In Support of
 GC logo

Eagle and Nest

"While we face the very real danger of catastrophic collapse, we can also be posed on the edge of a major evolutionary leap.

We can't know how things will unfold. What we can do is make a choice about what we'd like to have happen, and then put ourselves fully behind that possibility. An inspiring wave of change is spreading through our world. The Great Turning {to a sustainable society} is happening in our time, and we may already be participating in many ways. If we want this change to catch on more thoroughly, deeply and rapidly, how can we let it do so in our own lives? What thresholds do we need to cross?

When we catch our inspiring vision, we experience a call to adventure that pulls us into its service."

                                           -- Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone
Active Hope. How to Face the Mess We're in without Going Crazy

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.
On the Farm and in the City

 Father and Son...
...at Ann's Beekeeping Workshop.
Eagle-Watching along Red Rock Creek

Eaglets could be heard, not seen.

Our last snow fall??
Our first retreat on mindfulness as a way through depression was a success. We'll offer it again in the fall.

We took the Cosmic Walk
to Open Streets OKC

...where families experienced the story of our expanding universe  

Transition OKC--a Green Connections program--helped hundreds of people...

...make seed bombs to create habitat for bees and butterflies.
At Open Streets OKC

Grace is the youngest visitor to the farm this month.

Read the story of her amazing visit
on our blog posting: Grace's Cairn.

Welcome Laura Chestnut!

Our spring intern, already planting tomatoes in the high tunnel.

March went out..."like a pygmy goat?!"


March began with a beautiful snow, with eaglets born in a big nest high in a tree along Red Rock Creek, a few miles from the farm. And it ended with sure signs of spring. For one, Pearl, one of the pygmy goats, learned how to get under the fence and out into greener grass. Once she learned, it meant spring fence-mending all the way around the goat and alpaca pens. It was our friend Gail Garloch, who wryly observed: "What do they say about March? In like a lion, out like a pygmy goat?"  


Ann taught the beekeeping workshop, which she loves to do. Her passion for beekeeping, for contributing to increased habitat and care for pollinators, is infectious.


Pat introduced the Mindfulness Way Through Depression to participants during a retreat. The group continues to communicate and support each other weekly as they grow in this beneficial practice. She will offer the retreat again in the fall.

Two events took us to the city. Pat was privileged to present the story of Turtle Rock Farm and the worldview that sustains our work here, during the Creative Peacemaking Symposium sponsored by the Social and Ecological Responsibility Initiative at Oklahoma City University. It was exciting to participate in the process of developing creative peacemaking projects with so many wise, gifted, committed people. Thank you, Nathaniel Batchelder, director of The Peace House, for the invitation to share. 


And we joined Transition OKC in Oklahoma City for the first annual Open Streets OKC. An effort by an alliance of several groups working toward wellness of community, people, planet, it brought out thousands of people to learn and play on NW 23rd street, which the city blocked off from traffic for a mile or so. The Transition OKC team helped hundreds of people make seed bombs, with seeds that grow habitat for bees and butterflies. We offered the Cosmic Walk--an experiential telling of the universe story--and were thrilled at the response. Parents read the story to youngest children as they walked the spiral. Adults, teens and children who made the "trip" told us how helpful it was to experience the story of the creation of the universe. Here's our blog posting: Taking to the Streets We are glad to work with the Transition OKC team, taking our work to the city! They will be joining us here at the farm, with the seed bomb project during the fourth annual Green Connections Earth Day Festival, April 19. More details below! 


Also in April, we offer the Active Hope retreat. Our friend Jana Gunnell, who we met at a Work That Reconnects retreat last August, will be joining us. Jana has studied with Joanna Macy, ecophilosopher, educator of general systems theory and author of Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We're in Without Going Crazy. We are grateful to be able to offer this material, which we find so inspiring, and we are glad that Jana, a native Oklahoman who now lives in New Mexico, can join us in presenting it. It's Saturday, April 12. Register soon! Here: www.turtlerockfarmretreat.com


May brings wonderful opportunities as well! Jane Vincent Taylor, who leads writing workshops at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico, will offer her first writing workshop at Turtle Rock Farm on May 3. Pat will offer a Meditation and Labyrinth retreat on May 17. Details and links to registration are below.


We are thrilled to welcome this spring's intern! Laura Chestnut joined us this first week of April, right in the heart of spring cleaning and planting. Again, we are heartened by the young people who find their way to Turtle Rock Farm because they care about sustainability, the health of the planet. Come meet Laura as we celebrate the planet at the fourth annual...  


Green Connections' Earth Day Festival

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 19  




Drum Circle with Dave Conrad 
Cherokee Weaving with Renee Hoover 
Alpaca wool Spinning and Felting with Lisa Piccolo 
Solar Demonstration with Bruce Johnson 
Bison Hot Dogs and Corn on the Cob 
Making Seed Bombs with Transition OKC 
Cosmic Walk 
George Davis on Guitar 
Thanking the Earth Ceremony 
Tour of Straw Bale Hermitage 
Tour of High Tunnel Garden 
Walk the Labyrinth 
Meet the Alpaca and Goats
Visit the Tipi

(To see more photos of last year's festivities, visit our website:  www.turtlerockfarmretreat.com)


As always, Earth Day festival, an educational event, is open to the public.
Let us know you're coming, so we have a Bison Hot Dog at the grill for you!
And, so we can send you driving directions.

Ann's at 580.725.3411 - annbdenney@gmail.com 
Pat's at 580.917.6011 - pathoerth@gmail.com 





Beauty, Peace,

Ann and Pat


Workshops and Retreats
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:
Meditation Retreat
May 17

Meditation is one of the oldest spiritual practices. There are many forms of meditation from many traditions. 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, walking the labyrinth.This retreat is for both beginners and those who've been practicing, but want to deepen their practice.
To register, go to our calendar:

Clear Water: a haiku invitation
into our luminous, sacred world -
a retreat with Jeannie Martin
June 14


Haiku brings us more clearly into the present moment and the world of nature that presents itself to our senses in manifold ways. Together we will learn about this gentle form as we read, write and share haiku in this supportive environment. Haiku opens our awareness as we see with new eyes the extraordinary in the ordinary, paying special attention to each moment in this contemplative form. We will have time for individual reflection as well as group discussion and sharing of classic haiku, and haiku from contemporary American writers.

Bring your past experience with haiku if you have that, and/or your beginner's mind. Each participant will leave with some haiku poems of his or her own, and also handouts from the pages of Jeannie's book, Clear Water, published in 2013 by Red Moon Publications, Oklahoma City.



To register, go to our calendar:



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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