The “Urban Farm” is Shrinking… Right Down to Kitchen Size
By Barbara Langford, President HydroPro Sales Inc
Is a “kitchen farm” in your future? Would you jump at the chance to grow all of your leafy greens and herbs fresh, pesticide free and healthy right in your own kitchen? The concept to provide fresh healthy food for your family right from your kitchen is hard to resist. Can you actually control what you eat, providing your family with healthy HYPER LOCAL greens, herbs and small vegetables and fruits, that you grow yourself? Yes you can.
Controlled Environment Agriculture or as the pros call it, CEA, is coming to a kitchen near you, perhaps your own. Controlled environment growing involves growing hydroponically in water or aeroponically, in mist, inside, in a building where factors like temperature, humidity, lighting, nutrient and water levels, CO2 levels and more, are constantly monitored and controlled. These facilities can be huge, housed in gigantic warehouses, or shrunk down to shipping container size. They can make a big impact on local food sources. CEA facilities are highly efficient when compared to traditional in ground farming using a fraction of the water, and zero pesticides. Plus, they provide local fresh food, often in urban areas, reducing the carbon footprint of produce having to travel days to reach a market.
The “Cultivators” a Farm in Your Kitchen
Taking these methods, shrinking them down even more, kitchen appliance makers are using the lessons learned by the big growers and are creating CEA appliances, known as “cultivators” for your home. Ranging in size from a dishwasher, to a refrigerator, you now have the option of growing all your leafy greens, herbs and small vegetables and fruits right in your kitchen, living room or garage. It doesn’t matter if snow is falling or it’s 105 degrees outside, you can grow with minimum effort and automated success. OH.. and by the way? NO tilling, weeding or pests to deal with. You will grow clean and pure without backbreaking labor in a small space that will give you maximum results!
These units are being developed by companies everywhere and there are some beautiful examples of what your kitchen can look like with the addition of a kitchen farm cultivator. Some of these units are quite pricey but when you see them in designer kitchens, you’ll see why!
While perhaps not kitchen size, the Hydro Rack can easily fit inside another area of your home. It is a complete open hydroponic system with a twist.. There is absolutely no plumbing required..The unique tray system provides nutrient solution to the vegetables within each tray. Pump and lighting operation is automatic. The amount of produce you can grow with this system is amazing and if you add several together, you can easily grow for profit for much less investment than a shipping crate design. Learn more here
Tabletop Mini Farms
Kitchen farms can be as simple as a tabletop units too, although without the temperature, co2 and humidity control found in the self contained closed units. The tabletop farms are experiencing great popularity as entry level automated hydroponic growing systems that can provide leafy greens and herbs in an attractive home accessory way. Anyone who loves plants and gardening will enjoy seeing their fresh herbs and leafy greens growing inside, featured under high effeciency LED lights, even during a snowstorm! The winter “pent up gardener” syndrome can be alleviated when one has a pretty crop of lettuce, spinach, bok choi or herbs, happily growing on the kitchen counter. No need to wait to peruse the Seed Catalogs! Buy now… Plant now.
The unit shown here is the Micro Farm by Keisue. Keisue specializes in LED lights, and for many years, studied how light spectrum effects plant growth. The LED lights in the Keisue unit have been specifically chosen to be the right frequency and intensity to provide exactly what leafy greens and herbs need to thrive. Watch out though, having these tabletop Micro Farms can become addictive! Once one is obtained, more may follow. Click the image to the left for more info and to purchase this affordable (and adorable) micro farm.
Keisue is also involved in the production of enclosed, controlled environment kitchen farm cultivators, as seen above. These units can provide a continuous supply of fresh greens, up to 4 heads of lettuce or other greens per week! For more information, direct your inquiries here.
The video below is a great representation of how the kitchen cultivators work using crop rotation. Seeds and seedlings are cultivated in the bottom of cultivator and, as they mature, moved to different levels to complete their growing cycle. There are always plants starting and always plants finishing under LED grow lights that provide the perfect light for maximum performance. Even microgreens, one of the most nutritious superfoods you can eat, can be grown in the cultivators. (or on your counter top) These fast crops finish in 8 to 10 days (!)
If controlling the quality of your food source is important to you, growing your own, right in your own kitchen may be your best bet! We have info on many systems that can start you off but not break the bank. Please contact us for more info.