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Old 14-12-2006, 03:17 PM posted to alt.permaculture
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Default Permaculture in Iceland

Hello all,

I'm a new member here and my name is Óskar Gudlaugsson. I'm a young
Icelander new to permaculture but quite enthusiastic to get some things
going up here in the sub-Arctic.

I see that the activity on this group has somewhat dropped over the
years but I guess that's all the more reason to join and keep the
discussion going. Searching the archives I found a few Icelandic
residents writing about Pc in 2000-2001. If they're still around here
(in the group or in Iceland), I'd love to get in touch with them.

As I say I'm new to Pc (learned about it in September and got my first
books on the subject in late October). I scrambled to get more
intimately acquainted with the Icelandic flora before the onset of
winter (which I was rather ignorant about) and now find myself waiting
eagerly for spring (yeah I know it's mid-December).

Most importantly of all I wish to welcome any permaculturists
travelling or living in Iceland to contact me. I would be most pleased
to share my knowledge of Iceland (I'm a qualified tourist guide) with
any visitors.

I'll briefly share with you my gardening efforts so far...

I've been renting a tiny apartment in the backyard of Reykjavík's best
known commercial street the past year, and the garden there had been a
mess since years before I came. It could be a reasonably productive and
pleasant urban garden, about 100 sq m framed with tall rowans planted
by some good man half a century ago. Parts of the garden were covered
with large pieces of rubbish and the lawn was ravaged by a dog which
regularly sprints across it at full speed. In the summer, my cousin,
who's one of the owners of the property, decided to cut back some of
the rowans in the summer to get more sunlight into the garden. That may
or may not have been necessary but in any case he never had any time to
remove the huge pile of leafy branches covering a third of the garden
surface. The other inhabitants' only contribution to the garden is to
venture in there once or twice per day to let their dog poop wherever
it pleases.

So a few months of observation was enough to see that this urban
garden's practically abandoned. At about this time I discovered
permaculture, got interested in plants and started to take an active
interest in the place. I gathered autumn leaves for a rudimentary
compost pile (my first attempt at composting) and eventually cleaned up
all the rubbish and convinced the owners (including my cousin) to help
me take it to the recycling center. I used the opportunity to make
clear my interest in taking care of the garden for them, in exchange
for the freedom to make the decisions myself, even after moving out of
the apartment (which I'm doing now). They gladly agreed to this. Then I
bought an axe and started chopping up all the wood for mulch and other
useful material.

Overall I've mostly had positive feedback to my efforts, even the
compost pile. The neighbours across the wall, who're gardening types,
explicitly thanked me for the initiative and took great interest in the
compost. Others are mostly ignorant and indifferent to the garden in
general.

Maybe this story is a bit lengthy and unremarkable but I guess I just
wanted to introduce myself for one thing and for another to encourage
anyone out there who doesn't own any land to look around for neglected
land to care for, rather than wait years for those 10 acres of
dreamland in the countryside. This way, by the time (if) I finally get
my own land somewhere I'll have plenty of hands-on experience.

Best regards to all,
Óskar
Reykjavík, Iceland


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Old 19-12-2006, 05:21 AM posted to alt.permaculture
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Default Permaculture in Iceland

In article om,
"hr.oskar" wrote:

I'm a new member here and my name is Óskar Gudlaugsson. I'm a young
Icelander new to permaculture but quite enthusiastic to get some things
going up here in the sub-Arctic.


Hello! I am a very long way from you and also interested in pc. I have just
looked at some jpegs of rowan trees as they do not grow in Sydney. Do they
grow very tall?

It sounds like you did a lot of work in your garden. How does it look now?

We are well into summer here, of course, though fortunately the temperatures
have mainly been moderate (by our standards... it only got up to 25 C here
today and we may get some rain this evening). I am very excited because I
have found some green tomatoes on my tomato plants, and my sweet corn is
growing well. I am afraid one of my two hens might be hiding her eggs, though.

I live on a largish suburban block (822 sq m) near the Olympic stadium in
Sydney. One of my garden beds is full of native plants, mainly those that
would have grown in the area before colonisation. I am trying to have a
permaculture vegetable patch. My biggest problem is rampant kikuyu grass and
drought.

