Tuesday, July 24, 2012

For Peat's Sake

Most of the land in Shetland is barren and you can see the ocean from nearly every part of the island. The land itself looks like it's caving in. I asked my instructor why. She said that it was peat.

The Shetlanders use peat for fires and warmth because trees are rare here. She jokes that the peat keeps you warm five times: 1) cutting the peat from the earth, 2) putting it in a wheelbarrow, 3) taking it out of a wheelbarrow to store for drying, 4) when turning the peat to dry the other side, and 5) when the peat is burning in the fire.

Most Shetlanders have other means for heat and just use peat for tradition. Each property has peat rights when the owners/renters can harvest their own peat. You can see a lot of piles of peat drying when traveling around Shetland. A peat fire smells amazing. I'm glad I don't have to do all of the work to get it though.


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  2. Crazy! I love the smell of a campfire...would love to smell a peat fire someday!