This is the weather that I woke up to today:
This is not OK. Especially since Iceland, a country with the word "ICE" in it was warmer (thanks, Gulf Stream!). That said, it was still pretty fucking cold there. Between the wind, spontaneous hail storms, blizzards, and stinging rain, our trip in Iceland literally covered ALL THE WEATHER (usually within the span of an hour). Somehow, in the midst of all this weather and just a few hours of sunlight during the winter, the country manages to grow all of its own produce. Confused? I was too.
That's where these nifty greenhouses come in. Iceland is dotted with them -- mostly around geothermal areas, of which Iceland has plenty. From what I understood during our visit to one such greenhouse, they use the naturally warm soil found in the area to grow the crops and use the geothermal energy to heat the houses. Farmers grow all kinds of things in them from cucumbers to bananas to kale (yes, it's everywhere, people) and even tropical plants. Bonus -- since it's so cold up there, they don't have to deal with pests and therefore don't use any pesticides. We also learned that they bake their "special bread" in the ground (just put the dough in a tin, drop it in a hole, and wait 24 hours). I'd never tasted anything like this bread before. After a few tries, I think I can say that I like it.
The greenhouse we visited up north (run by possibly the cutest family ever) grew tomatoes, so naturally they served up some bomb ass tomato soup. The soup came with home-baked bread (not the special kind) and a lecture about how they grow everything.
Listening to the farming stuff was neat, but eating the soup was better because let's get real -- who wants to learn on vacation?! It was the perfect warm start to a chilly day touring Iceland! If you can't make it up north anytime soon (to experience the balmy weather), you can still purchase some of their homemade salsas and jams online. Since I didn't try them myself, I can't vouch for them, but based on the soup, I'd say you're in for a treat.