Lay of the Land
Sustainable Practices at Turtle Rock Farm
We try to grow as much of what we eat as we can and buy from local growers through the Oklahoma Food Coop and at farmers markets. We serve only organic, shade-grown, free-trade coffee.
We recycle and reuse. We take our own bags when we go shopping.
We capture rainwater in barrels. Rain water is captured and gravity fed to lines in the high tunnel to water the plants. We save the water from showering to be used in the toilet tanks and for watering plants (we use biodegradable soaps.) We have installed low-flow shower heads and have a front-loading washing machine. Gardens at the Pond House are watered from the pond. We grow xeriscape plants.
We grow vegetables, pecans and honey without using chemicals. We use cardboard and straw and leaves in the gardens to control weeds, keep ground temperature cooler and save water. We have built a high tunnel (unheated greenhouse) to grow year-round (with shade cloth in the summer; plastic covering in the winter.) We compost, including vermi-composting.
We have installed solar panels on both the farmhouse and the pond house. A solar panel provides energy for the fan in the high tunnel. We hang clothes outside to dry. We keep our thermostats set at 65-68 in the winter and 80-83 in the summer. We have programmable thermostats. We have efficient wood-burning stoves in the houses, for supplemental heating. We use Energy Star appliances, including an on-demand hot water heater. For driving around the farm, we use an electric cart. We use LED and compact flourescent light bulbs. Our window shades are energy-savers.
The hermitage is sited to be passive solar. Its walls are made of straw bales and covered on the inside with earth plaster from the site; with lime plaster on the outside. It has a composting toilet. The ceiling is insulated with cellulose. It was built by the hands of many friends.
And…We use natural cleaning supplies. When we have to use trash bags (often we use feed sacks) we use compostable or recycled plastic bags. We use cloth napkins, rags and handkerchiefs. We use recycled paper and refillable ink pens; we print on both sides of the paper.
Turtle Rock Farm Retreat Center is proud to have received the first platinum rating given by TravelOK, for our sustainability practices. Thank you TravelOK, for supporting sustainability!