Friðheimar is very much a family affair, run by Knútur Rafn Ármann and his wife Helena Hermundardóttir. He is an agronomist from Hólar University College in north Iceland, while she is a horticulturalist from Reykir Horticultural College. Their five children, Dóróthea, Karítas, Matthías Jens, Arnaldur and Tómas Ingi, all play an active part in the family business.
At Friðheimar, we grow tomatoes all year round, despite Iceland’s long, dark winters, under artificial lighting in greenhouses. We welcome visitors to see our greenhouses, and then enjoy a taste of the crop. And now they can take delicious food souvenirs away with them, made of our tomatoes and cucumbers. We also breed horses, and put on a horse show – in fourteen different languages.
In 1995 Knútur and Helena bought Friðheimar, with the aim of combining their different areas of expertise – horses and horticulture. The farm already had two greenhouses, and a large house stood unoccupied. Horticulture using natural hot water had commenced at Friðheimar in 1946. Several years have now passed since Knútur and Helena started developing and expanding the operations, and today the place hums with life – as these are enterprising people! The process of development at Friðheimar can be divided into three stages:
In 1995-2001 they built a 1,174 m² greenhouse. They continued running the farm as before, and renovated existing buildings to use them in horticulture. During the early years, they settled in and laid their plans for the future.
In 2002-2006 they decided to start growing tomatoes all year round, installed lighting in the older buildings, and built a new 1,000 m² greenhouse with a complete lighting system. At that time they were also adding to their knowledge and expertise, for instance making frequent visits to Finland, where they benefited from collaboration with Finnish experts. Horticulture under artificial lighting is highly advanced in Finland.
In 2007-2013 they built up the equestrian centre and tourist services at Friðheimar. A stable for 20 horses was built, with reception facilities, as well as an outdoor arena with a stand for 120 spectators. A horse show for tourists was launched, and shortly after that greenhouse visits began.
In 2011 the crop-growing space was enlarged by 60%, and visitor facilities opened in the Atrium in the greenhouses.
In 2012-2013 a range of food products/souvenirs was developed, made of tomato and cucumber.
Did you know that crops at Friðheimar yield an average of a ton a day? The annual harvest is 370 tons!
Friðheimar is a multicultural team of outstanding staff.
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