Farming couple Gudrún Egilsdóttir and Gudmundur Jón Gudmundsson, who produce ice cream on their dairy farm Holtssel in Eyjafjördur, north Iceland, were among recipients of the 2009 Agriculture Awards granted at a special ceremony on Sunday.
From a dairy farm in Iceland. The picture is unrelated to the story. By Páll Stefánsson.
Their ice cream is called Holtssels-Hnoss and is produced in 400 different flavors. The farm also operates the café and ice cream parlor Kaffi Kerling, Morgunbladid reports.
On why they decided to produce ice cream on their farm, Egilsdóttir said, “I guess we’re just a little weird.” It only took her and her husband three days to execute their idea.
“If we get an idea and it makes sense, it is best to execute it immediately,” added Gudmundsson. The idea was inspired by an ad from a Dutch ice cream producer in a newspaper for British farmers. Gudmundsson contacted the producer and three days later he and his wife attended a presentation in the Netherlands.
As for how the ice cream parlor came to be, Egilsdóttir explained that the farm had no other facilities for people to have a taste of the homemade ice cream other than on an old hayloft. “People were having to duck through doors that only went up to their shoulders and climb a narrow staircase, so we had to do something.”
The hayloft was refurbished and now accommodates around 30 people. Egilsdóttir said Kaffi Kerling is often filled with visitors. She added that they certainly feel the impact of the crisis, but that she and her husband are optimistic about the summer.
Holtssel shared the 2009 Agriculture Award with two other farms; Seljavellir í Nesjum, southeast Iceland, where potatoes are grown, washed, packed and sometimes pre-boiled, in addition to milk production and grain farming, and Akursel í Öxarfirdi, northeast Iceland, which specializes in production of organic carrots grown outside of greenhouses.