--
Chookie -- Sydney, Australia
(Replace "foulspambegone" with "optushome" to reply)

"Parenthood is like the modern stone washing process for denim jeans. You may
start out crisp, neat and tough, but you end up pale, limp and wrinkled."
Kerry Cue
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Old 21-12-2006, 11:12 AM posted to alt.permaculture
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Default Permaculture in Iceland

Looks like a nightmare m8 - a cold and frozen hell right now yes? Get
out into da country mon. Peace. Near some hot springs were you are
there I would say. Grow some cannabis....

http://www.seedboutique.com/


OM


Chookie wrote:
In article om,
"hr.oskar" wrote:

I'm a new member here and my name is Óskar Gudlaugsson. I'm a young
Icelander new to permaculture but quite enthusiastic to get some things
going up here in the sub-Arctic.


Hello! I am a very long way from you and also interested in pc. I have just
looked at some jpegs of rowan trees as they do not grow in Sydney. Do they
grow very tall?

It sounds like you did a lot of work in your garden. How does it look now?

We are well into summer here, of course, though fortunately the temperatures
have mainly been moderate (by our standards... it only got up to 25 C here
today and we may get some rain this evening). I am very excited because I
have found some green tomatoes on my tomato plants, and my sweet corn is
growing well. I am afraid one of my two hens might be hiding her eggs, though.

I live on a largish suburban block (822 sq m) near the Olympic stadium in
Sydney. One of my garden beds is full of native plants, mainly those that
would have grown in the area before colonisation. I am trying to have a
permaculture vegetable patch. My biggest problem is rampant kikuyu grass and
drought.

--
Chookie -- Sydney, Australia
(Replace "foulspambegone" with "optushome" to reply)

"Parenthood is like the modern stone washing process for denim jeans. You may
start out crisp, neat and tough, but you end up pale, limp and wrinkled."
Kerry Cue


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Old 22-12-2006, 09:35 AM posted to alt.permaculture
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Default Permaculture in Iceland

Hi - I'm in the north of England - pretty much all cold and frosted
over here, too, though doubt if it's as cold as you! - and I have a
Rowan, too (o:

I've studied permaculture here in the UK and in tropical America; I'm
really interested in Pc in diverse climates and zones - do you know if
there's much use of geothermals in Pc in Iceland? That's something that
would really interest me.

I'd love to visit your country one day, I hear it's quite the place to
be right now. Almost made it once... Still trying.

Peace.
Gilly

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Old 14-01-2007, 11:19 PM posted to alt.permaculture
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Default Permaculture in Iceland

Happy New Year all!

I'm sorry to say I actually gave up on this group a few days after
posting, as I noticed there was lots of spam posts and not much
activity. So I'm pleasantly surprised now to see there were replies.

Chookie, in a sense you have more to show for than me, since I still
don't have anything resembling a yield! Well, I happened to start
gardening late autumn and obviously now it's winter and freezing cold.

Most rowans I'm familiar with are medium-sized, with a few species here
growing older and larger, such as the ones in my garden. But trees here
in Iceland are relatively small - the tallest trees in this country are
at most 30 m tall, and that's an extraordinary height, with most trees
being just 4-12 m tall. But then, we don't have any really old trees
here yet so those sizes don't necessarily reflect the maximum
potential.

In any case, the Australian environment is totally different from
Iceland in so many ways, according to what I've read. If you see a
rowan over there... then I think it got lost!

Gilly, geothermals certainly have a lot of good uses here in Iceland.
In fact we already do use them in horticulture - Icelanders have been
using geothermally heated greenhouses to grow food for 30-40 years now.
We're practically self-sufficient in tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers,
which are the main crops grown in the greenhouses. You could grow
bananas or coffee or whatever in there too, as that's been tried
successfully, but economically it can't really compete with imports so
no-one bothers.

Anyway I'm pretty much out of gardening jobs for now, as the country's
totally covered with snow these days. I've been in contact with the
local crowd of activists and alternative lifestyle people, hoping to
tell them a bit about pc so we could form a community here. A little
help from someone experienced in pc would go a long way, if someone's
travelling to Iceland in the coming months that is...



