At Turtle Rock Farm Retreat Center
At a time when people live in more concrete than grass,
are rushed and multi-tasking,
always available for messages and phone calls,
we hope to create a welcoming place in the country
where people can go on retreat
and spend time in nature.
At a time when the planet is struggling;
when air is filled with carbon dioxide,
creating dramatic and disastrous changes in climate;
when water is contaminated and dwindling,
when soil is depleted and dead,
we hope to model sustainable living
and offer a hands-on learning environment
in which to make our “next steps”
in sustainable living—
so that all on the planet
The tour of Turtle Rock Farm retreat center may include gardens and high tunnel, beehives (from a safe distance), animals, straw bale and mud hermitage, tipi, swales and berms.
Animals we companion with include:
alpaca—because they are not domestic animals and we can experience being together on their terms; too, we use their manure in our composting projects
guinea fowl—because they love to eat grasshoppers and ticks (and we love to watch them grazing around the farm)
chickens—because they scratch around aereating the soil, fertilize, eat bugs and provide food (eggs, primarily)
honey bees—because one third of human food supply depends on pollinators
red wiggler worms—because they turn kitchen scraps and alpaca manure into nutritious fertilizer
In addition to the tour, guests are invited to join us when we feed the animals mornings and evenings.
People of all ages can participate in the tour, which lasts an hour to two hours, depending on the desires and capabilities of the group.
We offer several nature learning experiences, including walks on the prairie and along the creeks, morning and evening and night time sky meditations. Content and length (from one hour to several days) depend on the ages of the participants and the desires of the group. These experiences are designed to give people a chance to learn how to see and understand nature and its systems more deeply. They may also include drawing, photography, journaling, writing.
We offer workshops and retreats that help people reconnect with nature so that we can live in ways that are healthy for all life on Earth. We also offer the opportunity for personal retreats, for restorative, healing time in nature.
The Cosmic Walk is a walk through the evolution of the universe, as developed at Genesis Farm in New Jersey. The wondrous events of the development of the universe and planet earth are narrated, and then each person is invited to take the silent walk reading the story, illustrated with artwork. Discussion of the experience follows. Related liturgy is also available.
Our labyrinth is mowed into the native prairie grass at the highest point on the farm, with a 360-degree view of the plains and embraced by the vast bowl of sky. It is the Chartres design, 84-feet in diameter. We are happy to give a brief orientation about the various ways to experience a labyrinth walk as a spiritual exercise. It is always available (weather permitting) and it is a special experience to walk it in the light of a full moon!
Guests on personal retreats stay in the hermitage, and provide their own food. We are happy to give them complete solitude (supported silently with our intentions for their healing respite) or we are glad to share time with them in spiritual direction, sustainability tours, animal feeding times, nature walks, etc.
CUSTOM OR GUIDED RETREATS
We can design a retreat around a theme for groups or individuals, offering education, experiences in nature, volunteering, as well as free-time. We can also facilitate guided personal retreats with a spiritual director around spiritual issues or themes. Give us a call and we can discuss ideas for your retreat.
RETREAT THEMES may include both areas of sustainability and spirituality (but are not limited to:) Living in the Moment/Living in Presence, Meditation, Prayer, Sabbath-Keeping, The New Cosmology, Active Hope in a Changing World, Cosmic Walk and Human Time, Beekeeping, Raising Chickens, Cooking for the Planet, Composting, Gardening, Making Natural Cleaning Supplies, Simpler Living, Non-Violent Communication, Spending Time in Nature, Life with Animals……
CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
It is our greatest joy to welcome children to Turtle Rock Farm. We love the current trend in Grandparent Camps, when grandparents bring grandchildren to the farm. Children need to be free to explore in nature (supervised) because it is essential for their healthy development and it is essential for the future health of our planet. What we don’t know or are afraid of, we can’t care with. We can offer suggestions and leadership about activities for children and family.
PROGRAMMED DAY RETREATS
On Saturdays, we often offer day retreats that are focused on sustainability and/or spirituality. We believe that we can’t sustain sustainability without a spiritual foundation. And if we have a strong spiritual foundation, we will continue to do the work of living sustainably. Our workshops and retreats can be found at our Calendar link. You are also welcome to reserve the hermitage on the nights before and/or of the day retreat.
VERY SPECIAL EVENTS
Earth Day Celebration 2013
Prairie Dinner 2013
Two very special events are held at Turtle Rock Farm annually: In autumn, Green Connections’ Prairie Dinner and Concert and in spring, an Earth Day Celebration. You can learn more about them at our Special Events links: Earth Day. Prairie Dinner and Concert.