The light has changed—
to that cooler, longer-shadowed
golden light
that heralds autumn. Even
on hot days now
the light is autumn’s.
This week
it won’t be hot either.
As we prepare for Green Connections’
Prairie Dinner and Concert,
we wear long sleeves
driving mower and bush hog,
making the last rounds
of the summer. We will
have to hunt for late-blooming
Maximillian Sunflowers
since the 7-footer sunflowers
blossoms are mostly spent.
Migrant birds and butterflies
are sipping from Russian Sage
and Lantana,
picking Hackberries.
It’s the autumnal week
of the Prairie Dinner and Concert.
Chef Kam has made the local foods menu,
the wine is on its way from vineyard to our farm,
tables and chairs reserved
with the City of Billings,
cloths and napkins pressed.
Kyle Dillingham stands at the ready,
fiddles nearby.
Transition OKC’s Community Catalyst Award
glistens, ready for the winner.
We are going to gather on a crisp
autumn Saturday afternoon
to enjoy and celebrate Earth,
promote sustainability,
resiliency,
community.

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Now’s the moment,
if you have yet to reserve
your place at the table:
Go to
the Green Connections website.
See you Saturday!

What could be better
than a picnic outdoors with friends!

Maybe a picnic with friends
along Doe Creek
as Earth rolls up and the sun disappears?

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What could be better than a picnic with friends
along Doe Creek
as Earth rolls up and the sun disppears!

Maybe a five-course local foods picnic
prepared by Chef Barb of Kam’s Kookery
with friends
along Doe Creek
as Earth rolls up and the sun disappears?

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What could be better than a five-course local foods picnic
prepared by Chef Barb of Kam’s Kookery
with friends
along Doe Creek
as Earth rolls up and the sun disappears?

Maybe a five-course local foods picnic
prepared by Chef Barb of Kam’s Kookery
with friends
and Woods & Waters wine
along Doe Creek
as Earth rolls up and the sun disappears?

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What could be better than
a five-course local foods picnic
prepared by Chef Barb of Kam’s Kookery
with friends
and Woods & Waters wine
along Doe Creek
as Earth rolls up and the sun disappears!

Maybe a five-course local foods picnic
prepared by Chef Barb of Kam’s Kookery
with friends
and Woods & Waters wine
along Doe Creek
as Earth rolls up and the sun disappears,
followed by an evening stroll to the round-top barn
and a stupendous concert by Kyle Dillingham?

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What could be better than
a five-course local foods picnic
prepared by Chef Barb of Kam’s Kookery
with friends
and Woods & Waters wine
along Doe Creek
as Earth rolls up and the sun disappears,
followed by an evening stroll to the round-top barn
and a stupendous concert by Kyle Dillingham!

Maybe a five-course local foods picnic
prepared by Chef Barb of Kam’s Kookery
with friends
and Woods & Waters wine
along Doe Creek
as Earth rolls up and the sun disappears,
followed by an evening stroll to the round-top barn,
a stupendous concert by Kyle Dillingham,
and a bonfire,
and gazing at the Milky Way?

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Well, really, there are any number
of possibilities to gather with friends
in nature
on a local foods picnic
with fabulous home-grown music—
maybe as many possibilities
as there are stars in the Milky Way!—
but this is one
not to be missed. And this year,
there’s a special surprise!

Join us for the Seventh Annual
Green Connections’
Prairie Dinner and Concert
at Turtle Rock Farm
Saturday, October 3.
Arrive at 3 p.m. for an afternoon in the country
meeting animals
touring the straw bale hermitage
walking the prairie labyrinth
farmhouse porch-sitting
taking a walk around the big pond
checking out the high tunnel garden…
Appetizers along Doe Creek at 4:30 p.m.
Dinner at 5.

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Reserve your seat at the table
(limited seating)
at www.greenconnectionsok.org

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Youth from St. Stephen’s United Methodist Church in Broken Arrow
came Friday evening,
settled into the strawbale hermitage
and put up cots in the tipi
then checked out the moon and planets
through the telescope.
By early morning,
they were up early,
good scouts they also are,
and helped us set up
for the fifth annual Green Connections Earth Day Celebration.
They stayed all day,
and joined other guests engaging
in the events and activities,
meeting the animals,
touring the strawbale with Tom Temple,
and the solar shower,
which he set up again for the season;
walking the labyrinth,
sitting on the porch,
climbing trees,
visiting the high tunnel garden…

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The Transition OKC team
invited guests to make their own toothpaste
(mint or cinnamon)
and make bookmarks
using flower petals and other natural materials.

