrinth, feed an alpaca, gather eggs, garden, kayak or swim in the pond...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.

Turtle Rock Farm on the Road
Making the Cosmic Walk at Camp Egan, near Tahlequah

  We are glad to be able to offer our workshops, retreats and presentations away from our farm. Call or email about a presentation for your group. 

To reserve your individual, family or group retreat...
Or to visit with us about a presentation for your group in another location...
email or call:
pathoerth@gmail.com -- 580.917.6011
annbdenney@gmail.com -- 580.725.3411 
Comments from our wonderful guests...

"The retreat at Turtle Rock was very peaceful and sacred. This retreat helped me to refuel and to center myself. The atmosphere is conducive to learning--gentle knowledge--very inclusive. Thank you." -- M.R.

"So happy to be the first resident of the new year. What a treat for me! I am praying that this retreat with our Young Adults is just the first of many visits to Turtle Rock. I'm so happy to know you're here and not far away. We are kindred spirits and I look forward to much celebration!!" -- Bill Crowell, Tulsa, Boston Avenue UMC

"This is our fourth stay at the hermitage and visit with you. Each time has been a time of renewal. This short visit is no exception. Our conversation, the simplicity of the hermitage, and the stark beauty of the farm and rolling hills blend together to help bring the peacefulness we need." -- Bill and Jeanne Finely, Silver Spring, Md. and Blacksburg, Va.

"This hermitage is a gracious space-as is the whole farm. I leave grateful for everything-deer and wasps, damp 'possum and faithful dog; greedy goats and trumpeting guineas; laid-back alpacas and boisterous roosters. Sun, then storms; mild breezes and sleet. Happy fishing and beautiful lettuce and greens. Surprise wine and a week's worth of soup.
"This place is much like home without the distractions and anxieties. I take from here the resolve to make home more like this week. Thank you Ann and Pat for providing this space, this beauty, this time of rest. May it continue to bless more and more people as you continue your Great Work of caring for Earth and all her inhabitants." -- Jane Balenger, OP, Heartland Farm, Pawnee Rock, KS

"'O God What a Morning' Deer grazing in the north field, a hawk soaring in the west, no doubt looking for breakfast, a full moon setting in a clear sky, and then a bit later-sunrise. What a show. Thanks God." -- Mary Lou B.

"What a wonderful weekend. I needed to get away from the big city life to think, pray, read, meditate. I found the right place for it. This place is good for my soul. I will most certainly return here. Warm blessings." -- Garrick Voth, Oklahoma City

"Strawbale Hermitage must have been a long time dream which called for much hard work as it came to life. Thank you for your great effort. It is a most peace-filled, comfortable and charming place. I am grateful for these three days surrounded by the sounds of nature and covered over by a dome of blue with lazy clouds. God has blessed me here. May God bless you also. Thank you." -- Susan D.

"We enjoyed the pond and watching the stars and I liked catching grasshoppers, kayaking, listening to the sounds of nature." Mason, Maranda, Bryce and Sherri 
"Thank you. I have had a balancing and purifying experience; hoping to take some of it back with me. As Persing said-the zen you find on the mountaintop is the same zen down below. I appreciate the opportunity to live in this special place for awhile." -- J. 

"Thank you so much or making me feel like family during my 2-week WWOOFing stay! I'm so glad I got to know you and learn from all the great projects y'all have going. I've met some incredible people and activists while here, which is a huge inspiration." -- Hannah

"Quiet, restful, beautiful sunset...I could go on and on. thank you for sharing this wonderful retreat with us! The beekeeping seminar was fun and educational too. Wish we could have stayed longer. Good friends, good food, good fellowship-what more could one ask for? Can't wait to come back!" -- Nancy and Steve

"Awoke to a thin covering of snow and brisk cold north wind-the changing of the seasons. Thank you. Thank you for this place of respite, renewal, encouragement!." -M.L.B.

"First glimmers of light
The hoot of an owl
The words of my teacher
This house made of earth
Many things made by loving hands
I am encouraged
To put my hands to work
And to know the work as good,
As enough for today.
Small steps are still steps.

Hearing the owl in this moment-
Is a step, a connection.
Morning arrives and I am awake
The farm offers its gift
And I am here
To receive it
With a grateful hear." - Pat W.

"Thank you for this in-between time, time to sink into solitude -- accentuated by the drumbeats/heartbeats of our friends from the north who are here to practice saying no to violating the earth. I will leave with their music, and the soul-full music of this place, in my spirit..." Susan

"I like feeding the alpaca and playing in the sand." -- Cohen, age 6

"Thank you very much for showing us the farm and taking us on a hike. I really appreciate it." -- Eden, age 9

"This was a great place to stay. I'd give it a 10 out of 10. I learned a lot while having fun. Best Mor-Mor Camp ever!" -- Colton, age 11

"Thank you for giving us your time and energy. You have made an investment in us! We certainly did "praise God under the open skies" in the labyrinth, the fields, the creeks, in our unstructured play and with each other. Hallelujah!" -- Gala, age 67 (aka "Moder")

"Thank you for this in-between time, time to sink into grieving and solitude-accented by the drum beats/heart beats of our friends from the north who are here to practice saying no to violating the earth. I will leave with their music, and the soul-full music of this place, in my spirit..." -- Susan


in support of

GC logo

Green Connections' Earth Day Festival 2013
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 you can donate on the Green Connections website. Or, go to our website - www.turtlerockfarmretreat.com - and click on Green Connections, and use Paypal to send your donation.  

Meet our board members

Green Connections: Kay Adair, Vicki Rose (treasurer), Elizabeth Box Price, Dorothy Gray, Pat Hoerth, Ann Denney, Mary Moloney, Claudia Scribner, Shauna Struby (president,) Tom Temple   


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



Transition OKC is a program of Green Connections. Find out more about its work on its website: goinglocalOKC.com

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