What is Polar Permaculture?

We aim to grow local food here near the north pole, and make fresh produce accessible to everyone in our community. The Polar Garden was established here in Longyearbyen in 2013.

Chef Ben in his Polar Garden.

Chef Ben in his Polar Garden.


Our Beginning

Polar Permaculture evolved out of the need for Chef Benjamin L. Vidmar to have the freshest, locally grown produce in the northern most town of Longyearbyen. He has been working to grow food in Longyearbyen since 2013 while he was working as head chef of Svalbar Pub. During his time there, he also began experimenting with composting and using it to reduce shipments of fertilizers from the mainland.


“If we can do this project here near the north pole, then it can be done anywhere!”

— Benjamin L. Vidmar, FOUNDER


Vidmar is from a foodie family and grew up in Cleveland, OH in the USA. He is a chef first, and his hope with the Polar Garden is to increase the availability of locally grown food and reduce the 100% import of food from mainland Norway. Polar Permaculture has recently completed a Feasibility study with EBF in Germany and is now seeking funding to scale up the operation.

View of our summer growing dome.

View of our summer growing dome.


Our Mission

We are determined to make Longyearbyen more sustainable by growing as much local food as possible, and also composting much of the organic waste. We also want to reduce our consumption of single use plastic, and work to be a zero waste company.



The percentage of local greens we want to produce by 2021


The percentage of local greens we want to produce by 2030


The percentage of food we presently important from the mainland

During the summer.

During the summer.

Get involved!

If you live near or are visiting Longyearbyen then contact us. We accept volunteers regardless of skill level. There is a rotation in roles, but we’ll teach you all the skills you need to know. Our Patreon page is the place to sign up and follow our jourey!

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