Wheat has been cultivated on the farm Thorvaldseyri in south Iceland for the fifth summer in a row and the farm’s whole wheat will enter the local market for the first time next fall. Until now only the cows on the farm have enjoyed the harvest.
There is a certain risk involved in growing wheat in Iceland. The seeds are planted in mid-summer and sprout in winter—the climate is not warm enough for the wheat to mature in one summer—but if the winter is particularly harsh, the plants will not survive, Morgunbladid reports.
Last winter the wheat spouts at Thorvaldseyri were damaged and therefore the harvest was not as good this summer as previous summers. “But there is no use in giving up, one has to carry on and hope that it will be more successful in the future,” said farmer Ólafur Eggertsson.
Eggertsson planted four hectares last summer and believes that only the wheat from one hectare will be fit for human consumption. To make up for the damaged plants in the remaining area, he planted so-called spring wheat which can be used as animal fodder.
This summer Eggertsson planted seeds in an area of six hectares and is hoping for a better harvest in 2009.
The first whole wheat grain from Thorvaldseyri will be sold as a trial run at the Agricultural Exhibition at Hella, south Iceland, this weekend. The grain is from last year’s harvest. After the fair, the farm’s whole wheat grain will be sold in a few stores.