National Geographic : 1987 Mar
The sweet aroma of turf-as the Irish call peat-driftsfrom the hearth (below) as bread bakes in a cast-ironpan topped by the flavor-enhancing embers. Bogs cover about 16 percent of Ireland, and commercially harvested peat supplies 21 percent of the country's electricity.But each spring many families still hand-cut theirfuel for heating and cooking. In a blanket bog along the northwest coast, Ann Healy (right) hoists sods into a horse-drawn cart.A tractorhauls larger loads. The consistency of butter when cut, and about 95 percent water,sods dry in rows and stacks on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland's Outer Hebrides (bottom). The island's weavers have used peat and bog plants to dye theirfamous tweeds.