Loughshore Children Being Sent To School With ‘Turf Sandwiches’, Happily.
A BBC documentary on economic hardships in Ireland has uncovered a previously hidden phenomenon surrounding the eating habits of youngsters going to Brocagh, Aughamullan and Kingsisland schools. The TV show initially wanted to focus on emigration in the area after it emerged that the entire Derrytresk football team are moving to the States soon. However, they soon discovered, by accident, that primary and some secondary school children are being reared on turf in order to beat the recession’s effect in the east of the county. Executive producer Scunthorpe Kilpatrick was taken aback by the discovery:
“We knew something was up when we filmed a few homes going about their normal daily routines. At lunch time, the majority of families appeared to be boiling large industrial pots of what looked like a mixture of moss and turf, slapping it on to plates. After eating, I noticed the children had really black teeth for a while. When we asked what it was they were eating, they passed it off as ‘pate’ which turned out in standard English to be ‘peat’. They were stewing it, boiling it, frying it, baking it, toasting it and sometimes just snacking on it raw. They seemed quite happy.”
It wasn’t until they filmed the children in school that they became aware of the dependance on the natural commodity.
“Even though there were plenty of options in the canteens like lasagne, Haribos or burgers, the children seemed to prefer the turf sandwiches. It appears that what initially seemed like an effort to cut costs is now a staple diet by choice. It’s quite remarkable. I’ve seen children dander out up the ramparts, sit down and chew away on the banks. It’s like a real-life Willy Wonka story.”
Local historian, Felix Hughes, claims it’s the circle of life:
“Every 100 years ago, people down this way rediscover the delicacy that is lowland turf. This usually lasts for about 10 years or so until they go too far and start drinking the water in the ditches and someone gets an awful dose of the skitter. But that’s another five years away in this cycle.”
Hughes was quick to point out that the turf is for local consumption only and that anyone seen trying to eat the turf from foreign places like Coagh, Eskra or Portugal will be shot from a distance with an air rifle.
Posted on May 24, 2013, in Brocagh, Coagh, Derrylaughan, Derrytresk, Eskra and tagged Brocagh, Coagh, Derrylaughan, Derrytresk, Eskra, peat, portugal, ramparts, turf. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.