Did you ever wish you could have your own garden but you don’t have the time? Or don’t have a backyard? I may have just found the perfect solution for you.
Here’s the deal. We all know you’re better off buying organic food at the market and locally grown food at the farmers market when possible. But we all can agree that growing our own food would be the optimal choice for the freshest and most health-promoting veggies. Not only does it sound difficult and time-consuming to somebody like me, but I don’t have the luxury of having a backyard either. A good friend introduced me to Tarren over at Urban Cultivator, a company that produces and distributes amazing hydroponic growing devices for both homes and restaurants. I had a chance to interview Tarren recently and transcribed it below for your enjoyment. This thing blows your typical herb-growing kit out of the water. For more info, check out their website at www.urbancultivator.net
Hi Tarren, tell me a little bit about what the Urban Cultivator is and how you got involved with it.
Tarren: It’s been around for three years now, and our parent company that’s been around for 13 years allowed us to make this product. My wife battles with food allergies, and we had a desire to have a garden year round without having to buy imported greens from the grocery store. Well, how do we do that? Well, we already consume energy to keep any room at a certain temperature, so why not grow inside where it’s perfectly acclimated to do so? So we created this for a lot of reasons – clean eating, energy consumption, and so on.
So how exactly does it work?
Tarren: We do all the seed consumables, so when anyone orders a container from us, it has four flats worth. So they can divide the container by 4, but a lot of people will order a full years supply. You can use either soil or go with a soilless option which is a white mat – which is perfect for restaurants.
For someone with zero vegetable growing experience (like me), is this thing fool-proof ?
Tarren: We’ve automated a lot of things, like plumbing it in to the city reservoir so that it auto-waters for you. This is great especially for sprouting where you need to flood and drain them three times a day. Instead of just harvesting when they’re super super short, you can let them grow for about 7 to 14 days. A lot of things like kale, broccoli, and pea shoots, you can get a pound to 4 pounds a flat every 7 to 14 days.
So you can grow pretty much any green in there?
Tarren: Yep, there’s a ton of stuff like beet tops and things that you’d normally be waiting for the traditional vegetable for 8 to 14 weeks, you can just harvest the green in that 7 to 14 days. And it tastes like the parent – i.e. the beet tops taste just like a beet – but you get that faster reward. Same thing with sunflowers and other tasty stuff we’re trying to turn people on to.
I know you have a lot of units in restaurants, but you have a unit for homes too right?
Tarren: Yes! We’re putting some units in condo projects. We actually just had a project in Mongolia where they put a unit into every suite. It’s an attractive feature for them to help sell their condos faster. Its something cool, it’s a green play, and it beats a wine cooler.