I am glad to report that all our turf is now cut. Having started to prepare the turf bank back on 30th March we managed to complete the cutting process on Sunday 26th May. Generally speaking I don’t like to work on a Sunday, there is no religious reason, it’s just that I would rather have a free day to catch up on a bit gardening, odd jobs or head off cycling, kayaking or to the coast. However between family commitments and Callum’s studying for exams eating in to our availability we had no choice but to work on the Sabbath.
It worked in our favour, we had a bit of drainage work to do before we could extract the final section of the third floor of turf. With some expert guidance from seasoned turf cutter, Sean O’Loughlin we solved the drainage issue and got the final section of the turf cut. We even listened to the Fermanagh – Donegal football match in the Ulster Championship on the radio whilst working. Although peak productivity in my case is more likely to be achieved whilst listening to 80’s music!
The weather since 26th May has been unpredictable to say the least, cold one minute, sunny the next, raining the next, windy the next – you get the (very wet) picture I am sure! Now that we are into June we really need some high pressure with warm sunshine and a easterly airflow to bake the turf.
Fortunately, a good bit of the turf is already footed. Some of it remains to be turned before being footed but all being well we should have the turf dried, bagged and off the bog by July.
At this stage we have already started to assess our turf bog operations, particularly this first season on our new bog. Our conclusion is that we need to speed up the cutting process and complete cutting earlier in the Spring. Easier said than done, as everything depends on the weather, so watch this space in 2020. But for now we will concentrate on this years turf and keep watching the long range weather forecast, waiting to hear news of a heatwave. Either way, we are sure to put in another Sunday shift at some stage.