Friday 3 January 2014

Turf in The Range On Our Smallholding.

That's pictures of  our Stanley stove this morning.  We found the 'Turf'  (Peat) for sale at a builders merchants yesterday.  It was only four Euros bag and its dry.  The turf smell reminds me of when we use to get off the ferry in Dublin years a go.  A  wonderful aroma would hit your nostrils.  You can also put the wood and peat ash straight on to the vegetable plot.  Its great potash for the onions.  Glad I did my digging when we got the uncustomary dry weather in December.  Still don't know why Sky television stopped showing the old gardening shows.  At least there are millions of blogs to read.  Blogs about allotments and smallholdings especially.


  1. That looks so cosy! Perfect for the weather! Louise

  2. Lovely picture, bet it smells lovely as well.

    My last house I took the 50s grate out, opened it up and put a cast iron dog basket to burn logs up to 2' long, I loved the aroma of woodsmoke, used to make toast in front of it and roast chestnuts underneath in a little blacksmith-made pan with long handle. No doubt my ex-wife will still be enjoying it, but we now live in a smokeless zone with gas fire, it's less work but not the same. I really miss that fire, it burned most things that wouldn't rot in the compost bin, very little to put in the wheelie bin.

    I sometimes wonder how much stuff i. land-fill could be buned to produce power, or at least heat buildings?

  3. It does look cosy doesn't it Louise? All we need now is an old fashioned long handled fork for toasting bread. Thanks for your comment.

  4. The smell is incredible. Rather like a very good malt Scottish whisky.

    I think a lot of land-fill materials could be recycled or incinerated to heat buildings. A local builders merchants heats its buildings with the cut off pieces of timber that it produces in the timber department. I know in Africa they recycle and fix washing machines, televisions and tractors. John Seymour said that the landfill sites will be the mines of the future.


  5. Yes, I think we're a fully paid-up card-carrying member of the "throw-away" club in the UK, so much repairable / re-usable stuff seems to be consigned to land-fill, so often just because of a change of fashion or favourite colour.

    Malta, where they don't manufacture anything, can keep electrical goods like washing machines alive for decades; cars as well, they're still using the models I remember from my first cars 45 years ago.

    Holland hes a big industry recycling glass bottles, factories that employ people to collect, sort, steralise and re-use bottles, just like we used to have deposit-returnable pop and beer bottles and everlasting milk bottles. I still can't understand why this doesn't happen any more in UK, there must be millions of perfectly good bottles and jars buried in UK, being added to daily, and for every one of them, a new one is made somewhere, using up more resources, it doesn't seem to stand up to logic.
    And I wouldn't like to guess how many wine bottles are buried, as far as I know they're never re-used; they even sell them in home-brew places for more than the cost when full in France.

    And I believe our old tractors from the 50s and 60s are in big demand in developing countries, their ruggedness and simplicity are desirable features. Wonder how many of the modern monsters will be surviving in 50 or 60 years?

    I'm sure there are many more examples of countries re-cycling procedures, I think we in UK have the worst record in Europe of filling land with toxic materials (but it's only something I read so might be wrong)

    The builders merchants seem to have the right idea, look in any skip and you'll probably see enough off-cuts and scrap timber to keep your fire going for a week at least.

    The Council disposal sites seem to be getting it together a bit more, with separate skips for different materials, and an area to dump electrical goods, the boys who work there tell me most of the electrical stuff still works.

    Better morning here, no rain and wind's abated a bit, still milder than it should be for January.
    Even Raggy cat came in later this morning, must be a bit warmer.

  6. Thanks for that Cumbrian. I once read that there are certain counciils in the UK that employ (sell franchises) Wombles (people who sort through rubbish at council disposal sites) for hidden treasure.

    Read about a group of people in Germany who took back all their food and drink packaging to the supermarket and gave it to the manager.

    I wonder how much an aluminium beer can costs? Should food and drink manufacturers display the price of the bag or tin that their product comes in? Then we pay to get rid of it at the land fill. Wonder how much of our food costs goes on packaging. I hate it when I see so called 'organic' food sold in plastic bags. Bags that will take at least five hundred years to disintegrate. Biodegradable plastic will decompose in less than eighteen months. Why isn't all plastic made of this?

    Yes the vintage (over forty years old)) tractors are very easy to fix in the field and new parts can be made very easily. I believe there isn't the same amount of rust problems in warmer countries. Funnily enough. I am told that a lot of tractors get imported from Holland because they don't have the same rust problems. Don't know why this is so?

    A lot of the charity shops here won't allow you to donate unwanted electrical goods. The Health and Safety Police won't allow it. So tons of good televisions, computers..?, end up at the land fill sites.

    Our self sufficiency friend John Seymour wrote a fantastic book called 'Blueprint for a Green Planet. You can buy a really good cheap copy on the Internet. It really is a good read. One picture that really disturbed me is of a North sea fish with cancer. No doubt caused by pollution.

    Went to Galley Head yesterday. Never seen mountainous seas like it. If only we could harness all the wind and wave power.

    Really feel sorry for all those poor people suffering in the UK floods.

    Snow on distant Kerry hills this morning.


  7. We're just back from a stay in Berlin. As ever, go to the local supermarkets for a nose. A pleasure's to see what people eat, buy and generally live when we go to places. Went to a small supermarket and there was a recycling machine which paid you money back if you recycled tins, bottles, etc. What a great idea. Why can't we do that? Sadly, also saw a homeless guy trawling bins for the same but if it got him a bit of money, then good, but he should be paid a wage to do so. Couldn't believe how spotless the city was either, no litter or dog fouling, despite dogs being very popular :) Also, the majority of cars were German manufactured. Have read the government gives a subsidy to any bought. The public transport was so efficient and cheap. Have no doubt that country has issues but somehow think we are being left behind. C'mon government!! Louise

    1. Yes Louise, Berlin's a wonderful city, agree with everything you say.
      I remember being on the u-bahns, you could eat your dinner off the floor, so clean; then a week later on the London underground, I couldn't see the floor for debris.
      You never see roadworks there either, they do the repairs through night.
      And wheelie bins emptied at night, made of rubber to make less noise.

  8. Berlin sounds wonderful Louise. Especially the recycling machine - brilliant idea! Reminds me of when I was young and we would take back mineral (Ben Shaws) bottles. Think they gave you a penny a bottle? Went to Warsaw in August. Incredibly modern city with superb public transport infrastructure. Thanks for telling us all about Berlin, Louise.

  9. Might be going to Berlin in May, Cumbrian. One of my favorite rock bands 'Magnum' are playing there. Germany seems to be the play maker in European politics. Perhaps a federal Europe will make us competitive against the rest of the world?

    Wish we had public transport in rural Ireland. People who are lucky enough to have jobs. Seem to have to travel miles by car. I wonder how much a car costs to run? How much does it cost a rural dweller to go to work and return home and pay for their meals? I bet its half their wage?

    Terrible rain and wind here again today. Cattle content chewing in their slatted house. It's so much easier not having to clean them out every day.


  10. Turf is regular fuel. I get a jog delivered every year and sometimes two, we used up this years and are using the year before - which was a bit damp when it arrived but has dried out nicely in the shed, giving off lovely heat with lashings of hot water.

  11. A jog of turf. An excellent term for a load of peat. Sorry it's took me so long to answer your comment. Broadband is working again. Thanks for your comment!


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