Helga and Gu­jˇn

Guðjón Birgisson and his wife, Sigríður Helga Karlsdóttir, are horticultural farmers at Melar at Flúðir. Both Guðjón and Helga are raised accustomed to horticulture and the cultivation of vegetables; Guðjón got to know vegetable cultivation at Garður in the district of Hraunamannahreppur, but he went there each year during summer from the age of 12 to dwell in the countryside and help out at the farm. Helga and Guðjón built the first greenhouse in 1980.

Today they grow tomatoes and cucumbers all the year round, with perfect technology and in an ecological way. They cultivate 4 variants of tomatoes; regular ones, grape tomatoes, as well as large and small lycopene tomatoes. They have cultivated the lycopene tomatoes since 2005 after having become acquainted with their cultivation in The Netherlands. Lycopene tomatoes have more taste than regular tomatoes and are healthier because they contain three times the amount of the antioxidant lycopene than regular tomatoes; studies suggest that lycopene provides protection against heart diseases and cancer. On the whole, the cultivation takes place on 5000 square metres and they produce over 300 tonnes per year.

In addition to the tomatoes, they also cultivate Chinese cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, kohlrabi and other varieties outside at Melar. Quality and freshness is paramount in the production and therefore all the vegetables are hand-planted, then hand-picked and cut, and eventually specially selected and packaged into consumer packaging. There are daily deliveries from Melar and the vegetables are delivered to consumers on the same day that they leave the facility.

The cultivation at Melar is ecological. This involves having bees pollinate the tomato plants and using no toxic chemicals on the vegetables; only organic defences are used to fight against vermin. Green energy takes precedence and the earth’s natural resources are used for the cultivation. The vegetables at Melar are e.g. grown in pumice from the volcano Hekla and watered with fresh drinking water – the very same that all the homes in the Hraunamannahreppur district drink. The greenhouses are heated with geothermal water, which the area is rich of, the carbonic acid also comes straight from the soil and the electricity from waterfalls.

The horticultural farmers at Melar are proud cultivators, who can proud themselves of producing the best vegetables available.

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