The horticultural facility Varmaland in Borgarfjörður was built in 1938 on a land that used to belong to Reykholt and it is therefore one of the oldest horticultural facilities in Iceland. Sveinn Björnsson, who now runs the facility, grew up in Varmaland. Sveinn began running a horticultural facility at Varmaland in 1964 and his operation became more extensive once he acceded to the management of his father’s facility in 1973.
None of the original greenhouses which were built in 1938 are still standing today. Sveinn began reconstruction and renewal of the greenhouses in 1979, which now cover around 2.060 square metres of land. Only tomatoes are cultivated at Varmaland and the yearly production is about 60 tonnes. The tomatoes are grown in soil; they are sown in December and are kept under growth enhancing lighting until February. Gathering begins around the middle of April and the tomatoes are plucked until the end of November. After that everything is cleaned out of the greenhouses and they are disinfected before sowing takes place again. The cultivation at Varmaland is ecological, bees see to the pollination of the plants and Sveinn emphasises keeping the greenhouses clean; consequently, the Varmaland facility has been free from any vermin in the last years.
The tomatoes are plucked three times a week and packaged on location. Deliveries are made twice a week from the facility to consumers. The greenhouses are heated with geothermal heat from a well which was taken into use in 1974. The horticultural facility is in the vicinity of two historical hot springs, Skrifla and Dynkur. Hot water from the hot springs has been used on the location for centuries, and during an archaeological excavation, medieval aqueducts leading from Skrifla were discovered.
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