When Iceland is deep in the icy clutches of Old Man Winter, one family-run farm in Selfoss still feels like summer. Friðheimar is an organic greenhouse founded by agronomist Knútur Rafn Ármann and horticulturist Helena Hermundardóttir. The husband-and-wife team bought the property more than 20 years ago but didn’t start growing tomatoes until 2002. Today, they care for 10,000 plants inside a state-of-the-art nursery. In Iceland’s long, dark, unforgiving winter months, the twisting tomato vines bathe under 17 hours of artificial light—about the same amount of electricity used in a town of 3,000 people. (Amazingly, every last lumen at Friðheimar is powered by Icelandic geothermal energy.) To pollinate the tomato flowers, the farm looks to its army of 600 bumble bees.
Visitors willing to make the scenic hour-long drive from Reykjavík to Selfoss can tour the farm and have lunch at Friðheimar’s tomato-centric café. Sitting amongst the plants, you’ll be treated to bowls of steaming-hot tomato soup served with dense black bread (baked in a geyser, no less!), green tomato-and-apple pie, and homemade tomato ice cream. To drink: hollowed-out tomatoes filled with Birkir, a bracing birch schnapps. The meals here are simple but memorable, and guests may buy nicely packaged goodies to go: tomato honey, tomato chutney, green tomato jam, etc. Horse lovers should inquire about Friðheimar’s on-site equestrian center. The family breeds Icelandic horses and hosts shows from May 1st to September 30th, although stable visits are available year-round.
Friðheimar is open daily from noon to 4 p.m. Reservations are recommended for both tours and dining: Call +354-486-8894 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to book.