Dagur Andrésson owns the horticultural facility Reitur at Kleppjárnsreykir in Reyholtsdalur valley. He bought the facility, which was founded in 1978, in 2005 and began cultivating peppers, but tomatoes and cucumbers had also been grown there previously. In 2007 he expanded the facility and it is now 2.300 square metres. At that time cultivation in Icelandic pumice began instead of regular soil.
Peppers are cultivated at Reitur from the middle of April until the beginning of December, but the cultivation starts with the sowing, which takes place on the 10th of January. During the harvesting season the peppers are cut from the plants twice a week; they are then packaged on the same day and delivered to Sölufélag garðyrkjumanna (The Horticulturists’ Sales Company) in the morning the day after.
Emphasis is placed on organic defences during cultivation, and bees are used to pollinate the plants, which results in larger and juicier fruits. The yearly production is around 46 tonnes, which are an estimated amount of 250.000 peppers.
The facility at Reitur is heated with geothermal water from the hot spring called Kleppjárnsreykjahver, but access to great quantities of hot water is essential for warm cultivation of this kind. In addition to fertiliser and clean water, carbonic acid is rationed out into the greenhouses during cultivation, which stimulates the plants’ growth of fruits and can be likened to concentrate feeding for milking cows. All this, in addition to abundant sunlight and working hands, is the material which creates the peppers from Reitur, which are a part of the colourful spectrum of Icelandic vegetables.
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