Friðheimar – Reykholt, Iceland - Gastro Obscura
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Friðheimar

Inside this Icelandic greenhouse, geothermal energy keeps tomatoes warm and growing. 

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This farm and greenhouse harnesses geothermal energy to do the seemingly impossible: grow tomatoes year-round in the harsh Icelandic climate.

Friðheimar is a family-run business mainly centered around tomatoes (though the family grows cucumbers and breeds horses as well). A borehole right on the property provides the warmth for the greenhouse, thanks to warm water and steam created by geothermal energy on the volcanic, tectonically active island.

While bananas, roses, cucumbers, and more grow in greenhouses across the country, Friðheimar is especially special because it caters to visitors. It’s possible to dine right inside the greenhouse, where you can pick from the restaurant’s tomato-centric menu to indulge in treats like tomato soup, Bloody Mary’s, tomato ice cream, and tomato beer.

You can also tour the farm and see a daily Icelandic horse show, which includes an occasional exhibition of the beer tölt, a fun, quirky equestrian game. Riders saddle up their trusty Icelandic horses and set off, mug of beer in hand. They then put their mounts through their paces while trying not to slosh their brew all over the place. The rider who spills the least wins. The whole point of the game is to both test the riders’ skills and show off the steadiness of the tölt, the breed’s unique gait.

Visiting during warmer months allows you to wander the grounds. But arriving in the winter gives you the full experience of stepping from the snow into the warm humidity of the greenhouse—an experience that can feel like stepping through a portal into another world.

Know Before You Go

The farm is located an hour east of Reykjavik.

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