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Heritage Sheep

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station description Two archaeology-grad/crafter friends discuss food and domestic history
Bread and Thread
Duration: 38:14
Shrek the sheep: https://www.littlethings.com/shrek-the-sheep/6

Transcript

opening music
Liz: Hello and welcome to Bread and Thread, a podcast about food and domestic history. I'm Liz
Hazel: I'm Hazel. We're two people who studied archaeology together and love history
L: So what have you been doin
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Shrek the sheep: https://www.littlethings.com/shrek-the-sheep/6

Transcript

opening music
Liz: Hello and welcome to Bread and Thread, a podcast about food and domestic history. I'm Liz
Hazel: I'm Hazel. We're two people who studied archaeology together and love history
L: So what have you been doing craft-wise this week?
H: I have branched out into gardening
L: Ooh
H: But, no branches actually involved. I planted my woad, at the weekend. Turns out digging is actually quite tiring. Who knew?
L: Hazel you did archaeology
H: I know but I kind of, I haven't excavated in a while
L: Is it the digging properly down rather than scraping back layers that does it?
H: Yeah. I mean don't get me wrong, I've done my fair share of mattocking but I was a bit useless at that as well to be honest. But I did it! I dug myself a bed for the woad. And I planted it, and it should be ready in July, it should be fully grown
L: So we're going to see some beautiful blue-dyed wool in the summer?
H: Yeah I'll do some videos because woad is, when you dye with woad it looks grey in the pot, and then you pick it out and it turns blue with oxidisation
L: Oh that's very cool. That is actual witchcraft
H: I know! It kind of makes you understand why woad is associated with like, magic and things. It's very cool. So yeah hopefully. All I need to do is make it not die within the next month
L: So that it can dye
H: Yes, but constructively. What have you been up to?
L: I have been coping with anxiety by making salted caramel brownies
H: That is an extremely valid coping mechanism
L: Yeah, like all you have to do is like, you put the brownie batter in the pan, you put on just some blobs of salted caramel on top and just kind of like swirl it through with a chopstick and you get these beautiful kind of feathery patterns of caramel and when you bake it they just kind of crisp up and melt into the brownies. It's so good. So good
H: I can see them, I can taste them. Why would you do this to me?
L: When we are no longer on lockdown I shall produce some brownies
H: Yes! I look forward to being on the receiving end of production
L: On the receiving end of some brownies?
H: laughs When you put it like that it sounds a bit aggressive doesn't it
L: I'll just get a trebuchet, and just launch them to Sussex. It'll be fine
H: Mmm. Have we talked about this before? I feel like this is a strategy we've done before
L: Possibly. But on the other hand I really like siege weaponry
H: laughs That is a point you've got there, I cannot deny that
L: Yeah
H: I'll do it for science
L: So, I believe this is another episode that was suggested by a listener
H: It was! Yeah, I am terrible and have forgotten who it was, who was it?
L: Andy, on Twitter
H: Yeah thanks Andy! 'Cos I really like sheep and now I get to talk about it, to the internet
L: I am very excited to learn all there is to know about heritage sheep breeds
H: So, turns out there's a lot of breeds of sheep
L: What?!
H: They're quite a popular animal so I'm not going to tell you about all of the sheep breeds, but I've sort of picked out some of the more interesting ones to mention. So, sheep have been domesticated for, for quite a long time, but they weren't used for wool until. They're thought to have been domesticated between 11,000 and 8,000BC
L: Is this our friend the fertile crescent?
H: It is! It's Mesopotamia!
L: Heack yeah
H: Yeah everyone loves the Levant
L: We can say "heck" right?
H: Yeah
L: Nice
H: That's fine, probably. So, but at that time they were kept for their meat, and for their milk. And for their pelts, as well. They didn't really begin to be used for wool until the Bronze Age. The Bronze Age in Europe, anyway. I'm going to keep this probably more European/British focused because I don't have a huge amount of knowledge about wool specifically outside of that region
L: I mean I feel like if we covered every breed of sheep from all the countries this might take a while
H: Pretty much. And the ancient breed of sheep was a lot smaller than it is today, and the coat was less big and fluffy and probably coarser. But with selective bleed- breeding over the centuries they've got a lot more diversified in terms of the breeds, and some of them are really specialised for their wool. So originally they probably wouldn't have been shorn, sheep moult wool naturally
L: Yeah because you can like pick it off fences in fields can't you?
H: Yeah, and at least the more ancient breeds would have done this. Modern breeds do need to be sheared because otherwise their wool doesn't come off
L: Have you seen Shrek the sheep?
H: I have! Is that the one that escaped for like six years?
L: Yeah, I will post, I will find something about Shrek the sheep and I'll put it in the show notes so that everyone can see the glory
H: It will bring joy to your day, it really will laughs. So, orig
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