It’s not every day that dynamite is used in building a new greenhouse. But for Skavland Gartneri, the explosives were essential in flattening the construction site sufficiently. Neither is the actual location of the tomato company commonplace: it’s on the sparsely-populated island of Talgje, just above Norway’s Stavanger. KUBO is realising an 18,000 square metre project, following its erection of 11,500 square metres of greenhouse in 2014. Havard Skavland is now the third tomato-growing generation in the family business.
Skavland Gartneri operates in an idyllic setting, with fjords, the sea and mountains as the backdrop. It was the mountainous terrain in particular which initially stood in the way of constructing the new building. In total, some 42,000 cubic metres of rock were blown up in six months to create space, using 20,000 kilos of dynamite.
The entire island of Talgje has only 250 inhabitants in its four square kilometres, as one of the 16 islands in the Finnoy municipality. This municipality is also sparsely populated, with only 3,000 inhabitants across all the islands. The Norwegian mainland is reached through the Finnoy Tunnel, under the sea.
KUBO was involved back in 2014 too. An 8,000 square metre Venlo greenhouse was then built, commissioned by the Skavland family. The third generation is currently at the company’s helm: husband and wife Havard and Edle Skavland. The three sons of the company still go to school but help a lot in the company.
Sweet snack tomatoes
Skavland Gartneri has been growing tomatoes since 1937. These will also be placed in the new greenhouse under construction, 18,000 square metres in size. Skavland specialises in the cultivation of sweet snack tomatoes, supplied in cheerful shakers to BAMA, Norway’s leading fruit and vegetable wholesaler. The surrounding sea gives the island a mild climate.
Cultivation begins with planting around Christmas and lasts until early December. KUBO expects to need 6 weeks for the construction.