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Old 21-01-2007, 12:09 PM posted to alt.permaculture
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Default Permaculture in Iceland

In article . com,
"hr.oskar" wrote:

I'm sorry to say I actually gave up on this group a few days after
posting, as I noticed there was lots of spam posts and not much
activity. So I'm pleasantly surprised now to see there were replies.


It's not very active, but i check it every now and again.

Chookie, in a sense you have more to show for than me, since I still
don't have anything resembling a yield! Well, I happened to start
gardening late autumn and obviously now it's winter and freezing cold.


It's been a hot one here today; here it is 23:00 and still 29 C. Our maximum
was just under 41 C! I was relieved to see that most of my
recently-transplanted seedlings still looked happy at 15:00, and was able to
water them all at 16:00 (we are only allowed to water our gardens on
Wednesdays and Sundays, and then not between 10:00 and 16:00). OTOH my kale
(which have been growing since last autumn) are plainly sunburnt :-( At least
they are shading other plants.

In any case, the Australian environment is totally different from
Iceland in so many ways, according to what I've read. If you see a
rowan over there... then I think it got lost!


LOL, it depends where. In the 19th century there were Acclimatisation
Societies that brought all sorts of plants and animals here (some became
pests, unfirtunately). There may well be rowans growing in gardens in the
Australian Alps, and in Tasmania, which has a cool-temperate climate.

Anyway I'm pretty much out of gardening jobs for now, as the country's
totally covered with snow these days. I've been in contact with the
local crowd of activists and alternative lifestyle people, hoping to
tell them a bit about pc so we could form a community here. A little
help from someone experienced in pc would go a long way, if someone's
travelling to Iceland in the coming months that is...


Not me :-) But I imagine it is a good time for you to think of ideas for next
growing season. I tend to do planning in late summer as it's too *hot* to
garden comfortably!

--
Chookie -- Sydney, Australia
(Replace "foulspambegone" with "optushome" to reply)

"Parenthood is like the modern stone washing process for denim jeans. You may
start out crisp, neat and tough, but you end up pale, limp and wrinkled."
Kerry Cue
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Old 04-09-2007, 06:23 PM
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Hi...just signed up..

Oskar,

I found this thread after googling ´permaculture in Iceland´

I´m a uni exchnge student from University of Tasmania studying at Haskoli Islands this Fall. Are you still around Reykjavik? I´d love to come and check out your garden!...and remember what it´s like to see fresh vegies! (as opposed to those I can find at Bonus!!) Hope this summer has been fruitful for you!

I did my permaculture course in Australia some years ago and have been involved in a few projects since...

well, I´m very hopeful that we can get in contact....


cheers matey,

Briony
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Old 30-01-2009, 09:31 AM
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Hey Oskar,

My name's Sam, and I've been living in Rvk for the last ten years or so, hopeing to meet up with anyone interested in Pc. I'm currently in my first semester of the MA program in Sustainable Development at HI, and would like to try introducing some permaculture ideas to the general discussion. Problem is, I don't have much experience with Icelandic gardening, plant species, etc.

Think you could help?
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Old 23-02-2009, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hr.oskar View Post
Hello all,

I'm a new member here and my name is Óskar Gudlaugsson. I'm a young
Icelander new to permaculture but quite enthusiastic to get some things
going up here in the sub-Arctic.

I see that the activity on this group has somewhat dropped over the
years but I guess that's all the more reason to join and keep the
discussion going. Searching the archives I found a few Icelandic
residents writing about Pc in 2000-2001. If they're still around here
(in the group or in Iceland), I'd love to get in touch with them.

As I say I'm new to Pc (learned about it in September and got my first
books on the subject in late October). I scrambled to get more
intimately acquainted with the Icelandic flora before the onset of
winter (which I was rather ignorant about) and now find myself waiting
eagerly for spring (yeah I know it's mid-December).

Most importantly of all I wish to welcome any permaculturists
travelling or living in Iceland to contact me. I would be most pleased
to share my knowledge of Iceland (I'm a qualified tourist guide) with
any visitors.

I'll briefly share with you my gardening efforts so far...

