Saturday, 28 June 2014

Footing the turf

Our bog is located about 6 miles away from our cottage. 
It came with the cottage when we bought it, although it hadn't been cut is several decades and had only ever been cut by hand.

A few weeks ago we arranged to have it cut by a machine that passes through the local bogs in the area once a year, usually in May depending on the weather.
We left it dry on the spread for a few weeks before going out this week and footing the turf to allow it to dry fully before we arrange to bring it home.
It took about 4-5 man hours to foot it and it is an unpleasant job! 
I was disturbing ant nests as I worked which retaliated by climbing up my legs in attack. It is a job that requires gloves as the turf is rough on the hands and all kind of slimy creatures hide underneath.
My back took a day to recover and straighten up again :-)

Most families in our area cut turf each year, either as a supplement to oil or as their main fuel source. As the bogs are divided into many individual small plots and only a small amount of these are cut each year and it provides a wonderful wildlife habitat. 
I don't agree with industrial bog cutting as it is very damaging to bog lands. 

If anyone has an interest in the economics of it. Here it comes!

Turf cutting costs - 4 hoppers of turf cut (€45 x 4)   €180
4-5 hrs to foot ( about 2 hrs for two adults)
2-3 hrs to draw it home

So to heat our cottage for one year will be as followings:

Turf -  €180
Timber & kindling - Free
Coal & briquettes - €100
Fire-lighters & matches - €50

Total €330 per year for heating, cooking and hot water. 
It is a very economical cottage! And we plan to install solar panels this year or next which will reduce that further.


  1. What a brilliant price to be able to heat your cottage, supply hot water AND cook for. Although I guess it's backbreaking work dealing with the turfs I bet once you're snuggled up in front of the fire in Winter, eating piping hot soup it all seems so worthwhile :-)

  2. Our plan, when we moved here about five years ago was to live beneath our means so we could have more savings and more choices in life. We then kinda forgot about that plan. We had renovated the cottage out of savings and it just was costing money for several years, as houses do, but now its not really costing much! And we remember why we did this in the first place.
    Although I do still get envious when I visit friends amazing large homes, but I remind myself that they have large mortgages and heating bills.


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