Mea McNeil is a writer, organic farmer, and Master Beekeeper, whose work focuses on beekeeping, pollination, and sustainability. Mea has written books about wine and arthritis (the latter used at a Harvard teaching clinic), as well as two books of mythology which she illustrated. One is a block-printed orihon, the other was awarded the Aesop Accolade from the American Folklore Association.
Mea spent a year living on an Israeli kibbutz and, back when one still could, she hitched overland from Lebanon through Afghanistan and Pakistan, on the way to Japan. There, she lived in a school for tea ceremony and picked up an enduring meditation practice. She has also spent 12 years writing, crafting, and performing rod and shadow puppet plays based on mythology in an NEA-supported touring troupe that represented the U.S. at a festival in France. She later traveled the world to explore the synapses between ritual and theater. Mea recently completed an MFA in narrative nonfiction writing at Mills College, where she won the Teppola Nonfiction Writing Prize. She lives in Marin with her husband and youngest son in a strawbale house. One wall of the house is pictured here. (Its rust color comes from ferrous oxide, which is sold as a fertilizer.)