What is Polar Permaculture?


Just a few years ago …

Svalbard was functioning without local food resources and the concept of fruitful agriculture in the tundra seemed impossible. Insufficient waste removal appeared to be inevitable and imported, nearly-fresh food was a luxury only for those who could afford it.

Svalbard has a history of self-sufficiency and sustainability that has long been forgotten, but with modern technology and courageous perseverance, we will reclaim our power. Polar Permaculture was founded in 2015 to create sustainable systems that make a difference in our local community and around the world.

           Benjamin L. Vidmar, the founder of Polar Permaculture, is an eco-chef and foodie from Cleveland, Ohio. Cruise ship kitchens and distinguished culinary positions took him around the world and he worked for 18 years as a professional chef in the US, Asia, and Scandinavia. He visited Svalbar for the first time in 2007 and instantly fell in love with the Arctic. After several years as the head chef at Svalbar Pub, he felt called to interrupt and innovate a food system that simply wasn’t working.

Click photo for BBC video about Polar Permaculture

Click photo for BBC video about Polar Permaculture

            Polar Permaculture is driven by the principals of earth care, people care, and fair share. Benjamin works daily with a dedicated team of growers and innovators that strive to create fully ethical, sustainable systems that solve common problems. His infectious enthusiasm and inspiring vision push through the darkness and doubts to create amazing results. Our innovative ideas keep us up at night, so please feel free to get in touch at any time.

            We are on a mission to make the most of what we have and to never be limited by what we don’t. Today, Polar Permaculture produces farm fresh, nutritious vegetables, microgreens, and sprouts for our local community with a sustainable, circular system. One day, Polar Permaculture will produce enough food for the entire town of Longyearbyen and process all of the community’s organic and biological waste.

We strive for innovation every day and are always dreaming of what comes next – how can we best serve our community and heal the world? Soon, we will take the next step and scale up to 10% of greens being produced locally. Once we reach that goal, the next step would be to produce 50% of the greens locally. Join Benjamin and the entire Polar Permaculture team as we fulfill our destiny for sustainability.