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Winter, Donkeys & Couriers

At this time of year visits to the turf bog are not too regular an occurrence.  Shorter days and poorer weather make the turf bog a far from hospitable place to frequent.  That said, there are no midgies to contend with!  However if conditions are favourable, say for example, on a nice crisp day in late Autumn, the turf bog is a great place for a walk and the perfect place to view the array of autumnal colours.  At this point in the seasons, the 40 shades of green have changed to 40 shades of brown.


Barnesmore Gap, Co. Donegal

Back in the day, many folks had no option but to visit the turf bog over the dark winter months. Nowadays with tractors, jeeps and quads,  when the turf is dry on the bog it is transported home in one or maybe two large loads.  However, in bygone days and the era when horses and donkeys were the only means of transport, the turf was stacked on the bog in huge piles then covered in grass  or rushes to weatherproof it.

Over the course of a winter, regular trips were made with a pony or donkey and cart to collect from this fuel supply in order to keep the homestead fires burning. Remember, turf was the only fuel in those days for heating and of course for cooking on, so there really was no choice.


Donkeys don’t know they’re born these days!

This was true of the turf bog we source our turf from just over the border from us in Donegal.  This particular turf bog has plots on it belonging to folk from Rossnowlagh on the coast, a distance of approximately 8 miles away.  Not a huge distance to drive but imagine leading a donkey and cart laden with turf in darkest November?  They were hardy folk for sure in those days, and I have nothing but respect for them.


Fast forward from those times to now, and consider the fact that through the combination of technology and courier services, that,  if you order turf from us on a Monday we can get it delivered to you anywhere in the UK by Wednesday.  That’s some leap forward from the humble donkey and cart!

16 November 2016

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