I've been renting a tiny apartment in the backyard of Reykjavík's best
known commercial street the past year, and the garden there had been a
mess since years before I came. It could be a reasonably productive and
pleasant urban garden, about 100 sq m framed with tall rowans planted
by some good man half a century ago. Parts of the garden were covered
with large pieces of rubbish and the lawn was ravaged by a dog which
regularly sprints across it at full speed. In the summer, my cousin,
who's one of the owners of the property, decided to cut back some of
the rowans in the summer to get more sunlight into the garden. That may
or may not have been necessary but in any case he never had any time to
remove the huge pile of leafy branches covering a third of the garden
surface. The other inhabitants' only contribution to the garden is to
venture in there once or twice per day to let their dog poop wherever
it pleases.

So a few months of observation was enough to see that this urban
garden's practically abandoned. At about this time I discovered
permaculture, got interested in plants and started to take an active
interest in the place. I gathered autumn leaves for a rudimentary
compost pile (my first attempt at composting) and eventually cleaned up
all the rubbish and convinced the owners (including my cousin) to help
me take it to the recycling center. I used the opportunity to make
clear my interest in taking care of the garden for them, in exchange
for the freedom to make the decisions myself, even after moving out of
the apartment (which I'm doing now). They gladly agreed to this. Then I
bought an axe and started chopping up all the wood for mulch and other
useful material.

Overall I've mostly had positive feedback to my efforts, even the
compost pile. The neighbours across the wall, who're gardening types,
explicitly thanked me for the initiative and took great interest in the
compost. Others are mostly ignorant and indifferent to the garden in
general.

Maybe this story is a bit lengthy and unremarkable but I guess I just
wanted to introduce myself for one thing and for another to encourage
anyone out there who doesn't own any land to look around for neglected
land to care for, rather than wait years for those 10 acres of
dreamland in the countryside. This way, by the time (if) I finally get
my own land somewhere I'll have plenty of hands-on experience.

Best regards to all,
Óskar
Reykjavík, Iceland
Sæll hr.oskar,

I just moved (back) to Iceland and it is with great enthusiasm I randomly came across your post!

Im interested both in pc and ecovillages, and it is with agony I live in the city center (due to daily university obligations) without garden, air and natural surroundings. Im eager to "get dirt under my nails", engage in pc living patterns at a lower environmental impact and nuture/develop compassionate meaningfull social relationships.

I'd like to know more about your projects; I have a lot of energy, positive karma, willingness and curriosity to share,

Cram
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Old 07-10-2010, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skramillou View Post
Sæll hr.oskar,

I just moved (back) to Iceland and it is with great enthusiasm I randomly came across your post!

Im interested both in pc and ecovillages, and it is with agony I live in the city center (due to daily university obligations) without garden, air and natural surroundings. Im eager to "get dirt under my nails", engage in pc living patterns at a lower environmental impact and nuture/develop compassionate meaningfull social relationships.

I'd like to know more about your projects; I have a lot of energy, positive karma, willingness and curriosity to share,

Cram
Hey!

I hope oscar or cram are still online, still checking postings? I am studying architecture in oslo, norway, trying to get in contact with icelanders growing permaculturally or ecologically at least, and to share their experiences and knowledge with me!

I am planning a garden in Isafjórdur, in north-western Iceland. I want to figure out how to be gentle to the ecosystems of the place and still have edible plants and maybe even trees growing there, strong enough to endure the salt, wind and cold. Someone told me only birchtrees - and maybe not even they - are authentic to the icelandic landscape. What do you think of bringing in other species? Are there any kinds of appletrees growing in iceland? spinach? what kinds of potatoes? do you eat any of the algae in the sea? do mushrooms grow there?

As you see, i have many questions... are there any icelandic permaculture people out there?

--Tove


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Old 08-11-2010, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tove Posselt View Post
I am planning a garden in Isafjórdur, in north-western Iceland. I want to figure out how to be gentle to the ecosystems of the place and still have edible plants and maybe even trees growing there, strong enough to endure the salt, wind and cold. Someone told me only birchtrees - and maybe not even they - are authentic to the icelandic landscape. What do you think of bringing in other species? Are there any kinds of appletrees growing in iceland? spinach? what kinds of potatoes? do you eat any of the algae in the sea? do mushrooms grow there?
In Iceland, outdoors you can grow potatoes (certain Icelandic varieties), rhubarb, blackcurrants, redcurrants, cabbages, some other root veg. Potatoes are even said to grow better in the north because of the increased summer light, but you risk losing the crop to an early frost in August. I've certainly seen all of the above growing in or near Husavik in N Iceland. But Isafjordur is not as sheltered as Husavik, and is on a north facing coast, so you will need to establish some sheltered conditions to do it. No apple trees that I've heard of or seen in the whole country. With some glass, you can grow other stuff like lettuce easily in the summer.

