First the turf is skinned, then cut, then footed and when dry it is loaded. Check out the link on footing; there’s some hilarious quotes. (“It’s like the recession: you can look at it whatever way you want but there’s no easy way out”. And “It’s 4 sods that make up a central supporting structure, sort of like the U2 360 claw.”)
So what could be more Irish than tossing turf in the bog? I was over the moon to be on the work crew. In Canada a bog is lowland; marshland. In Ireland Bog is where there is turf or peat or sod. It is decomposed vegetation which can be burned in the fireplace. It can be on top of a mountain. And it covers 1/6 of Ireland.
Jackie, Annie Jason. Anthony, Joe and myself were the crew. Joe provided the tractor and wagon. The rest of us provided strong backs. It is cut in April or May then footed and left to dry then collected in the fall for your winter heat source.
It was an absolutely gorgeous day : +15 and sunny. It is hard work tossing it into the trailer but you get in a rhythm and go. Better than using a horse and cart. It took less than 2 hours to get the first load in. Jackie had previously referred to it as “The biggest pile of shit I’ve ever seen!” To be true some was quite damp but more than half had dried nicely.
Foots of turf
Of course there is food involved so we returned to the farm for “tea” which was the tea, and sandwiches and biscuits. It is very rural here and we were on back roads. Every passing car was met with a comment as such: “Oh that’s Bridie Taylor, she just lost her husband in the spring.” Or that’s Dan Daly – he’s getting a load of hay”. Great fun with the locals! Note what a eautiful valley that Castleisland is behind the crew.