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Hothouse is a podcast about design, ecology, and the way we garden now. Host Leah Churner sits down with experts and enthusiasts to talk about permaculture, the urban landscape, and how plants sometimes give us the feels. A meeting of the minds for plant people and the horticulture-curious, Hothouse is a different kind of gardening show: less of the how-to and more of the who, what, where, when, and why.

Aug 23, 2020

Turtle rabbit. Shell possum. Roadkill. Whatever you call it, the nine-banded armadillo is a mysterious, ancient, and unfairly maligned mammal. Find out everything you ever wanted to know (and more) about this Texas icon. Leah traces the armadillo’s bizarre migratory history, its role in medical research, and its rise as a symbol of the Austin music scene. We’ll bust some armadillo myths, meet some famous champions (including naturalist Roy Bedichek and artist Jim Franklin) and discuss the intractable problem of armadillos in the garden. So, spark up a spliff and fill your pantyhose with worms! The next time one wreaks havoc on your flowerbeds, you may just have a little more appreciation for this humble critter. 

Songs: “Dead Armadillo Song” by the Lost Gonzo Band; “Spanish Moss” by Doug Kershaw; “Armadillo Stomp” by Commander Cody & the Lost Planet Airmen;  “You Look Like the Devil” by Willie Nelson; “London Homesick Blues” by Gary P Nunn; “Beautiful Texas Sunshine” by Doug Sahm. Here’s a Spotify playlist.  

Mentioned in this episode: 

Pink Fairy Armadillo; Adventures With a Texas Naturalist by Roy Bedicheck; The Amazing Armadillo by Larry L. Smith and Robin W. Doughty; The Armadillo World Headquarters: A Memoir by Eddie Wilson Jessie Sublett ; The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock, by Jan Reid; “The Rise and Fall of the Armadillo World Headquarters” doc; “Poster Art of the Armadillo World Headquarters” doc ; A Poem is a Naked Person, a film by Les Blank; Franklin’s story about “You Look Like the Devil” told on Pick Up The Tempo podcast; “Armadillo Man,” (The New Yorker, 1971). Managing Armadillo Damage (Texas A&M Agrilife Extension).