The harvest season for Icelandic vegetables and berries, both wild and commercially-grown, has begun. Wild Icelandic bilberries, blueberries and crowberries are available for sale at Vínberið, a small store on Laugarvegur.
“We have sold fresh berries for a few years now. The first deliveries arrived recently, but usually the Icelandic berry picking period doesn’t start until mid-August,” said Logi Helgasson, the owner of the store, to Morgunblaðið.
As Iceland Review reported last month, the berry season has been exceptionally good this year, particularly in the northern and eastern parts of the country.
Bjarni Óskarsson, the owner of the farm Vellir in Svarfaðardalur, in North Iceland, sells blueberries and crowberries to stores and companies all around the country where they are used for a wide range of products.
“We have been producing several products from the berries, for instance jams and alike things. Then you could mention the ice cream company Emmessís which makes ice cream from our berries, and Vífilfell beverage company which brews beer from them,” said Bjarni.
Icelandic-grown vegetables are also being harvested and the first shipments have arrived in stores. “This is the time of year when you can buy any kind of fresh Icelandic vegetables. August is the big harvest month. The carrot crop is coming in and the potato supply will be at its peak starting next week,” said Gunnlaugur Karlsson, chairman of the Gardeners’ Sales Organization, in an interview with visir.is.
Gunnlaugur said that there are certain fashion trends in vegetable sales, naming for instance a recent spike in the sale of kale. He also said that gardeners across the country are constantly experimenting with new kinds of crops.
“The turnip is a fun new addition that we started growing about two or three years ago ... The Italian sweet pepper is also a new product we have, it is oblong and tasty. We have additionally been broadening our range of potted herbs,” said Gunnlaugur.
Icelandic consumption of vegetables has increased greatly in past years, but not sufficiently, according to Gunnlaugur. “We need to double our consumption of vegetables to reach set nutritional standards. This is a great health concern. But it’s coming along and hopefully it will be accomplished in about a decade.”