Turtle Barn Organic Farm - Edmond Oklahoma

Dancing on the farm

Amma’s Green Friends was the inspiration for the creation of Turtle Barn Organic Farm in Edmond, Oklahoma. After doing seva in Amma’s vegetable garden and orchard at the MA Center in San Ramon in the 90’s, the Edmund, OK community realized they had the learning base to create a local farm. The intention of Turtle Barn Organic Farm is to be a sanctuary for community members to become more in touch with nature and to grow their own food.

Started in 2001, Turtle Barn Organic Farm has evolved through the years. It began as a family farm that took produce to the local market and taught organic gardening to Vo-Tech students and apprentices. Within a year it became a “pick your own” CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm that began with seven families picking their own vegetables and fruits, and expanded to fifteen families.

Organic yoga down on the farm...

Many schools, scout groups and churches have enjoyed being in nature while touring Turtle Barn Organic Farm. The farm encourages groups to come for the day and cook at the campfire. Scouts have earned up to seven Nature badges for their participation in the activities created for them at the farm. Youth sign a pledge to be a Green Friend who helps the earth by recycling, re-using, restoring, respecting and caring for nature. Tours are oriented to helping youth “see, discover and uncover” what is right in front of their eyes. Instead of pointing out green beans, strawberries and peas, farm members provide a few hints and encourage youth to be a detective and discover them on their own. Their excitement at finding these vegetables gets even the most bored junior high kids involved. Nature does that for all of us. It connects and inspires all!

As more help was needed on the farm, a paid work/learn program was added for students from local colleges. College students are eager to learn about growing. Most plan to grow their own food, and are thrilled at the opportunity to be paid for hands on learning. For example, just last month there was an “aha” moment, when several of the bright science and engineering college students realized the flower from the strawberries, apple tree, blackberries and raspberries actually grows into the fruit. This came about after the farm added bee hives.

Farm members were noticing and commenting on how much more fruiting was happening because of the bee’s pollination. One of the farmers said, “If every flower becomes a fruit, our apple tree will have its limbs hanging way low.”

Turtle Barn Farm
Because the students had not previously realized that the fruit grew out of the flower, they were in awe after discovering this. They had seen the strawberry blooms, but did not know the bloom became the strawberry until they noticed the little green strawberries forming where the flower had been. What seems natural and common sense is not so until you discover and make it your own.Farming is a wonderful time to share Amma’s observations about nature with the students and humanity’s role in preserving it.

Amma inspects Turtle Barn produce "We must become aware that polluting the rivers and seas is tantamount to injecting poison into our blood streams. Remove human beings for some time from the face of this earth. In no time at all, all the other creatures will thrive. The earth will abound in lush flora. Water will become pure. Bliss will pervade the world.

Now, imagine doing away with all the other creatures and keeping just the human beings. This will spell the destruction of the human race. We should give as much attention to protecting nature as we would to maintaining the health of our body’s limbs. May it never be that in order for the earth to remain alive, human beings have to die."

- Amma

Harvest lunch at the farm - the farm crew picked their own salad and I cooked up some snow peas, red potatoes and onions and sausage and of course, strawberries from the garden for desert.

The crew ranges in age from 12 to 84!  Soami, age 12 and Christopher, age 15, have been pickers on the farm since they were 4. Now they are part of the farm crew!


Choosing seeds
Beekeeping Direct planting Singing sunflower
Hard on the knees Teens on the farm Mixing seeding soil Tetsing soil moisture
More water! Farmers More teens Harvest

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