You Can Visit the Svalbard Global Seed Vault with Martha Stewart

It’s the grand prize in a singular sweepstakes created to help preserve and protect crop diversity around the world.

You Can Visit the Svalbard Global Seed Vault with Martha Stewart

A private tour of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault with Martha Stewart? It’s a good thing.

Photo by Justin Hackworth for Alt Summit 2012 NYC / Flickr

From out of the Arctic Ocean comes January’s most unexpected contest, for which the grand prize promises to knock out—for this writer, at least—not one but two bucket-list items: a guided stroll through the subzero warehouse that is the Svalbard Global Seed Vault and dinner with Martha Stewart.

Working with charity contest organizer Prizeo and The Crop Trust, the international crop-diversity research group behind the Norwegian seed vault, Ms. Stewart has concocted an uncommon adventure for travelers whose interests extend all the way from sequencing corn genomes to making a killer risotto. The big winner and a friend (possibly a worthy travel editor type?) will fly to Oslo for three nights of wining and dining. At some point, you will head off to the island of Spitsbergen, the largest in the Svalbard archipelago, off the Norwegian coast. There, you will enjoy a private tour of the seed vault (with Martha!) followed by dinner with food scientists and policy-makers (and Martha!).

Of course, because only food scientists and policy-makers fly all the way to Svalbard for seeds alone, you’ll do some dogsledding, polar bear–watching, snowmobiling, and glacial spelunking during your visit. So wear your good socks.


The Svalbard Global Seed Vault houses some 5,000 varieties of crop seeds from around the world.

Courtesy of WIkipedia

Cost of entry? A minimum donation of $10 (for 100 contest entries) to Crop Trust’s seed-diversity efforts, which include maintaining private seed collections around the world, building a failsafe backup of seed types, and, of course, keeping the lights on at Svalbard. Naturally, you’re welcome to contribute more: Bigger donations get more contest entries and goodies like official Seed Vault T-shirts (cooler than they sound) and signed copies of Martha’s indispensable Slow Cooker cookbook.

Enter to win Martha’s amazing seed-peeping Norwegian adventure at Entry is open through January 24, and the winner (picked on January 25) will need to fly (with Martha!) between February 8 and February 15. Not that we’re excited or anything.

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