The couple Sigurdís Edda Jóhannesdóttir and Gunnar Þorgeirsson, horticulturist, run the horticultural facility Ártangi in Grímsnes. The facility was built in the year 1986, on land that previously belonged to Ormsstaðir, but it has been the home of Edda since she was 7 years old.
When drilling for hot water took place on Ormsstaðir, it was supposed to be used for heating up the house; however, there was a lot more water than originally thought. In the beginning of 1986 Gunnar and Edda built a greenhouse and then the hot water was very useful for heating it up. They had just returned from Denmark, where Gunnar had studied horticulture.
The first greenhouse was only 200 square metres in size and there the couple grew potted plants. Gradually, the facility grew and when its scope was at its greatest, they grew 300 to 400 varieties of potted plants in 3000 square metres and sold to e.g. Blómaval (one of Iceland’s largest florist). In 2002 they added onion plants and built a 500 square metre cooling space beside the facility.
In 2013 they decided to cease cultivating potted plants and turn to herbs. Now, they grow 17 types of herbs at Ártangi, but mostly basil, coriander, green mint, parsley, rosemary and thyme.
Gunnar and Edda went to Norway before they began their herb cultivation and have used Norwegian experience for their own cultivation.
Ártangi is an ecological facility and they emphasise reusing water, fertiliser and soil. They also use organic defences during cultivation. Ten employees work at Ártangi when it is most busy. Gunnar and Edda’s two daughters also work at the facility, but their son, who is an engineer, has been helpful when it comes to technical issues.
Icelanders have embraced fresh herbs wholeheartedly and the demand has risen from year to year.
The home sale at Ártangi is open from the middle of May and to the end of July.
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