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Green Connections board members
Tom Temple, Bruce Johnson, Barbara Hagan,
Dorothy Gray volunteered all day.
Bruce cooked granola in the solar oven
and he and Barbara demonstrated
how efficient energy can be produced.
Our friend Deb Blakely taught
about wild bees and how to make a wild bee home.
Transition OKC team member Josh Buss
stepped up to build fires for the bison hot dog cooking
and grilled the corn on the cob.
Dave Conrad led a drum circle
that brought everyone into a zone
of relaxation and connection with Earth.
Patty and Bill Cummings and Matthew Hill
played fiddle music that heals the heart
and buoys the spirit.
Lisa Piccolo demonstrated the gentle art
of spinning alpaca fiber.
Tulsa Sierra Club members shared seeds
and Loblolly Pine seedlings.
Some walked the timeline of the creation of the universe,
the “Cosmic Walk.”
We joined together in a liturgy thanking all our Earth kin.

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The sun shone.
The breeze settled.
Late in the day I stood,
a bit apart,
for a moment
and reflected on this little scene:
People came to the prairie,
to a place where they could
for a day
spend time outdoors,
under a big sky,
learning, celebrating, being together,
being healed in the wind and the sun
and the quiet
alongside others. I’m not sure why
everyone made such an effort.
It is amazing that they did—
a glad moment,
sustaining all.

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Seems a tiny effort,
setting aside one day
to celebrate Earth,
our home.
Clouds hang low—
there has been rain!—
over greening grass and trees,
so newly green,
many gorgeous shades,
that celebration rises
from within. Iris
are fully opened,
stunning in their colors,
and tiny, white star-shaped flowers
pop up in the grass. Mockingbird
and Kildeer and Cardinal
and dear Phoebe
are fully voiced. Tiny frogs
serenade into the night. Why wouldn’t we
join in the celebration—
moment
to moment—
and
for an official Earth Day:
Saturday, April 25
at Turtle Rock Farm?
It’s the fifth year Green Connections
has sponsored the party
and the education. Besides food
(free Wichita Buffalo Company hot dogs
and corn on the cob—cookout at 3 p.m.)
and music,
we will gather round at 1 p.m. for the Earth Drum Circle,
led by Dave Conrad,
and then officially thank the Earth in a brief ceremony.
From 11 a.m. there will be activities….
the Cosmic Walk
solar demonstration
make your own toothpaste
make a wild bee house
visit animals
tour the strawbale hermitage
see the high tunnel garden
walk the prairie labyrinth
sit on the farmhouse front porch
make gifts from natural materials
with the TransitionOKC team.
It’s always (this is the fifth year)
a gentle time…
time to be on the prairie,
visit with folks…
spend the day outdoors
on this glorious planet.

Visit our fb event page and let us know
you’re coming
so we have a hot dog at the grill
for you!

 

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Evolving at Turtle Rock Farm
Our March Newsletter

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Something comes over us
when we realize it’s time
for the annual Green Connections’
Prairie Dinner and Concert.
No matter how much is going on,
or how long the to-do list grows,
there’s a feeling of gladness
in the air. It’s like we’re smiling
inside, carrying
a secret:
soon, gentle folks will drive up
County Road 90, emerge
from their cars,
relaxed, smiling,
hugging each other,
expectant of
another magical evening.
A casual stroll on the prairie,
visit to the magical-in-itself strawbale and mud hermitage,
maybe a walk on the labyrinth at the top of our hill,
a tour of the fall garden,
hanging out with the goats and alpaca
and then
we go down to the edge of Doe Creek
where Chef Barb of Kam’s Kookery
has laid out an elegant table
of just the beginnings of a five-course sumptuous
local foods dinner
and Woods & Waters best Oklahoma wine.
At table, donned with autumn’s prairie flowers,
our most congenial board members
serve the rest: soup, salad, breads,
great bowls of homegrown vegetables
and heavy platters of Oklahoma beef
cooked to perfection. And finally, some
wonderful confection, just about the time
Earth rolls up and sun disappears. Only
the night air could move us from the table,
that moment of complete gladness…
Well, night air
and the promise of something else
quite extraordinary.
We saunter
down the road and into the old round-top barn,
find places on straw bales,
wrap our hands around mugs of hot cider
and settle in for a concert by our dear old friend
Kyle Dillingham. From that first strike of bow
and string, we are carried into the night
in a way that only his music can.
We never want that to end either.
I remember
one year when Kyle, as if sensing the spell
the music had cast and not wanting to break it,
invited us to follow him as he fiddled us out
to the small bonfire just outside the barn.
We circled round the fire,
there under a canopy of stars,
as he played that hauntingly beautiful melody
in “Ashokun’s Farewell.” We lingered in silence
for a moment then, letting the music last.
Looking up finally, there was the Milky Way.
Two people told us that it was the most important
night of their lives.

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We can’t promise, of course.
We can’t make it happen.
It just seems the elements
are all present
and then something comes into play
that none of us can create
on our own.
For five years, this night
has been magical. Perhaps it will be,
this, the sixth year, as well.

Saturday, 4 October.
Come at 3.
Dinner at 5:30.
Concert following.
The Milky Way is already showing.

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Reserve your place at the table
here: www.greenconnectionsok.org
Deadline: October 1.
This is a fund-raiser for Green Connections
and its work of Earth education.
Transition OKC
is a program of Green Connections.