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Hveragerði

Greenhouse farming

Around 1929, the village Hveragerði began to form after a co-operation for the dairy Mjólkurbú Ölfusinga was established. At the same time, green farming began, and various attempts were made to utilize heat that is a characteristic of the town. Having a geothermal area in the center of the town is unique nationwide. Examples of the utilization of geothermal energy include a seaweed flour factory where seaweed flour was produced. The first students graduated from the state’s Horticultural School in Reykir in 1941. Many horticultural centers were built in the following years and Reykjavík residents began to get used to visiting Hveragerði to buy horticultural products. In 1946, the bakery Hverabakarí began its operations, now called Almar Bakari bakery. To this day, steam is used for baking in Hveragerði.

In the past, hot springs were stigmatized as accident traps for people and animals. Foreign gardeners, however, saw potential in using the hot water, and from 1900 and onwards, individuals and hobby groups began to make various cultivation experiments. The establishment of the state’s Horticultural School accelerated the development of horticulture in Iceland, where important activities are underway, as our future is based, among other things, on utilizing the resources that the country has to offer.

The state’s Horticultural School, which is now part of the Agricultural University of Iceland, is still operated in Reykir in Hveragerði. It is open to the public on the first day of summer of every year and there you can see exotic tropical plants, such as cocoa and banana plants. The banana crop is about a ton a year, it cannot be sold and therefore employees and students benefit from it.

The skyr making factory, Skyrgerðin in Hveragerði, was built in 1930 and was the first of its kind in Iceland. The unique Icelandic dairy product Skyr was the main product, but also the first yogurt in Iceland was produced there, called healthy milk. Today, skyr is still produced there the old-fashioned way and it is used in cooking, baking, and for mixed drinks at the restaurant Skyrgerðin.

In addition to vegetable production and flower production, one of the largest ice cream producers in the country is in Hveragerði, the family company Kjörís, which started operations in 1969.