Those Days Are Gone: The Story of Turf

TheWexfordInn

Donator
PI Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2015
Messages
4,428
Likes
5,905
Very environmentally damaging now - those days are over
Besides we are all a lot more prosperous now and dont need to be digging up turf for the fire anymore
The amount of environment damage caused by people manually digging up turf from their bog smallholding was insignificant in comparison to say the amount of C02 that the average person produces today. And back then that was the only option available for many to keep their house warm in winter.

But yeah the industrial digging up of turf by Bord Na Mona amounts to monumental environmental vandalism. Certainly loses our moral high ground when it comes to ability to condemn Brazil or other tropical countries cutting down their rain forests.
 

IrishJohn

PI Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2018
Messages
1,804
Likes
3,923
The amount of environment damage caused by people manually digging up turf from their bog smallholding was insignificant in comparison to say the amount of C02 that the average person produces today. And back then that was the only option available for many to keep their house warm in winter.

But yeah the industrial digging up of turf by Bord Na Mona amounts to monumental environmental vandalism. Certainly loses our moral high ground when it comes to ability to condemn Brazil or other tropical countries cutting down their rain forests.
Don't believe the propaganda CO2 is harmless.
 

Ted

PI Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2016
Messages
2,667
Likes
4,070
I remember going out turf cutting when on childhood family holidays we used to help out cutting turf for the next winter and taking in the hay and so on.
We had those specially shaped spades with a long and narrow blade on the end. The turf weighs a ton when you dig it up as its got so much water in it, it was hard work which is why my relatives appreciated having some extra manpower from us coming down on holidays to help out.
As a child I cut turf with my father, using the sleán and fork. It's a skill I could still use if called upon. Same goes for the scythe.

"My grandfather cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner’s bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away
Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
Over his shoulder, going down and down
For the good turf. Digging."

Heaney
 
Last edited:

TheWexfordInn

Donator
PI Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2015
Messages
4,428
Likes
5,905
Don't believe the propaganda CO2 is harmless.
I think its a fact that C02 is a greenhouse gas so any C02 released into the atmosphere will contribute towards the amount of Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere adding to their contribution towards Global warning. Although I accept that their contribution towards Global warming might be less significant than the effect of Solar Activity.

So I dont subscribe to the claims that C02 created by Human activity is in totality responsible for the global warming that the planet has seen over the last 150 years I will view it as a contributory factor so should be limited where possible. And digging up bogs does add to atmospheric C02.
And on top of that I see the bogs as significant unique habitats that should be protected in the same way as the habitats of tropical rainforests.
 

TheWexfordInn

Donator
PI Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2015
Messages
4,428
Likes
5,905
As a child I cut turf with my father, using the sleán and fork. It's a skill I could still use if called upon. Same goes for the scythe.

"My grandfather cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner’s bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away
Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
Over his shoulder, going down and down
For the good turf. Digging."

Heaney
Thats another thing I remember, people used to bring along drinks in milk bottles when cutting turf / making hay. I cant remember how they corked the bottles but I I think they were drinking cold tea. Us "posh" lot up from Dublin used to have warm tea in Flasks.

Im not sure I think your "going down and down" description was accurate.
The difficulty in cutting turf was the weight of it from the amount of water it was holding.
The aim was to stick near the surface and dig a complete layer before going any deeper where there would be more water and therefore more weight.
 
Top