Glynn Bros. Traditional Irish Turf - South of Boston, Michigan - Ship Anytown, USA
Patriot Ledger - Boston Local Paper, we'll let Maureen tell the Glynn Bros. story ....
By Maureen Mccarthy
Posted Feb. 3, 2011 at 12:01 AM
Updated Feb 3, 2011 at 3:09 AM
For many local Irish immigrants, the warmth of a roaring fire and the distinct yet comforting aroma of burning Irish peat spurs a flurry of heartfelt emotion as it symbolizes their beloved homeland.
That profound appreciation for the old sod is what prompted the Glynn brothers to bring a bit of Ireland and its culture to the United States nearly five years ago. They launched an online peat-importing business under the name Glynn Bros. Traditional Irish Turf and Peat in 2006.
Used as a heat source in Ireland, peat is found in wetland bogs and composed mostly of marshland vegetation including trees, grasses and other types of organic remains. Typically harvested in late spring and dried during the summer months in preparation for winter, peat is abundant in Ireland and its use and aroma are unquestionably part of the Irish culture.
“When you get off the plane in Shannon, you can smell the turf,” said Gerald Glynn, a Hanover resident and co-owner of Glynn Bros. “It is incredibly intense and aromatic, unmistakably Ireland.”
Desmond Glynn of Pembroke said the four brothers always wanted to go into business together, and the selling of peat seemed like a natural fit. The other brothers include Michael Glynn, also a Pembroke resident, and Brian Glynn, who lives in Michigan. They’ve traveled frequently to their parents’ hometowns of Kilrush in County Clare and Castlegregory in County Kerry.
“We always thought this would be a great family business because it is very personal to us,” Desmond Glynn said.
“We had the ultimate Irish experience,” said Gerald Glynn recalling his childhood – one brimming with the sounds of Irish music, the sweet smell of warm Irish bread and the influx of cousins traveling from Ireland to visit. “Growing up, there was always something Irish going on in the house.”
Equally prevalent to the brothers’ upbringing was the unmistakable aroma of Irish peat.
“Anyone with Irish heritage appreciates the unique and pleasant aroma,” Desmond Glynn said during a recent visit to Aisling Gallery and Framing in Hingham. The gallery is one of two South Shore retailers that sell Glynn Bros. peat products; the other is Emerald Isle Imports of Whitman.
The Glynn brothers are gearing up for an increase in sales via its Southshoreirish.com website with St. Patrick’s Day coming next month. But they say burning Irish turf should not only be designated for the winter. Outdoor chimneys and backyard fire pits allow for the aroma to be savored all year round.
Hingham resident Elizabeth Kirpas received some of the Glynn Bros. peat as a gift from a family member who bought it at the Aisling Gallery.
“I was raised in Ireland in a house without central heat and the smell of peat is very reminiscent of my childhood,” Kirpas said. “(My father) always had the light turned low – one light behind him and the rest of the room in darkness,” she said, recalling nightly storytelling by the fire. “You could see the light of the flames on the walls and that is the picture the smell of peat brings back to me.”