Several willow species are native to Iceland, and are commonly used as windbreaks. Rowans are certainly seen. For some more interesting things which you do not commonly find there, I would suggest growing Nothofagus antarctica, the antarctic beech (which is not a true beech), Nothofagus betuloides (Magellan's beech), and Maytenus magellanica (Magellan's mayten) which all grow in Tierra del Fuego. The latter two are is evergreen. The mayten in particular is very southern in distribution, and grows well in the Faeroes. These will not become invasive so there should be no problem.

Not Icelandic, but I've been there a few times, and a friend has long been established there and has a vegetable garden.
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Old 09-11-2010, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by echinosum View Post
In Iceland, outdoors you can grow potatoes (certain Icelandic varieties), rhubarb, blackcurrants, redcurrants, cabbages, some other root veg. Potatoes are even said to grow better in the north because of the increased summer light, but you risk losing the crop to an early frost in August. I've certainly seen all of the above growing in or near Husavik in N Iceland. But Isafjordur is not as sheltered as Husavik, and is on a north facing coast, so you will need to establish some sheltered conditions to do it. No apple trees that I've heard of or seen in the whole country. With some glass, you can grow other stuff like lettuce easily in the summer.

Several willow species are native to Iceland, and are commonly used as windbreaks. Rowans are certainly seen. For some more interesting things which you do not commonly find there, I would suggest growing Nothofagus antarctica, the antarctic beech (which is not a true beech), Nothofagus betuloides (Magellan's beech), and Maytenus magellanica (Magellan's mayten) which all grow in Tierra del Fuego. The latter two are is evergreen. The mayten in particular is very southern in distribution, and grows well in the Faeroes. These will not become invasive so there should be no problem.

Not Icelandic, but I've been there a few times, and a friend has long been established there and has a vegetable garden.
Hello and hi!

Thank you so much for your answer! Would be glad to recieve answers from more permaculturers, and have found an apple called "close", which is said to be durable - maybe even fit for iceland? As for appletrees already existing in Iceland, I've heard that the first appletree was planted in 1909! Don't know wich sort it was though, and if it survivied

-Tove
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:26 AM
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Hello Oskar and others

Growing apple trees in Iceland is geting more and more common. there are atleast two suppliers of trees I know of and probebly you can find more. One is natthagi and you can find info on him at Ntthagi Garplntust, Garplntustin Ntthagi, Grrarstin Ntthagi, Garyrkjustin Ntthagi, Natthagi Nursery, tr, runnar, fjlr blm og sumarblm
I think the outher one is in the westiceland I don´t have the detailes.

I am very intrested in permaculture and other forms of agriculture, so I would be very intrested to know if there are outhers out there that live in Iceland and have or are planing a garden or buisness.

Regards
Hallur

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tove Posselt View Post
Hello and hi!

Thank you so much for your answer! Would be glad to recieve answers from more permaculturers, and have found an apple called "close", which is said to be durable - maybe even fit for iceland? As for appletrees already existing in Iceland, I've heard that the first appletree was planted in 1909! Don't know wich sort it was though, and if it survivied

-Tove
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:27 AM
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Hello Oskar and others

Growing apple trees in Iceland is geting more and more common. there are atleast two suppliers of trees I know of and probebly you can find more. One is natthagi and you can find info on him at

Ntthagi Garplntust, Garplntustin Ntthagi, Grrarstin Ntthagi, Garyrkjustin Ntthagi, Natthagi Nursery, tr, runnar, fjlr blm og sumarblm

I think the other one is in the west iceland I don´t have the detailed.

I am very interested in permaculture and other forms of agriculture, so I would be very interested to know if there are others out there that live in Iceland and have or are planing a garden or business.

