For countless centuries Irish peat land (bog land) has covered much of rural Ireland and every farmer and almost every family had their own turf bank. Irish Turf was and still is, dug from the bogs then dried and used as a fuel for cooking food and heating almost every home in Ireland
Turf, or peat, is still the principle fireplace fuel in Ireland and is made up of the partially decomposed remains of dead plants and trees, accumulated in waterlogged bogs, and compacted for thousands of years.
Brownish-black in colour, in its natural state it is composed of around 90% water and 10% plant material.
Cut from a wet bog, blocks of around 5-6 inches in length known as 'sods' are left to dry before use as fuel in an open fire.
We used to use one just like this to cut our own turf to burn for central heating and cooking with, right up to 1999!