The horticultural facility Víðigerði at Reykholt is one of the oldest horticultural facilities in Iceland and vegetables have been cultivated there since 1939. The current owners, Sveinn Magnús Andrésson and his wife, Jóna Ester Kristjánsdóttir, took over the business in 2001, which makes them the fourth owners of the facility. Sveinn grew up accustomed to horticulture; his father cultivated carrots at Deildartunga II and later Sveinn took over from him. Víðigerði is the next farm to Deildartunga II, so it can truly be said that Sveinn did not travel far from home.
The first greenhouse was built at Víðigerði in 1945 and it is still in full use. Sveinn and Jóna cultivate tomatoes on around 1.300 square metres of greenhouses. They also cultivate carrots outside, in an area that covers 6.000 square metres of land. Each year they produce 46 tonnes of tomatoes and around 10 tonnes of carrots. Bees see to the pollination of the tomato plants and organic defences are partly used. The tomatoes are grown in soil and to begin with they are kept under growth enhancing lighting. All the vegetables are watered with geothermal water that has been cooled down; it comes from the hot spring Deildartunguhver, which is located in the facility’s proximity.
Deildartunguhver has the most quantity of water and is the largest hot spring in Europe, producing 180 litres of water per second. There are 2 man-years at the Víðigerði facility and during peak times Sveinn and Jóna call their relatives to assist in the gathering and packaging of the vegetables. The tomatoes are hand-picked three times a week and sorted by hand before being packaged in Reykjavík. The carrots are also unearthed by hand and sorted before being packaged.
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