By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
As fall begins, the 8th Annual Prairie Dinner and Concert at Turtle Rock Farm will once again offer guests an intimate experience with nature. The event includes a five-course local food dinner with beverages, a tour of the farm, and a concert complete with fire pit and apple cider.
The earth-lovers soirée will take place on Saturday, October 1 at the farm in north central Oklahoma, near Billings. Sponsored by Green Connections OKC, the event is a joint effort of Turtle Rock Farm and Transition OKC, a catalyst for Oklahoma City’s transition to local resiliency.
Turtle Rock is a 1600-acre farm dedicated to sustainability and spirituality. It became a retreat in 2007 to help others connect with nature.
The home of former governor and U.S. Senator Henry Bellmon, Turtle Rock is a working farm run by Bellmon’s daughters, Pat Hoerth and Ann Denney.
“Something comes over us when we realize it’s time for the annual Green Connections’ Prairie Dinner and Concert,” said Hoerth. “It is our favorite evening of the whole year.
“Friends who care about the planet gather on the prairie for a leisurely afternoon, visit around the farm, an elegant dinner along Doe Creek, amazing music in the old round-top barn, with the Milky Way splashed all across the sky,” said Hoerth.
Beginning at 3 p.m., guests can take a leisurely walk around the farm, visit the straw bale and mud hermitage; trek through the prairie labyrinth, or relax on the porch.
At 4:30 p.m. attendees will gather at Doe Creek for appetizers and wine provided by Woods & Waters Winery and Vineyard. And at 5 p.m. Chefs Kamala Gamble and Barbara Mock from Oklahoma City’s Kam’s Kookery will serve a five-course local food dinner.
After sunset, musicians Kyle Dillingham and Horseshoe Road will perform in the Round Top Barn.
“Only the night air and the promise of something quite extraordinary could move us from the table,” Hoerth says. “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 entertainers extraordinaire, Kyle Dillingham and Horseshoe Road.”
“From that first strike of bow and string, we are carried into the night in a way that only their music can,” Hoerth added.
Hoerth says the evening will be a very special experience for visiting guests.
Green Connections is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization committed to ecological education. Its mission is to help people connect with nature, get to know it more deeply and learn to live more sustainably.
Tickets to the event are $75 per adult and $50 for children under 12.
Proceeds from the event go to Green Connections for its nature education programs.
“Turtle Rock Farm Retreat is a gift we want to share,” said Hoerth. “In our modern world, many of us don’t have the opportunity to be deeply involved in nature, so we invite people to come to our family farm and spend time paying attention to the natural world.”
Turtle Rock is located about one hour north of Edmond. Take exit 203 (Billings/Marland/Hwy15) off Interstate 35. Parking is available on the north side of the farmhouse.