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Cutting The Peat For Fuel

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posted on Dec, 7 2013 @ 11:04 AM
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In moorland places people sometimes including myself cut the peat as a fuel source. I think a lot of people dont know about cutting the peat so I wanted to share how it is done.

Peat looks a bit like earth and it varies in colour from brown to black. It is fibrous stuff with little tufts of roots going through it. It is acidic and has no oxygen and preserves things well like tree roots

Peat is best cut in early spring. Some people say that it has an oil in it that travels back into the earth in winter. To cut peat you need to make a peat bank.



Before you cut you cut the turf from the top you do this is sections so that you can lay it at the bottom of the bank. After removing the top turfs you are ready to cut. These days some people use a shovel. The traditional tool is called a talisker. Here is a picture of my one here..



The peat is cut down in chunks maybe about 12 inches deep by a couple wide. It is then spread out on the moorlands and left to dry on one side. This can take anything from days to months depending on the weather. When one of the sides is dry you can stack them in little piles with the dry side facing in.



After the peat is dry you take it home and it is ready to use as a fuel. If it is being stored outside it is stacked so that the wind can get through it. Something like this.



It will take about 2 days of time to prepare and get enough fuel to get you through the winter. It is a clean fuel and a lot less dirty than wood and coal. The ash should be collected and spread in the garden as it improves the soil and contains nutrients. To stop erosion you should never cut down to the rock always leave a lay on the ground. Cutting it should be a social thing and best down in a group. It is more efficient and makes it more fun...

edit on 7-12-2013 by purplemer because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 7 2013 @ 02:06 PM
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reply to post by purplemer
 


Those photos took me back! My mother's family is from the north west mainland, and I remember seeing their peat stacks when I was little. And getting a row from climbing on them. I can smell them when I look at your photos!
Coal just doesn't smell right on a fire, after you've used peat.

I noticed you have this in the survival forum, so sorry for the distraction, but thought I'd let you know I like your thread x



posted on Dec, 7 2013 @ 02:11 PM
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It was called 'heart attack season' for a reason.

Since its decline in use, peat cutting related deaths have plummeted. A vast part of it was cutting enough for a winter in two days. Goodness me, take a week, two weeks, what ever, don't go at it like thirsty fishermen on a whisky bottle!

That said, what a luxurious warmth and beautiful smell. Thank you, brought back some great memories for me I hadn't thought of in decades.

Thank you.



posted on Dec, 7 2013 @ 02:51 PM
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reply to post by beansidhe
 


I know what you mean by taking you back. I use to cut it with my nan back in island after that I never saw it again for years until I moved to the Western Isles where it is still commonly used. I do love the smell of it.



posted on Dec, 7 2013 @ 03:15 PM
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reply to post by Astr0
 


In the past people cut a lot more peat than they do now. Two days work will get me about 200 empty coal bags worth of peat. That is about enough to get me through the winter. I only have one stove though and a little house to heat..



posted on Dec, 7 2013 @ 04:13 PM
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Talk about an efficient fuel source. I had no idea.
Using a woodstove I'm sure I spent longer than 2 weeks getting enough wood to last the winter (in Virginia)
I don't know about your weather there but we would burn from Oct - March/April.
Do I feel stupid for killing myself cutting and hauling all that wood.
Shame of it is I have no muscle to show for it.



posted on Dec, 7 2013 @ 04:33 PM
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that brings back memorys where i stayed if you had a estate house you were intitled to a peat bank but trying to get it out of your skin is hard but with a bag of coal costing £18 $29 you can see why people still do this .

once when i was helping friends in scourie cut peat i pulled out this massive leaf from the bank it was about 2 foot across and felt like a plastic bag but when i went back later for it it crumbled to pieces i would have loved to have kept that



posted on Dec, 7 2013 @ 05:05 PM
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reply to post by purplemer
 


The peat is a fantastic fuel source. It grows back by about 1/2 mm per year. We worked out that where we were digging into the peat in our bank - the peat we actually cut into and used must have been at least a 1000 years old...! I kinda felt bad after we worked that out.. lol

It is great fun cutting peats when its a warm sunny day



posted on Dec, 7 2013 @ 05:07 PM
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Do it before the midges though....

Oh holy hell if you don't you'll live to regret it lol.



posted on Dec, 7 2013 @ 05:09 PM
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reply to post by geobro
 


Shame you never kept the leaf you could have framed it up or something. Peat is a fantastic preserver. Back in Ireland as a kid my dad bug up some old wooden bucket with butter in. They use to put the butter in the peat years ago to preserve it. Well that butter was fine. He said it tasted different but they still took it home and ate it.




posted on Dec, 7 2013 @ 05:13 PM
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reply to post by Astr0
 



Yes you have to hate the midges. The first midges to land on you is the queen. If you could kill the queen the others would not attack. There are several different species of midges and they all come out at different times of the day. Lemon Eucalyptus is the best thing to keep the midges away. You need to mix it into a carrier oil because it is so strong. Ofc a midgy net helps too. Kinda lucky here there is normally a sea breeze to keep them at bay.



posted on Dec, 7 2013 @ 06:25 PM
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purplemer
reply to post by geobro
 


Shame you never kept the leaf you could have framed it up or something. Peat is a fantastic preserver. Back in Ireland as a kid my dad bug up some old wooden bucket with butter in. They use to put the butter in the peat years ago to preserve it. Well that butter was fine. He said it tasted different but they still took it home and ate it.

they must have been made of sternar stuff than me yuck ? think of all the flys etc but i have seen my mother put food out the back in the winter it is that cold



posted on Dec, 8 2013 @ 12:16 PM
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reply to post by geobro
 


Yes I think they where made from sterner stuff back then. Rural people where poor too and made do with what they had..









 
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