Saturday, 10 October 2015

Our Old Turf Fire.

Most of the blogs I follow seem to be having Autumn themes at the moment so why I don't do the same?

We did travel once again last week over the Cork and Kerry mountains for some retail therapy and to pick up fifteen bags of machine dug turf (peat).  My wife remembers many years ago (sixties) getting off the boat with her Irish family at Dun Laoghaire and smelling the turf fires.  She said they knew they that were back in Ireland.  



Just 3 Euros a bag.  That's about two pounds twenty two pence per bag.  We go through a bag of turf a day/night at the moment.
Our Stanley Mourne number 7 range burning logs and turf.  We cook on it, get our hot water from it and it heats seven radiators.  

We were talking to an elderly farmer the other day.  He said you should only light a fire once in Autumn and you should never let it go out until Spring.  My grandparents used to stoke their range with turf at night, close the door and it would be lovely and warm in the kitchen in the morning.  

Here's an appropriate song for you:



22 comments:

  1. I love to try burning turf sounds very economical, we just use logs the rayburn is kept going 24/7 its great coming down in the morning to lovely warm Rayburn :-)

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    1. Yes the turf is very economical Dawn. Plus we don't get big heating bills through our letterbox. The aroma coming from the chimney is wonderful too.

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  2. Is burning turf the same as burning peat? I have read several books lately fictional... that were set in Ireland and they talk about peat fires? Is that the same as turf fies? I assumed the peat fires were real as it seemed so in the books as they said instead of wood they would burn peat and talked about the smell etc... That it was the old way...

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    1. Yes turf is peat, Texan. Ireland doesn't have coal and people have been collecting turf for thousands of years.

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  3. I've yet to light my fire yet - I'm waiting for the chimney sweep!

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    1. We have our stove lit every day RRS. We also clean our own chimneys. You just buy some drainage rods with a brush attachment and stick them up the chimney and get a couple buckets of free soot. The onions in the veg plot love it.

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  4. I enjoyed Steeleye Span I haven't heard anything by them for years. I saw them live more than once in the 1970s when I lived in Newcastle.

    My last house was heated by two woodburners, one did the water and radiators, and the other the living room but used to help the whole house because it belted out so much heat. I love keeping myself warm and making a fire. No peat here though. Now I have a woodburner and oil-fired central heating at the flick of a switch if I want it. We still prefer lighting the woodburner though.

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    1. Hi Rachel,

      I love English folk rock bands like Steeleye Span, Fairport Convention, Jethro Tull and Lindisfarne. I have seen Tull four times and Fairport convention once.

      We have oil in the old farmhouse and the solid fuel range in the house we live in all the time. Oil is very warm and convenient. But we choose to chop logs and buy peat.

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  5. I lived for a short while in Shropshire where peat had been dug very nearby. I even found a few dried-up bricks of it around the property. I don't remember actually burning it.

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    1. Shropshire is a wonderful place Cro. I use to love going through Shropshire to Herefordshire. My favourite place is Symonds Yat.

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  6. I am sorry Dave but you are incorrect in saying Ireland does not have coal, may be not to the same extent as UK.
    Today's Irish coal workings are virtually non existent apart from privately owned drift mines. Historical data reveals -
    Irish coal areas
    the great leinster coal field http://www.nmrs.org.uk/mines/coal/ireland/leinster.html
    Connaught Arigna Mines closed in 1990 http://www.arignafuels.ie/about/history/
    Plus the counties of Antrim and Tyrone in Ulster.

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  7. oh what i would give for a proper fire! Ours is an electric fan, it does a fair job of heating the living room but no where near as good as a proper one :(

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    1. I love having a real fire MEOP. Most rural areas in Ireland are still allowed to have them. When we built our house in 20003 it had to include a chimney in the plans. You wouldn't see that in England now.

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  8. Think most of the coal dug in Ireland was brown coal or anthracite Heron. Here on the Sheepshead Peninsula coal boats use to bring Welsh coal all the way from Milford Haven and the Welsh valleys.

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  9. Arigna mines were worked for four hundred years Dave, they were the first coal mines in Ireland and also the last. By the time we moved here the coal from the mine was rubbish, more shale than coal and gave out very little heat.
    But it was black coal, not brown.
    Now we burn wood, we bought over two years supply directly from forestry, it works out at less than eight euros a week for heating hot water and cooking. plus we can use the ash on the garden which you can't do with turf.

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  10. You can buy turf by the lorry load on Done Deal Anne. There is a lot of information on the Internet about the pollution wood burners/stove releasing harmful carcinogens.. Like cars do. We can't win.

    Peat is very good in the garden for opening up clay soils.

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  11. We live in the middle of turf bogs Dave, and yes peat is good in the sol but turf has has no benefit whatsoever. Wood is a renewable resource, peat/turf is not. By 2017 there will be a biomass power station up and running In co. Mayo burning willow.

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    1. I think its part of the Irish culture to see people burning turf Anne. My late father use to wax lyrical about him and his family gathering the turf and bringing it home with donkeys carrying baskets of turf.

      Biomass is good but they only want to harvest it on a big field scale using diesel guzzling machinery. At least the willow grows back.

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    2. I'm not too sure what size fields they are hoping to harvest, this idea has been in the pipeline for at least five years, I'm not sure if they even have enough farmers signed up to supply the willow, apparently the price to farmers has not yet even been agreed, I would have thought it should have been part and parcel of the feasibility study, but apparently not.

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    3. I don't think the biomass producers would be interested in a smallholder growing an acre of Miscanthus or Willow Anne. They would also use fossil fuels to harvest the wood, transport it and to make the biomass. Rudolf Diesel developed an engine in 1900 that ran off peanut oil. Which was probably the first biofuel. Sadly even today conventional and organic farmers still use diesel engines. I think Biomass is a great idea it just needs to use biofuel instead of fossel fuels for harvesting.

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