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February 26, 2021

Discover Norwich Talk

Presenting on Sheep & Mills

By: Amanda Kievet

This past Thursday, February 25th we gave our first talk about the mill. The Zoom event was hosted by the Norwich Historical Society in partnership with Norwich Public Library for their weekly Discover Norwich Series, which came about as a way to raise money for local restaurants affected by the pandemic. For the cost of a meal out, folks can tune in to learn about wide-ranging topics. (I've attended both the Winter Hiking talk and the presentation about Dan and Whits — both fantastic and informative events!)

We were invited to speak by Roger Arnold from the Library back in early January. He found out about us online back when we had just a smattering of information about ourselves on our website and social media. Since then, we have completely changed locations, walls have been built and torn down, our equipment moved across the state, and the finish line is now in sight with plans to start processing wool in the coming week. This talk couldn't have come at a better time and served as a sort of informal coming out to our community.

There were around 75 folks attending over Zoom and we got a lot of good questions at the end of the talk (and lots of support flowing in through the chat). Sarah Rooker from the Historical Society started the night by presenting on the history of sheep and wool mills in our area back at a time when sheep greatly outnumbered people. Then we presented about small-flock sheep farming and walked through our process of turning raw wool into yarn. Then Lily Trajman from Norwich Knits, our local yarn store, facilitated a discussion about everything from water usage to the sweaters we were all wearing.

Unfortunately we forgot to hit record at the start of the event, so we and Sarah re-recorded our presentations and stitched together the discussion at the end.