Regards
Hallur

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tove Posselt View Post
Hello and hi!

Thank you so much for your answer! Would be glad to recieve answers from more permaculturers, and have found an apple called "close", which is said to be durable - maybe even fit for iceland? As for appletrees already existing in Iceland, I've heard that the first appletree was planted in 1909! Don't know wich sort it was though, and if it survivied

-Tove
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Old 22-05-2012, 06:34 PM
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Hae,

My name is Paulo and I live in Iceland and I am practicing Permaculture.

In Iceland I am aware of the limitation of climate, to grow food.

On the past, Icelandic people were self-sufficient and reliant on birds, fish, sheep and angelica roots. Of course, you dont want to live like that nowadays, but its proof its possible to survive even on the Icelandic highlands, during winter, just on wild foraging (as outlaws stories show us).

There are a few wild herbs you can eat, cooked dandelion (tunfífill) and nettles leaves, some sorrel rumex acetosa (tunsura) leaves. I haven't tried yet to cook northern dock, rumex longifolius (njóli) leaves or chickweed, stellaria media (haugarfi).

Besides this, mjadurt (meadowsweet, filipendula ulmaria), blodberg (iceland thyme) and birch/birki make all excellent teas!

There are other plants I haven't tried but I read somewhere you can eat them, silene acaulis (lambagras) and mertensia maritima (Blálilja) but I have to read more on their edible uses.

Now to Permacultu you can grow some conventional crops. Its easy to grow carrots, turnip tops, oriental cabbages such as pak choi, potatoes and broccoli. If you have good soil you can also try kohl rabi. You must grow these first indoors! Otherwise forget about it. Except carrots and rucula, that you can sow outside.

Perennials you have kale, lovage and rhubarb, all survive very well the Icelandic winter and are tasty. Carrots also overwinter easily, and I guess similar roots like parsnips, rutabagas, salfisy, skirret and scorzonora would also grow well as root crops in Iceland (and some of these are perennial).

Indoors grow tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, bush beans, and you can start squash indoors and transplant outside in late June. It will crop well if you plant it with lots of compost!

Spinach and radish are not possible to grow, because they bolt in response to the 24 hour daylight of the Icelandic summer. Radish can be grown if you sow in late July to reap them in September (when nights are longer). These you can also sow outside.

I was never lucky with lettuce or peas, must try it again.

Very easy are berries. Strawberries, blueberries and currants.

I also grow jerusalem artichokes, easy to grow, but I'm trying them first year. You can buy the roots sometimes even in Bonus!

Also easy is onions (but did not grow large), chives (perennials) and spring onions (overwinter quite easily). But I start first indoors.

Speaking of extra Permaculture species, I guess you can try mulberries, siberian pea, cornus mas, certain hardy bamboos, elaeagnus and hawthorn species, sea buckthorn...

Much easier than food is flowers. You can grow a lot to make your garden colorful and attractive to bees, birds and wildlife. Just plant cornflowers, poppies, marigolds, daddofils, tulips, crocus, anenoma, buttercups. Here I only had luck starting the seeds first inside and then transplanting outside, as weather is so often dry and windy, that even seedlings die sometimes. But poppies also grow wild in Iceland, and self-seed freely, and my poppies survived the winter and are going to flower just now again (they were perennial types).

I dont expect self-sufficiency, even partial in food, yet. Its hard and challenging. But its a hard challenge to try, so I want to see how far we can get in Iceland. It will need several years of learning and trying.

I am getting more and more interested into perennials, as annuals are difficult to grow in Iceland, and once perennials are established they are tough and adapt well. I think they are the key.

Finally the location where I grow the garden is in Grimsnes, 30km north of Selfoss, altitude 100m. So its pretty cold in winter, and frosts more often than in coastal Reykjavik but summer is a bit warmer and drier. Growing season is on average 10th June - 20th August (May and September have often hard frosts)

My email is p c b e s s a (write it without the spaces) at the most common email provider that starts with a "g". This is to avoid spam to catch my email address.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hallur View Post
Hello Oskar and others

I am very interested in permaculture and other forms of agriculture, so I would be very interested to know if there are others out there that live in Iceland and have or are planing a garden or business.

Regards
Hallur


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