MargrÚt and Birgir

The couple Birgir Thorsteinson and Margrét Böðvarsdóttir live at the horticultural facility Brún. They moved into the newly built residence on the International Women´s Day in 1970. The first greenhouse, which was 600 square meters, was built in 1973. Today, over 3.500 square meters are under glass.

To begin with, regular tomatoes were cultivated at Brún, but in 1999 they began growing cherry tomatoes. The cultivation of the latter grew with each year and for a few years they have been cultivated solely. All the tomatoes are grown in pumice from the volcano Hekla. In the unlit greenhouses, sowing takes place once a year, but twice in the ones that are lit. During each year, they try out 1-3 varieties on a small scale. All the houses have electronic heating and climate control systems and about half of the greenhouses are lit.

All the cultivation is ecological, without toxic chemicals and bees see to the pollination of the plants. The tomatoes are plucked and hand-packaged, with an effort to ensure quality and freshness in every way possible. A cooling lorry from Sölufélag garðyrkjumanna (The Horticulturists’ Sales Company) transfers the production to Reykjavík three times a week.

In addition to the couple, their two sons, Alex and Þorsteinn, live at Brún. Their grandchildren have also worked there during summer vacations. There are 7 early jobs, in addition to summer employees.

Alex designed a simple, adjustable shutting device for the bee hives and a measuring device that monitors the effluence from the pumice pots 24 hours a day, at a 3 hour interval.

Together with Alex, Hjalti Lúðvíksson at Frjó ehf (Pollen), Þorkell Jónsson and Andri Magnússon at Samey ehf, designed and built a computer-controlled scale which controls the fertiliser blender. The device has been used and developed since the fall of 2009, and it has now reached its final form and works great.


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