Þorleifur Jónsson lives with his wife, Sjöfn Sigurðardóttir, at Hverabakki II at Flúðir. There they run the horticultural facility Gróður ehf. and cultivate various vegetables, such as tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers, on 4.000 square metres of greenhouses. There is also some outside cultivation on location, including Chinese cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, celery and turnips, which are grown on around 15 hectares of land. Gróður ehf. is also the sole producer within Sölufélag garðyrkjumanna (The Horticulturists’ Sales Company) that cultivates celery.
Horticulture has been practised at Hverabakki almost continually since 1944. Sjöfn’s father founded Gróður ehf. and Þorleifur and Sjöfn bought the facilities from him. However, Þorleifur claims that it was not his intention to become a horticultural farmer. The couple are both educated teachers and Sjöfn works as a teacher at Flúðir. But Þorleifur does not regret having ventured into horticulture and says that the work is especially rewarding and fun and that he never gets bored at work.
6 employees work at the facility in winters, but during summers the staff is increased up to 15 people.
All the vegetables produced by Gróður ehf. are hand-picked, cleansed and sorted on location. Deliveries to consumers are made each day from the facility, but the tomatoes are plucked three times a week and the cucumbers daily. The cultivation is ecological; the tomatoes and cucumbers are grown in pumice, organic defences are used against vermin and bees see to the pollination of the plants. A part of the outside cultivation takes place in naturally heated soil and geothermal heat is also used to heat up the greenhouses. The hot water comes from the spring Grafarbakkahver, which is located just around the corner of the residence at Hverabakki, but the facility stand on the bank of the river Litla-Laxá.
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