Though Dallas and i recently returned from 2 weeks stay in Iceland, we did not have opportunity to visit the location where Thorvin Kelp is harvested, dried, and packaged. If i get the opportunity to go back, i will make a better effort to get there. However, it is a 3 hour drive one way from Reykjavik, so we’ll see. Driving is straightforward and fairly easy in Iceland, so it wouldn’t be difficult.
Here’s a brief history from Thorverk website:
Thorverk hf. is a seaweed drying plant founded founded in 1986 on the remnants of the pioneering Þörungavinnslan at Reykhólar North of Breiðafjörður, Iceland. The abundnat seaweed grounds of Breiðafjörður have been harvested in the area since 1974 to produce geothermally dried algal meal. The geothermal heat comes from local boreholes. Thorverk is able to produce annually several thousand tons of pure, dry seaweed meal. The product has been certified as organic and sustainably harvested for decades..
Seaweed Meal Processing
Thorverk focuses on harvesting two species of seaweed: Ascophyllum nodosum and Laminaria digitata. The A. nodosum is collected between April and October using specially designed harvesting machines. They cut the plants obove the growth point. The harvested grounds are then left for regrowth for at least four years. L. digitata is harvested using a specially equipped coaster in late autumn and winter.
Harvesting schemes are deployed for the seaweed based on decades of experience and in accordance with surveys and consultancy from Icelandic and international marine biology experts.
Once landed, the crop is chopped and dried using a band drier. Clean, dry air is pre-heated to a max. of 85°C using hot geothermal water that is fed through heat exchangers. This gentle drying procedure ensures that all minerals and organic substances are preserved in the raw material. The drying heat also prevents surface oxidation and browning or burning. Its colour is therefore delightfully bright. The use of the geothermal water also means the production process is environmentally benign. The geothermal hot water flows freely from the wells and emits next to nil of CO2.
Tuesday i took another pallet shipment of Thorvin kelp which i offer free choice to my cow/calf herd as well as offer for sale to those who don’t need a pallet at a time. Thorvin Kelp is offered in 50 lb bags at $60 per bag picked up at Powell Seed Farm, Linneus, MO.
Iceland is a beautiful but sparsely populated country with natural resources including geothermal heat just spouting up all over! and the sweetest tasting just-off-the-glacier water in the world. More about our journey in Iceland in future blogs.