What better way to celebrate
Earth
than to enjoy it.
And we did,
last Saturday—
a beautiful,
clear,
warm,
yes, breezy,
Oklahoma April day.
We learned about bees and other pollinators,
took the Cosmic Walk,
made seed bombs,
spun silky alpaca wool,
cooked in solar ovens,
discovered Smart Pots,
toured the house made of straw and mud,
walked the prairie labyrinth,
watched the goats and alpaca,
led children on a nature scavenger hunt,
climbed old Junipers,
danced, hilariously, to sweet fiddle music,
picnicked on grilled corn and bison hot dogs,
and thanked the Earth.

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May we be so attentive,
so appreciative,
so thoughtful about living our lives
with this magnificent planet
every
day.

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Our Latest Newsletter
November 2015
Celebratory Days at Turtle Rock Farm

The Human Community Network's photo.

I know a group of people
who for the last year or more
have been studying
how to bring about
systemic transformation.
That was an abstraction
for me until they explained
what they mean. (We’ll get to that.)
At the same time,
I’ve been slogging through
Naomi Klein’s incredible book,
This Changes Everything.
It’s a slog because it is heavy
with information
and because it’s so well-developed
there’s a lot to take in. I still
have about half the book to read,
but I’m taking it as I can absorb it;
then I skipped from the middle
to the conclusion. There I found
much to inspire and encourage
and I think the effort my friends
here in Oklahoma City have been making
and are about to introduce
to the wider community
is an example of what Klein
suggests.

Climate change, Klein writes,
could be the “grand push,”
that brings together many people,
many movements for change,
that together
can support change,
right the wrongs
of history. “Climate change
is our chance to right those festering wrongs at last…
the unfinished business of liberation.”
It is possible and will take
“the convergence of diverse constituencies
on a scale previously unknown.”

“…any attempt to rise to the climate challenge will be fruitless unless it is understood as part of a much broader battle of worldviews, a process of rebuilding and reinventing the very idea of the collective, the communal, the commons, the civil and the civic after so many decades of attack and neglect.”

The Human Community Network
is a project in Oklahoma
that seeks to bring groups
together to support each other,
recognize the connections,
the interdependency—
the ways one process affects the others—
and work together using various creative
programs and methods
to educate
and make systemic changes
that encourage
the flourishing of life
for all.
This Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m.
in Room 151 Walker Center,
Oklahoma City University,
you can meet these visionaries
and learn about how you
can engage in this effort
to build The Human Community Network.
I’ll be there and would love to welcome you,
share in this exciting time
as we go forward through
an ecological crisis
toward a sustainable future.
“Fundamentally,” Naomi Klein writes:

the task is to articulate…an alternative worldview to rival the one at the heart of the ecological crisis—embedded in interdependence rather than hyper-individualism, reciprocity rather than dominance, and cooperation rather than hierarchy.

This is another lesson from the transformative movements of the past:…they dreamed in public, showed humanity a better version of itself, modeled different values in their own behavior, and in the process liberated the political imagination and rapidly altered the sense of what was possible.

We are at the beginning of our ninth year
at Turtle Rock Farm,
immersed in nature,
leading retreats and workshops
in an effort to help people connect
with the natural world,
of which they are an interdependent part,
and learn sustainability practices.
Now, as we also participate
in the CommonWealth Urban Farm
community in Oklahoma City,
and with Transition OKC,
we are connecting with a growing number
of Oklahomans, by golly,
who are committed to helping create
not only sustainable life,
but flourishing life for all.
The evolution
of our involvement is surprising—
as evolution often is—
and stunningly hopeful.
In many ways
we see not only
a way through the crisis,
together,
but the possibility that we enter
a time of immense change
in understanding,
in perception,
in action
that will benefit
all life on the planet.

More related invitations:
CommonWealth Urban Farms
Neighborhood Potluck at the Garden
is Saturday, October 31,
11:30-1:30 p.m.

Oklahoma City showing
of This Changes Everything,
the movie, is December 1st,
6:30 p.m. AMC Quail Springs Mall.
75 people must reserve tickets
so that the movie can be shown
in Oklahoma City.

We’ve been lucky the last six years;
on the day of the Green Connection’s
Prairie Dinner and Concert,
we’ve experienced Oklahoma breezes,
but never rain. It’s usually been sunny,
with crisp autumn air. But this year
was different. Normally, we begin
setting the long table about 1 p.m.
This year, we sat around the living room
watching the radar on our cell phones
trying to guess if the storms in the west,
would move more north,
more east,
or dissipate before reaching us.
Making the safest decision,
we began setting up the tables
in the round-top barn
instead of outdoors alongside
tree-lined Doe Creek.
There began
a different kind of Prairie Dinner and Concert:
the board members, Transition OKC‘s core team
and even guests who had already arrived
jumped in to help. There was wonderful
comaraderie as we also helped chef Kamala
and her kitchen staff set up in the barn as well.
Soon, the Closer to Earth youth arrived
and the abundant appetizers were set on a table
in the farmhouse backyard. Tom Temple uncorked
Woods & Water Winery‘s Merlot
as more and more guests arrived
and the seventh annual Green Connections
Barn on the Prairie Dinner
was no less magical than when it is
alongside Doe Creek. Different certainly—
after all, we were only kinda outside—
but no less magical.

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The five-course local food dinner
was scrumptious; who could choose
which dish was their favorite—creamy autumn
vegetable soup, roasted vegetables,
garlic mashed potatoes, roast (yes, local) beef,
chocolate torte…

Conversation was festive
inside the barn walls;
the service was sterling,
thanks to the Closer to Earth youth.
Marcy Roberts, who leads
the Transition OKC core team,
gave a beautiful tribute
to a surprised Lia Woods,
who received the Community Catalyst Award,
for her work in urban agriculture
at CommonWealth Urban Farms in Oklahoma City.

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Kyle Dillingham
played sweet and heart-achingly beautiful
music on that violin; his friend Claire
joined him for some jazzy tunes
on her saxophone; his son Christopher
and her son Moses played tag
with Kyle, as he played on;
a bonfire outside offered warmth
on an October evening,
as did the wonderful gathering
of people who care about Earth
and sustaining life for all.
And so it is to all,
that we offer our profound
gratitude.


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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!

Chef Kamala Gamble of Kam’s Kookery
has just given us some hints
about this year’s prairie dinner
local foods menu:

Appetizers;
Sun-dried tomato Crostini
Barb’s Homemade Pimento Cheese on Crostini
Anti-pasti-Seasonal Roasted Veggies

Soup:
Fall Vegetables minestrone or Pureed Southwest Vegetable Chowder

Salad:
Fall Salad with Local Spiced Pecans and Local apples or Pears with Blue Cheese

Entree:
Slow Braised Bergen Beef Brisket with Au jus
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Roasted Local Vegetables

Dessert:
Chocolate Torte with caramel

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Savoring this fresh, perfectly prepared,
colorful, healthy and scrumptious food
alongside gentle friends
on the prairie at Doe Creek
as Earth rolls up and sun shines
golden…oh my…

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And this year, along with the appetizers,
Transition OKC will announce the recipient
of its Community Catalyst Award.
It honors a person who is a catalyst
for Oklahoma City’s transition
to more local resiliency.
Looking forward to helping honor
that person!

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We heard too
that fiddler extraordinaire
Kyle Dillingham
will come to Turtle Rock Farm
fresh off a gig
at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds
before 30,000. His concert
in our round-top barn
will be much more intimate.
You won’t want to miss it.

It’s time!
Reserve your place at the table:
Green Connections website.

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Our May 2015 Newsletter!