Ragnheiður Karlsdóttir and Smári Vignisson run the horticultural facility Varmalækur at Flúðir. Ragnheiður is well acquainted with horticulture because she was raised at Varmalækur. She worked side by side with her parents, Karl Gunnlaugsson and Guðrún Sveinsdóttir, at cultivating vegetables, but they founded the Varmalækur facility in 1974. Ragnheiður entered the operation in 1998 and acceded to full management 4 years later and now runs the facility alongside her husband.
At Varmilækur, Ragnheiður and Smári mainly cultivate tomatoes, regular tomatoes, grape tomatoes and beef tomatoes, along with some cucumbers. Ragnheiður and Smári also grow summer flowers during the beginning of summer.
The greenhouses cover up to 1.500 square metres and the yearly production of tomatoes is around 47 tonnes. The cultivation at Varmalækur is ecological; the tomatoes and cucumbers are grown in pumice, bees see to the pollination of the plants and organic defences are used. The greenhouses are heated with geothermal water.
Ragnheiður and Smári only utilise electrical lighting during a small portion of the year. The plants are exchanged in November and sowing for new plants takes place in December; the first tomatoes can be gathered at the beginning of April. The horticultural facility at Varmalækur has been a family run business from the beginning and today Ragnheiður and Smári’s children work alongside them at gathering and packaging during summers. There is plenty to do; the tomatoes are plucked three times a week, while the cucumbers are plucked daily. All the vegetables are then packaged on location and sent on the same day to consumers, so the freshness in guaranteed.
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