Front Yard, Turtle Rock Farm in Town

"The universe is a unity--an interactive, evolving and genetically-related community of beings bound together inseparably in space and time. Our responsibilities to each other and to all of creation are implicit in this unity. Each of us is profoundly implicated in the functioning and fate of every other human being on the planet."
-- Chet Raymo 
   When God is Gone Everything is Holy 

2016 - Making the Connections
Taking time to connect with our natural home, be in awe and inspired to have the courage to live sustainably, so that all can thrive.
Getting to Know, Celebrate Earth and Make Next Steps to Living Sustainably

Pat led a series of workshops at Rolling Hills Baptist Church, Fayetteville, Arkansas, working alongside
parishioners in their endeavors to create "sacred, sustainable outdoor space" in their neighborhood.

Making poetry... 
during Jane Taylor's poetry workshop at the farm.

VBS leaders from Albright United Methodist Church in Ponca City during a workshop to learn how to lead the children's climate justice study,   
"God's Extravagant Garden," which Pat wrote for the United Methodist Women's Mission u.    
Making the Mirror Walk...  
the Cosmic Walk...
. engaging in discussion...
looking toward action...  
during Taking Nature Personally: Human Flourishing in Ecological Community Retreat.

Children from First United Methodist Church, Luther,  
exploring nature during a day trip to Turtle Rock Farm.
Meeting the alpacas, goats...
What a treat to welcome them!
Candidates for United Methodist Deaconess come from around the country for classes in Oklahoma City.   
So they came for an evening visit and tour at CommonWealth Urban Farms. Here, checking out a front-yard pollinator garden.
They were inspired by front yard gardens in the CommonWealth community where food grows instead of grass. Here, Turtle Rock Farm's Home in Town.  
Deaconess candidates at CommonWealth Urban Farm.
Children exploring "God's Extravagant Garden" during  
Mission u in Oklahoma City.
Camera Walk: Taking turns as camera and  
 photographer to make "snapshots" of nature.

Building a Medicine Wheel to learn about four directions, seasons, elements in nature.  
Playing the "Heartbeat Drum."

Children at Mission u Arkansas, observing life in a stream.
Mapping nature.

Mapping sounds.

Watching clouds, approaching storm, rain.  
Children made a cairn, to memorialize their time in nature during Mission u Arkansas.

The Simpler Living/Cutting Your Carbon Footprint Retreat was held at Turtle Rock Farm in Town to help participants learn what can be done in the city,    
including composting. Allen Parlier showed them some of the soil created at CommonWealth Urban Farm..

Growing vegetables at Turtle Rock Farm in Town: Lia's sweet potato patch at the back door.     
Mardel, Stephanie and John have added shade cloth above the pepper patch in the front yard.



The Boys during their mid-day summer shower.      

A Summer Full! 

On the farm,
in the city,
at places
in between
and beyond...

This month, we begin our ninth year as Turtle Rock Farm Retreat Center. Every year, we have experienced our work emerge in ways we never expected. Initially, we set out on our family farm to offer spiritual retreats and classes on energy healing. Within months, we had realized Earth does the healing and that we needed to learn, and teach, sustainable living. Then came the chickens and guineas, rabbits, alpaca, goats. Eventually, a high tunnel greenhouse, an apiary and managing our father's pecan and walnut groves. We installed solar panels on our houses and built a cottage for our guests out of straw bales and mud. We never even dreamed the things we have done.

All the while, many visitors and guests have wandered Doe Creek with us, walked the prairie labyrinth, learned of gardening and composting, experienced being with animals on the animals' terms, learned about meditation and mindfulness, made the Cosmic Walk; been in dialogue about simpler living, cutting our carbon footprint, Active Hope, new cosmology and what this story means for our lives...

