Sometimes when people come
to Turtle Rock Farm to visit
and learn about the things we do
to connect with the natural world
and live sustainably with it,
they say, “That’s a lot of work.”
The idea of hanging out laundry
to dry in the air
when there’s a drying machine in the house
seems ridiculous.
The idea of raising chickens
and growing vegetables
seems overwhelming
when there is so much pressure
to accomplish the tasks already at hand.
The idea of building a house
with walls made of straw bales and mud
takes a bit of time to even begin to compute.

And then sometimes they look more deeply.
They take a seat in a rocker on the front porch
and watch the chickens and goats and alpaca and guineas
out in the pasture.
They eat a meal made with fresh vegetables
and locally, sustainably-grown cheeses and meats.
They take a walk through the prairie
or spend some time in the prairie labyrinth.
They enter into discussions
about their recent experiences with extreme weather
and they admit the fears about the future
that they manage to keep at bay.
We understand the sense of being too overwhelmed
to even think about making lifestyle changes.
And we understand that we can make a difference
in the way we live our lives each day.

I just finished reading environmentalist,
activist and author Bill McKibben‘s
latest book: Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet.
McKibben’s well-researched description
about the affects of a warming planet
is sobering, to say the least.
We know it is not easy
or comfortable
to consider what’s happening on the planet.
But we must
if we want to live here.
And this book also describes what people are doing
to be able to diminish the causes of global warming
and develop creative ways of living that will sustain life on the planet.
It’s exciting.
It’s hopeful.
It’s do-able.

We have discovered
that being in community
makes facing the future
and making changes
a lot more enjoyable.
So, we offer a day away
to look deeply together at what’s happening to the planet
and what are the next steps
we each can take to live more simply,
more sustainably.
Our next Simpler Living Retreat
is Saturday, November 5.
To register, go to our website,,
or click here.