Akureyri's pandemic gardening boom

09.06.2021 - 15:30
Mynd með færslu
 Mynd: Óðinn Svan Óðinsson - RÚV
Residents of Akureyri, the biggest town in North Iceland, have been able to rent small vegetable gardens from the municipality for around a decade—but interest has spiked since the pandemic hit. People not only have more time, but also seem more appreciative of the outdoors, and of good, fresh food.

Dagfríður Ósk and Óli Steinar, allotment gardeners, say:
“It has gone really well, I would say.” 
“Yes, there was at least a harvest last year!” 
“Absolutely!” 
“We thought we’d killed everything that first week, but it sorted itself out, so it’s really gone well, yeah!"

The centre manager, Jóhann Thorarensen: 
“Last year, it grew a lot. And now this year it grew even more, so we’ve had to plough up grass and create new beds, and there is now a waiting list that we’ve been working through, so there’s quite a buzz around all of this now.”

There was, as you say, a big increase after the banking crisis and again now after the virus. Does it always follow some great crisis, this gardening of yours?

 “You could say that one man’s tragedy is another man’s treasure: that we use it for growth!” 

Dagfríður Ósk and Óli Steinar add: 

“When you come here, you get to somehow reset. You’re just pottering around, watering things, and really relaxing.”  
“It’s a sort of connection to the earth.” 
“Like a good yoga session?” 
“Yes, eaxtly, except outside in the good weather. Which is a plus.” 

Asked if the weather is always good, Dagfríður assures RÚV's reporter that it is indeed always sunny in Akureyri.

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