And we have increasingly offered our work and teaching in other places, around the state and around the country. Now, we support the work of TransitionOKC and have a house in Oklahoma City smack dab in the middle of the CommonWealth Urban Farm community. For awhile now, people have said to us, "We're so glad you're out there on the farm doing what you do." And we've thought, well, we need to get to the city where the people are. And so we are.

So there continue to be changes on the prairie farm and emergences in our work elsewhere. It is with great tenderness and sadness that we now say goodbye to the animals, at least for the time-being. The two guineas (all the fowl that remain after chicken massacres in the barn) and Pearl and Buttercup, the pygmy goats, will go back to live with Lily who rescued the goats in the first place. William, Biak and Mr. Darcy, the beloved alpaca, will go to live with a friend of Lily's who is a fiber artist. We know they go to good homes and we are deeply, profoundly grateful for their lives with us these last 7 years. They have been wonderful companions and have taught us so much about sharing life with all on the planet. We will miss them, always, and, we pray, that we may always live the ways they have taught us to live.

As you can see from the photos above, much is happening. A couple of years ago, the United Methodist Women invited Pat to author their climate justice study for children. A year of research and writing culminated in the publication of God's Extravagant Garden. This summer it is being taught in the UMW Mission u's all around the country. In July, Pat used the activities she presented in the book to lead children in Oklahoma and Arkansas. Pat shares:

"The experiences affirmed what studies have shown: many children spend little time in nature and some are, indeed, afraid of aspects of nature. The experiences with the children also affirmed that given enough time--in short doses--children can become intrigued and curious about nature. They can also come to realize that they are part of the natural world as well."

Our newest retreat, Human Flourishing in Ecological Community, which Mark Davies and Pat co-facilitated, was held at St. Francis of the Woods Retreat Center, near Coyle. A two-day retreat, it afforded participants time to learn, reflect and converse about our efforts to participate in a sustainable, flourishing environment. Keep watch: Mark and Pat will be offering more similar opportunities. (Too, check out--in the calendar, below-- the work they are involved in with The Human Community Network.)

Most recently, participants in the Simpler Living/Reducing Your Carbon Footprint retreat, had the advantage of touring CommonWealth Urban Farm (Turtle Rock Farm's Home in Town) to see one community's way of living sustainably in the heart of the city.

August! and after...

The last couple of mornings have been cool! As these summer days go by, Ann is gearing up for the honey harvest, at the end of the month. We think the bees are healthy and have produced a lot of "the best honey in the world." Too, we prepare for the last workshops of the year (see calendar below) and one of the great annual events at Turtle Rock Farm: Green Connections' Eighth Annual Prairie Dinner and Concert. This year, fiddler Kyle Dillingham brings his band, Horseshoe Road. We are thrilled to welcome them and can't wait to hear the music explode in the Round Top Barn. As always, Chefs Kam and Barb will harvest great food from their urban farm and put together a fabulous five-course local foods dinner served alongside Doe Creek, with Woods & Waters Wine. The reservations are coming in and seats at the table are limited, so make your reservations soon! To make reservations for Prairie Dinner and Concert (it's $75) go to the Green Connections website--

So, opportunities await: 
+ connect with nature (perhaps a stay in the strawbale hermitage out on the prairie or a customized nature retreat for your family or group)
+ sustainable living processes and gathering with others who are working toward flourishing life in all respects (perhaps one of our upcoming retreats, or a tour of CommonWealth Urban Farm in Oklahoma City)
+ celebrate Earth and community at the Green Connections' Prairie Dinner and Concert

One place or the other, one event or another, we hope to welcome you soon!

Beauty, Peace, Wonder, 
Ann and Pat


Workshops and

Deep Ecology, Active Hope 
September 17

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 process that helps us develop a supportive community as well as gather strength, meaning and purpose for our lives at this critical time.

9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. $75 retreat fee includes lunch. 
Location-Turtle Rock Farm in the country or in town-TBA. 

