Bolungarvík to Use Piglets for Weed Control

The village of Bolungarvík in Northwest Iceland welcomed its two newest residents last night: a pair of piglets. Vísir reports that the animals have been brought in with the hopes that they will help to root out the glut of wild chervil that has been plaguing the local environment. This is an experimental project that the town has embarked on in collaboration with the Westfjords Nature Research Centre.

Using pigs to control unwanted vegetation is a time-honoured method that farmers used to regularly use and that researchers are starting to appreciate as well. The idea, per a 2015 article in Science Daily, is to let the animals “…do what they do naturally: dig up the roots of weeds and fertilise the land.”

The Bolungarvík piglets are ten weeks old. The village is currently holding a competition in which residents can suggest names for them.

Fewer Tourists, Less Beer Sold

Dropping tourism numbers have led to a decline in beer sales throughout the country, RÚV reports. Even so, Gunnar B. Sigurgeirsson, Vice President of the Ölgerðin brewing company says that he believes the market is recovering, in part due to good summer weather and fewer Icelanders going abroad this summer than last year.

Both Gunnar and Áki Sveinsson, the marketing director at Coca Cola European Partners also say that larger organizations and entities such as restaurants in the capital area are not ordering as much beer from producers and distributors simply because there are fewer tourists. Áki agreed with Gunnar that the unusually warm and sunny summer weather has boosted sales and said that the limited-time summer beer was almost sold out. Things appear to be on the upswing in the industry, he said, and June has gotten off to a good start.

On the other hand, the state-run alcohol and liquor stores have not experienced the same decline in beer sales. In fact, looking at the numbers for beer sales between January and June both this year and last, it appears that Vínbúðin sold more beer this year. Vínbúðin does not keep records on foreign credit card usage, however, so it is unclear if the boost in sales is being driven by locals or visitors.