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And its work with

"For the human necessity is not just to know, but also to cherish and protect the things that are known, and to know the things that can only be known by cherishing. If we are to protect the world's multitude of places and creatures, then we must know them, not just conceptually but imaginatively as well. They must be pictured in the mind and memory; they must be known with affection, 'by heart,' so that in seeing or remembering them the heart may be said to 'sing,' to make a music peculiar to its recognition of each particular place or creature that knows it well...To know imaginatively is to know intimately, particularly, precisely, gratefully, reverently, and with affection."

                                           -- Wendell Berry
Life is a Miracle

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

 Taking the Mirror Walk...
...in Oklahoma City
at a retreat for spiritual directors.

OIKOS Scholars from Oklahoma City University...

...explore the beehives,
meet the animals....

...take a nature walk...
...and the Cosmic Walk.

Alpaca Shearing Day.
Frank and Ann harness Biak.

Darcy, William and Biak
wait (a bit apprehensively).   

Darcy is first.
Marty, Eric and young Boaz finish with Darcy's haircut..
Boaz sits gently on William's neck, to keep him calm.

Green Connections' 2014 Earth Day Festival.  
The Band in the round-top barn.

Seed-bomb-making with Transition OKC.

Renee demonstrates Cherokee finger weaving.

Lisa demonstrates spinning fiber with a spindle and spinning wheel.

Bruce's electricity generating demonstration.

Walking the Universe Story timeline.

Earth Drum Circle.

Thanks Dave!
Board members Bruce, Barbara and Mary.

The Band: Sylvan, Dale and George.

Drum-circle games.

Grilled corn, kept warm in the solar oven.

And in Louisville, KY., at the United Methodist Women's quadrennial Assembly, we offered the Cosmic Walk.

Spring Emerges and We Celebrate!


Winter cold held on almost to the end of April. Our last freeze was mid-month, and some of the last nights of the month were in the 30's. But there were warm days too--and much wind. First tornadoes of the year hit the ground, though rain here was negligible and we entered more deeply into the drought. Still, there is much to celebrate about this amazing planet....
Barn Swallows have returned to the barn, entering through the space up near the ceiling that we open for them every year.
Baby chicks are hatching from a nest full of eggs laid by hens in the barn.
The Bald Eagle couple continue to feed and protect and teach their two young eaglets in a giant nest down on Red Rock Creek.
Grass is coming on.
Trees have leafed--and some, leafed again, after the freeze.
The alpaca were sheared of their winter fleece.
Chickens and Guineas are free-ranging and feeding on all sorts of bugs.
Ann has planted seedlings in the high tunnel greenhouse.
And so friends and guests gathered for the fourth annual Green Connections' Earth Day Celebration.
Too, April guests stayed in the straw bale hermitage, joined us for tours, retreats and workshops, at the farm, in Oklahoma City and Louisville, KY.  


Might as well keep celebrating, we think! Celebrate by enjoying spring's continuing emergence, tending gardens, caring with animals, observing the natural world that is our home, leading retreats, welcoming guests who come to connect again. 


So, in May, Jane Taylor leads a writing retreat, Pat leads the Meditation and Labyrinth retreat and the Universe Story retreat. The Shepherds return and we will visit a middle school in Edmond. Looking forward, in June, Jeannie Martin returns for the third time to lead the Haiku Retreat which is always a great day of creativity and fun making nature poems. The annual Women on the Prairie retreat and overnight is also scheduled in June. Individuals and groups have reserved their time here as well, and we will be presenting workshops away from the farm. We hope to see you soon!    




Beauty, Peace,

Ann and Pat


and Retreats
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:
Shepherds Retreat 
May 12-13

A 24-hour retreat for United Methodist clergy and lay leaders. Following the Academy for Spiritual Formation model of morning, evening prayer, eucharist, periods of silent reflection on readings and small group discussion and sharing of meals, the retreat is a time for spiritual renewal for church leaders. For more information or to register, email Rev. Susan Ross at ross-susan@sbcglobal.net or Pat Hoerth at pathoerth@gmail.com

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:

The Star Dust Tales: The Universe Story and How it impacts life

today and tomorrow 

May 31

What's in a story? How does a story affect the way we live? Humans have been using story to make sense of their existence ever since they painted on cave walls. Remember coloring pictures of the story you learned in Sunday School? Our story continues to unfold, to emerge. This retreat will explore the New Cosmology, the Universe Story--because coming to understand deeply that we are part of an emerging, expanding universe changes the meaning, purpose of our lives together on this living organism of a planet, of which we are an interdependent part.
Pat Hoerth leads this retreat, using the Cosmic Walk as a starting point to engage in the Universe Story. Participants will learn how the story impacts the way we live our lives, relate to each other and all life.

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:

Women on the Prairie Retreat
June 20-21



Much of Oklahoma was native prairie. This retreat will take us back to the prairie, where we can learn about its history (from its ancient beginnings as an ocean, as hunting ground for Native Americans, as home for pioneer families and modern farming and ranching) and its ecosystem. We will spend time in the prairie noticing the grasses, birds and wildlife - the prairie community. Jane Taylor will guide us in the story telling part of the retreat. 

And we will come away, having experienced more intimately the prairie ecosystem of which we are a part, with the wisdom that only the prairie can offer and a deeper understanding of how to live in harmony with all life on the planet.


This is an overnight retreat, so we can enjoy the prairie as it settles in the evening and wakes up at dawn--and so we can see the vast sky full of stars! Lodging options include tipi, tent camping as well as indoors.


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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