Urban Cultivators Are the Hottest New Home Appliances

Farm to Table at Home

Whether they live in a condo unit among skyscrapers, concrete and construction or in a house with a backyard, more and more people are growing their own food.

While to some, the thought of it may seem like the latest trend in “I’m-better-than-you-living,” growing your own healthy goodness makes a lot of sense. Thanks to the rise of home cultivators, it’s easier than ever to do so too, even if you have trouble keeping a cactus alive and lack ample outdoor real estate. A new staple in the homes of countless Canadians, a home cultivator could easily become as commonplace as the dishwasher.

Offering a solid source of fresh, local and organic eating long after the farmers’ markets pack up for the season, home cultivators allow you to grow fruits, vegetables and herbs without sunlight or outdoor space. Instead of dropping countless hard-earned dollars at Whole Foods for a healthy food fix, they let you grow things like onions, lettuce, hot peppers, carrots, strawberries and micro greens in your own kitchen.

Not only do home cultivators cut down precious time spent on travel and grocery shopping, they are as good for the environment as they are for nourishing your body. Growing your own food results in very little food waste, allowing you to farm minutes before the food hits your fork.

The Seedo is about the size of a mini fridge and one of the more popular cultivators on the market. Available online come summer for a price tag of more than $1000 (USD), it allows you to easily cultivate fruits, vegetables, herbs, micro greens and flowering plants. After a demonstration video for the product was leaked to the public, it gained quick viral success and the demand for the appliance soared.

Another popular option is the Martha Stewart-approved – and much pricier – Urban Cultivator. This sleek appliance takes growing to a whole new level, allowing you to grow eight varieties of herbs and microgreens at once. The self-watering cultivator requires plumbing at the point of installation and will set you back $2,500. The product attracted the attention and investment dollars of Dragons’ Den’s Arlene Dickinson, who has said that the appliance has a two to three-year payback period for a household that regularly buys fresh produce.

Bringing the idea of indoor farming to the masses, IKEA has even jumped on the grow-it-yourself bandwagon. Last year, the company released a DIY indoor garden that can grow food year-round. The KRYDDA/VÄXER series was developed in collaboration with agricultural scientists and runs on a hydroponic system. The only work required by you is to keep an eye on the water levels. After they grow in the incubator’s foam plugs, the plants are transferred into pots and arranged in a solar lamp-equipped growing tray as they continue to flourish. Taking it a step further, earlier this year, IKEA introduced the Growroom, a flat-pack indoor spherical garden made from plywood and buildable from home (if you have the space).

If you have the cash to spend and a desire for simple farm-to-table eating, you may want to consider making an urban cultivator your next big household purchase; after all, it doesn’t get more “local” than your kitchen.