To register, go to the calendar page on our website:

The Human Community Network
Oklahoma Project Gathering
September 10

Recognizing that everything is interconnected and that one social justice issue affects other social justice issues, The
Human Community Network is a network of individuals and groups across Oklahoma working together to bring a more just and sustainable life through changes in our social processes. Daunting, yes. Do-able, yes, as we work together--educators, environmentalists, activists, civic leaders, legislators, faith leaders...

In a series of monthly gatherings and occasional two-day symposia in 2016, Oklahomans will meet to work with issues around economic equality, worker equity, human resources, ecological innovations, developing leaders, engaging citizenry, enriching public education, recovering missional focus in faith communities, social and ecological grounding of academic curriculum.

Gatherings are held 1 to 4 p.m., Room 151 Walker Center on the campus of Oklahoma City University.

To learn more:
On Facebook: The Human Community Network If you "like" the fb page, you will receive notices of the monthly gatherings.
On Tumblr: The Human Community Network Foundational documents and other resource material.
On Twitter: The Human Community Network

You may also email Pat Hoerth: or message her on Facebook.

At Turtle Rock Farm 
Saturday, October 1

Come around 3 p.m. to take a walk, have a country porch sit, 
visit the straw bale hermitage, walk the prairie labyrinth...

Appetizers, Woods & Waters Wine down at Doe Creek at 4:30 p.m., 
followed by a five-course, scrumptious local food dinner
prepared by Chef Barb and Chef Kam from Kam's Kookery


Concert in Round-Top Barn
Kyle Dillingham and Horseshoe Road!!


Bonfire, hot cider, view of the Milky Way


To reserve your place at the table (seats are limited) go to:


Exploring a Sense of Place-
Because the City is Nature Too
A Workshop in the Deep Fork Watershed, Oklahoma City
October 15
This workshop will help us pull back our view of Oklahoma City and experience it as situated in the natural world. We will get acquainted with our Deep Fork watershed and bioregion, deepen our sense of place by visiting and exploring various sites around the city, learning our natural history and mapping our "home."

This workshop will be held at Turtle Rock Farm's location in Town, the CommonWealth Urban Farm community. Meet at 1000 NW 32nd Street, Oklahoma City. 
9:30 a.m. til 3 p.m. Bring a sack lunch.
$40 per adult; $15 youth and children age 7 and older

To Register, click on the Turtle Rock Farm Website Calendar

Where in the World are We
on Changes in Weather, Climate?

A Public Education Program
Available for your group, class, organization


While the very words "climate change" may elicit a charged response-fear, disbelief, denial, passion-the reality that we see changes in nature all around us and all around the world, raise some personal questions that we often are afraid to talk about, that cause us to be overwhelmed about what we alone can do, or even paralyzed by fear about what is happening to the planet.


This presentation, developed by a team with the Oklahoma United Methodist Environmental Coalition, is a user-friendly, interactive approach to facing, expressing and acting on our love for our planet home, our concern for the changes happening and our desire to do something to help. An interfaith, ecumenical or secular program, it is available for civic groups, clubs, youth and college groups, churches, synagogues, mosques, families. If you are ready to talk about what to do to care with the planet, personally or as a community, we're available to facilitate a process that will help you do that-in an hour program, or longer. There is hope!  


To find out more and schedule a presentation, contact:
Pat Hoerth, Turtle Rock Farm. or 580.917.6011

Nathaniel Batchelder, Oklahoma Peace House. 405.524.5577   



To Learn More about Turtle Rock Farm

Visit our Website:

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 - - and click on Green Connections, and use Paypal to send your donation.  

Meet our board members

Green Connections: Vicki Rose (treasurer), Elizabeth Box Price, Tom Temple, Pat Hoerth, Mary Moloney, Marcy Roberts, Josh Bush, Adam Price. 


Turtle Rock Farm Advisory Council: Barbara Hagan, Bruce Johnson  



T ransition OKC is a program of Green Connections. Find out more about its work on its website:

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5900 CR 90, Red Rock, OK 74651ยท 580.725.3411