In Support of
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And its work with

The Prairie in the Golden Hour, After a Rain

"I think eco-justice needs to consider what is right not only for the human beings who are being harmed
by reckless-or lawless-pollution of the environment but also consider what is right for
(and the ethical treatment of) all life. Where is our reverence? If we saw the forests as alive,
the mountains as wise, the oceans as givers and sustainers of life, could we use and abuse them
as objects, intended for our consumption and support?  If we had a relationship with the nature
around us, seeing a tree in such an objectified way would change."

-Katherine Miller, A Simple Guide to Eco-Spirituality

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.

Showers, finally!

Ann, in tall (yellow) clover,
setting up summer watering system for trees.

High tunnel garden's potato crop.

Adult Eagle and Eaglets in nest
along Red Rock Creek.

"Shepherds" standing in awe, eagle-watching.

Our friend Susan, eagle-watching.

Bald-eagle in flight.
At Cheyenne Middle School...
greenhouse and alluvial stream...

...tending tomatoes in raised bed gardens..
...and, at the chicken house.

Jane Taylor's poetry workshop.
The nature walk... 

...and the writing.

Walking the labyrinth during meditation retreat.

And now it's the season for dining  alfresco during workshops and retreats.


It's High Season for Life on the Farm 

A friend called: "Can I come over and will you take me to see the eagles?"
Oh my gosh, yes!
At breakfast, the second day of the Shepherds' Retreat, the discussion: "Can we abandon our normal routine and go see the eagles instead?"
Off we went.
It doesn't get much better than this: watching eagles, very large young ones-stone-still-in the high, huge nest alongside Red Rock Creek; Mom, or was it Dad, visiting the nest, then lifting above the trees and, together, the two floating higher and higher in the sky.
It doesn't get much better than this: friends open to experiencing the wonder and awe of seeing eagles, and knowing the value of wonder and awe for the well-being of all interdependent life on this one, living organism of a planet. (We wrote about both sightings on our blog.)
Thank you friends. Thank you Eagle family.


Yellow clover covers the berms on the slope below the prairie labyrinth. We are glad the honey bees have something to eat, as the drought deepens. The soil is dry, deeply. Trees planted there in the swales below the berms last January are due a good drenching, which, has not come in mid-May. Ann sets up her summer watering system: a five-gallon bucket with holes drilled in the bottom, one for each tree, and gives them their first drink.  

The plastic that has covered the high tunnel greenhouse for the last couple of years, begins to tear in the spring winds; those winds that blow but bring no rain. This summer, we'll add shade cloth only to cover the  

high tunnel-but not until the rains come.
For days, winds blow east and north, south and west; they hang overhead and let go of the usual 15 drops. May is historically our wettest month. And while we don't expect May showers to end the drought, we know they may be our best chance for watering the prairie. It is the next to last weekend that it comes: real rain. Three inches over two days. Every living thing, including us, seems relieved, gleeful. We aren't the only ones splashing, getting wet!


Guests in the hermitage this month enjoyed the springing. Chris, who helped out with the overwhelming amount of spring tasks, also spent time observing ant life and had a close encounter (but, thankfully, not a smelly one!) with two skunks one night while he lay under the stars in his hammock. His story is also on our blog.

Pat shared about Turtle Rock Farm's sustainability practices with and learned from seventh graders at Edmond's Cheyenne Middle School. With grant money, science faculty and students there have built an alluvial stream, greenhouse, raised bed gardens and keep chickens and guineas. It was a thrill to visit with these young people who are well on their way to learning the value of paying attention in this world of nature and learning sustainable practices. Thank you Michele for inviting us!


As we at Turtle Rock Farm continue to do our work in the city too, Pat also preached at Cornerstone United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City, telling the miraculous, wondrous story of how stars came to be and the miraculous, wondrous story of what that means for life-including human life-on the planet. Pastors take note: Pat is available to fill your pulpit to relate the incredible stories of the creation of the cosmos.

Back on the farm, we welcomed guests for the meditation and labyrinth retreat and Jane Taylor's first writing workshop. It was such a wonderful day with Jane, we're planning for her next workshop. Keep an eye on our website for that.

In fact, our website has been updated recently. The calendar link lists the schedule for the rest of 2014, including the Sixth Annual Green Connections Prairie Dinner and Concert. Chef Barb from Kam's Kookery, Woods & Waters Wine and Kyle Dillingham will be returning! Other workshops and events, details will be added, so keep watching.  


We're very excited to welcome Jeannie Martin back from Massachusetts for her third haiku retreat! It's June 14 and we're looking forward to another wonderful day together, reading and being surprised by others' haiku, going out into nature and being surprised there and writing our own surprises, and doing the collaborative writing-the renga-which is always a blast. Call or email us right away if you plan to join us.  

In June too, we offer another of our arts and nature retreats-photography, on June 28.  


June 20-21, we get to experience the planet and especially the prairie ecosystem better during the Women on the Prairie retreat. It starts with the Cosmic Walk, watching Earth roll up and the sun disappear, a sky full of stars, the prairie wake up and continues with a walk on the prairie and along Doe Creek. Jane Taylor will be on hand too, to help us connect the story.  


Meanwhile, Ann continues the planting, maintaining and harvesting in the gardens, orchard, pecan grove and aviary. You might just get a taste of delicious homegrown food when you come to visit!


We hope to welcome you soon!    




Beauty, Peace, Wonder, 

Ann and Pat


and Retreats

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:
Photography Workshop: 
Seeing the Natural World
Through a Camera Lens   
June 28

When we see something wonderful in nature, we often want to capture it. And there begins a creative process of trying to express through the photograph what it was we felt when we experienced this event in the natural world. At the same time, focusing that experience through a camera lens, we see more deeply, more intimately the very thing we are experiencing, paying attention to, absorbed in. Photography does more than capture a moment in nature, it helps us experience nature. Pat leads this workshop. We will spend much of the day taking photos and then viewing them and discussing how we make photography express what we see and feel in nature. Bring your digital camera and your laptop, if possible, so you can download the photos you take.

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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