The joy of smoke — 5 Comments

  1. Turf, peat to the non Celt, is perfectly sustainable if the bog is harvested correctly. It has been done for centuries. It is pollarding or coppiceing on a smaller plant – moss. I will not bore you with the process.
    What is not sustainable is driving roads through bogs so that great structures and heavy machinery can be taken all over the bog, burying thousand ton blocks of reinforced concrete in many places throughout the bog, linking the lot up with cable. The roads of course have to stay in place forever so that the structures can be maintained and replaced every decade or so, as well as for removing the dead birds.

    • I could write a thesis on the subject of turf [peat] but it would be boring. I used to have a bank at the top of the valley and used to cut my own turf. It was incredibly tiring work and immensely enjoyable. The combination of hard work and sweet mountain air was better than any sleeping potion. I haven’t cut for many years now as it’s a bit beyond me, but I notice that my old bank is long gone, buried beneath the layer of new bog that Nature is happily providing.

      If I had had any say in the matter I would have banned machine cutting as that is akin to strip-mining. It leaves a bit of a mess and can do damage to the whole ecosystem.

      As for windmills – there was a story a while back about the construction of a windfarm and how the work had caused an entire bog to slide down and cause death and chaos.

  2. I have no experience with peat as far as heating goes but for close to forty years I did rely on wood for that purpose.

    It got to the point where my back and legs weren’t up to the task anymore and the environmental claptrap was in full swing.

    So, the wood stove was replaced with a pellet stove. At least I can still watch the fire.

  3. There is no smell I have ever known that has evocative powers comparable with that of turf smoke.

  4. Several years ago, a friend of mine moved to a village about 10 miles outside of Dublin. Everybody seemed so friendly as they moved in, especially the very nice man who sold them a load of peat for their open fire. However, no matter what they did, they couldn’t get it to light. Assistance from their new neighbour and a little investigation revealed they had been sold pieces of somebody’s lawn! There are helpful people and helpful people!

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