Friday, February 25, 2011

season of the mud ( & guest blogging!)

The Meet the Farmers series has been invited to I will be traveling to local farms and exploring their relationship with the city. Visit #1 is the first farm in Virginia to be certified both Organic and Humane and is also the first farm in the nation to raise Certified Humane veal calves. If you've been following the blog you've probably picked up on some of my leanings concerning diet, but I believe it's in everyone's best interest to educate ourselves about the process of meat production and support people who are changing the way animals are raised and slaughtered. 

Next week I'll travel to a small goat farm and share my first attempts at making cheese. I've ordered my vegetable rennet, fresh culture, and butter muslin - fingers are crossed!

Here, on Mistaken For a Rebel, the family and I will be welcoming new chicks, the girls start their 4-H projects, and I'll don boots and head out in the mud to work on the new landscape series.

Friday, February 18, 2011

sunshine and easter eggs

Today the weather was in the high 60's again - what a treat for February! I did my best to split my studio time with farm work, but it was so hard to stay indoors and too windy to move the supplies outside. The sunny afternoon gave me the perfect opportunity to get around to a few chores that have been waiting, like hauling chicken poop to compost. While I was in the hen house I was surprised with the first Ameraucana egg. The  Ameraucana chickens have to be one of my favorites; they have feather ear tufts and lay light blue eggs. The breed is grouped together with what are called "Easter Eggers". They have a bird of prey look to them and I can imagine them strutting around in the wild unlike some of the other hens who's softer domesticated brand of beauty has them looking at home in their nesting box.  

image courtesy of

The longer days have a few of the girls laying regularly already. 

We have quite a variety of eggs and they're piling up. Today I had kale and a poached egg for lunch. This weekend I'll try some more egg recipes from a book I checked out at the library called, The Good Egg - the Poached Eggs on Creamy Curried Lentils are calling to me.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

contentment and responsibility (sunbathing with a chicken)

I saw the hens laying on their sides this morning soaking up some rare February sunbeams - it reminded me of this post from from last June. Wouldn't that feel great right now?

Oh, the honest pleasure of soaking in the sun's rays close to someone you trust.

It's moments like this that evoke a feeling of pity for the human animal. Here we are with this miracle mind - one that harnesses wonders and dazzles with its explorations, yet can't make out a path to peace and abundance. It's the stories about the oil in the water, the poison on our plate, and the unending rotation of battle that make it apparent we forgot that balancing at such great heights requires responsibility.

When holding an animal that's content you realize that you pretty much require the same things to get there - a lack of hunger, companionship, and trust. I know, those things go by a lot of other names....if only being seduced by complications didn't cause so much harm.

a new series on the blog - meet the farmers

I will be posting a new series covering farms that supply food to DC restaurants and farmers markets. It's going to be a who's who of the country side and a look at their relationship with the city.

Stay tuned!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day - candy, goat hide, love and marriage

I've always found a tie between the institution of marriage and this "Hallmark holiday" because both are what you want them to be. With marriage we let the ugly bits of history lose themselves as we entwine personal relationships and a relationship with society. How many of us find institutionalizing access to women and division of property romantic? That's what I thought, but watch a bridezilla and you'd think our ancient ancestors had intended to elevate every woman to the role of princess if she could just get a perfect proposal. In reality the experience of marriage and life partnerships ranges from culturally imposed duty, to reflection of the divine, and everything in between....sometimes on the same day.

With marriage you can't separate the legal from the intimate, or the religious from the personal that easily. I have friends who have married their partners, and friends who haven't. They have a collection of stories and a myriad of reasons. Humans are growing and loving and the old rules and customs are having a hard time keeping up. Then there's Valentine's day. What other day do we celebrate our partnerships without the rules. The origins may be sketchy, and some early celebrations included being smacked with goat hide, but what's wrong with a day when we are given a little nudge to celebrate our intimate companions. Sure it's commercialized, but try to tell me marriage isn't.

As my relationship with my partner evolved we made commitments that would have been there had we married, or not. I debated how I felt about marriage for some time while being fully committed to our partnership. It turns out we did get married and we chose this day to do it because our life together will be what we make it - it will include the lightheartedness of candy hearts and the weight of the many hopeful declarations before us.

Happy Valentine's day!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

studio audience

My little studio looks out toward the back yard - I always have an audience.

Their level of interest can range from endearing to spooky.


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