I know almost everyone in Ireland probably knows what “turf” is and how important it has been to our ancestors & even us today. We burn it to stay warm & cook food etc but many people from other countries know nothing about it, so I’ll try explaining a little on where it actually comes from ?
In this image you can see common “turf” which is stacked into piles, so that it may dry out in the suns warm breeze. It will then be used for burning in homes across Donegal & Ireland. Turf is cut from Peat blogland, which forms when plant material does not fully decay in wet acidic conditions. It is composed mainly of vegetation mainly bog plants including mosses and shrubs. As it accumulates, the peat holds water. This slowly creates wetter conditions that allow the area of wetland to expand. Most modern peat bogs formed 12,000 years ago in high latitudes after the glaciers retreated at the end of the last ice age. Peat usually accumulates very slowly at the rate of only 1 millimetre per year!
Ask anyone in Ireland today on its importance to us over thousands of years & they will agree that it was the most essential fuel for families during hard times & extremely cold winters. Some of my fondest childhood memories was me helping my late grandfather to stack turf into piles on our local bog