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.

DSCN1710

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

DSCN1710

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.

DSCN1720


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.

DSCN1725
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.

DSCN4705

What a Summer! at Turtle Rock Farm
Our September Newsletter

 

 

 

DSCN4191

Our July-August Newsletter
Summer (Sorta) at Turtle Rock Farm

 

DSCN1757

Beauty and Magical Moments at Turtle Rock Farm.
Our November Newsletter

By definition,
the thing about magical moments
is you really don’t know
how they happen.
Yes, our wise and wonderful
board members were present
all day, making preparations.
Yes, we set a beautiful table
down by Doe Creek.
Yes, lovely guests arrived
with heirloom squash in hand;
with eagerness and curiosity
to tour and explore;
with delight for conversation
and connection.
Yes, Kam’s Kookery
cooked a fabulous dinner
of local foods
which we ate together
as sun disappeared in the west
and the sky turned pale pink.
Yes, Woods & Waters Winery’s
Shiraz was perfect.
Yes, Ann Zimmerman
performed a gentle, brilliant
concert in the old round-top barn.
Yes, the moon, the stars
and a fire warmed us too.
So, perhaps, it wasn’t one element,
but I’m not sure
how all of them combined
made it happen.
Maybe it’s the quality
of each element—
homegrown food,
prepared kindly;
homegrown live music
with heart;
a natural setting,
soft and lovely;
friends,
with a passion
for the planet,
gathered.
Can’t really say
why;
only
that it was
all
together
magic.

DSCN1689Green Connection board members setting the table alongside Doe Creek

DSCN1695Guests arriving, greeting each other

DSCN1701

DSCN1697

DSCN1698Sharing an heirloom squash

DSCN1704Spending time with the animals

DSCN1692

DSCN1711Touring (Strawbale hermitage, in background)

DSCN1706

Ann Zimmerman, warming up for the after-dinner concert

DSCN1708

DSCN1710

DSCN1715Last chance at the appetizer table

DSCN1716Board members Shauna Struby, Barbara Hagan and Bruce Johnson welcome dinner guests

DSCN1720

DSCN1717

DSCN1721

DSCN1725The traditional wave photos—from both ends of the table

DSCN1726

DSCN1731The Concert