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Vertical gardens make it possible to grow in the Arctic

GreenStalk, a US company making vertical garden planters, has sponsored Polar Permaculture in Svalbard, Norway, and its northernmost greenhouse in the world, with 25 of its innovative GreenStalk gardening systems.

North of the Arctic Circle, there's a tiny Scandinavian community of Svalbard, a town that cannot even grow a tree, and a greenhouse experiment that could revolutionize greenhouse gardening.

In Arctic climates, the soil is impossible to cultivate, the temperatures freezing and the sun is nearly nonexistent most of the year. In Svalbard, there are many restrictions on the protected island – you cannot be born and you cannot die on the island.

Polar Permaculture has been attempting the unthinkable – growing fresh produce for this freezing community. Why? It's vital for locals to have access to fresh, inexpensive food if Svalbard is able to survive, making “living green” a necessity. GreenStalk is helping them grow food for their community in a small greenhouse.

“At Polar Permaculture, we are a family company and we all love to work on this project. It is important for the town here so we want to see it through,” Benjamin Vidmar, Creative Director of Polar Permaculture, says of the project.

Jack Peterson, creator of GreenStalk, said of his initial reaction to Vidmar's ask, “When I learned what Benjamin and his team were doing – creating a viable, sustainable garden in the middle of ice and little sun – I jumped at the opportunity to see GreenStalk benefit the community.”

“All food is flown or shipped in so it is very difficult to have really fresh food,” said Vidmar. “Food is also very expensive here so most people prefer to drink alcohol which is tax free. We also dump all organic waste into the sea, so we started this project in order to close the loop. We grow food and sell to the people and then we collect it all back and compost it.”

GreenStalk is helping the northernmost town in the world achieve their goal of growing fresh produce year-round. Capable of growing vegetables, strawberries, and herbs with 10” deep gardening pockets, an internal watering system all with a footprint of 19”, GreenStalk is changing the Green Industry.

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