1 These are Urban Cultivator residential units. I have two sitting side by side in the headhouse. This unit takes up the same footprint as a dishwasher and is plumbed to water and electrical in the same way. http://www.urbancultivator.net/
2 This is the commercial-sized Urban Cultivator. It is a bit bigger than the residential version - closer to the size of a commercial refrigerator. This one is also kept in the headhouse.
3 The seeds that Urban Cultivator provides have all been tested specifically for the machines. They are non-GMO (non genetically modified organism), organic, and come in a wide variety.
4 Seeds, seed sheets, humidity domes, and other cultivator accessories are stored neatly on shelves, where they can be kept handy and dry.
5 Urban Cultivator provides several options for growing seeds. For this option, fill a residential cultivator tray with about three-fourths of an inch of growing medium.
6 Lightly smooth out the medium. This is a natural and organic mix recommended by Urban Cultivator. It's called Sunshine Advanced Growing Mix 4, which includes peat moss, coir, and perlite for optimal plant growth and drainage. http://sunshineadvanced.com/
7 We decided to use wheatgrass for this tray.
8 Sprinkle about a cup of seeds evenly throughout the entire tray.
9 After seeding, drop a little more growing medium onto the seeds. Do you know... wheatgrass has more vitamin-C than oranges and twice the vitamin-A as carrots? And it's delicious in green juice.
10 Place the tray into the Urban Cultivator.
11 Urban Cultivator provides humidity domes for each tray. Place one on top of the wheatgrass seeds until they are finished germinating.
12 The Urban Cultivator's pre-programmed control center ensures that the greens get exactly the right amount of water and light. The on-board fans control humidity and air circulation.
13 These trays are in different stages of growth. Inside the Urban Cultivator, they are receiving the best growing conditions, regulating water, light as well as humidity levels. It is so fascinating to watch the plants grow.
14 Here's another growing option... Ryan lined the tray with a filter mat to keep the growing medium contained. One filter mat fits perfectly in a cultivator tray.
15 Growing medium is scooped into the tray - again, nearly an inch deep.
16 The soil is lightly tamped down.
17 For this tray, we decided to plant some lettuce.
18 Lettuce seeds are quite small. Sprinkle the seeds across the entire tray.
19 It's hard to tell the seeds apart from the perlite in the medium, but they're there. Once the seeds are distributed on the tray, cover lightly with another dusting of soil medium.
20 And place the tray into the Urban Cultivator.
21 The humidity dome remains positioned over the seed tray until germination begins. Each tray received about 18-hours of light a day.
22 This is a collection of various seed sheets, which fit perfectly into a cultivator tray.
23 We chose pepper arugula, a leafy green herb of the mustard family. Also known as rocket, Italian cress, roquette, and rucola, arugula is a great source of vitamins A and C, folate, calcium and magnesium.
24 Compressed peat sheets are used as an alternative to soil - they make clean-up so much easier.
25 The compressed peat sheets come in squares.
26 Place two peat sheets into the tray - no cutting needed at all. They fit perfectly.
27 Place one seed sheet on top of the peat sheets.
28 Be sure the seed sheet is flat against the peat sheets.
29 Each seed sheet has seeds spread evenly across for best growing.
30 Place the seed tray into the commercial cultivator.
31 And, affix the dome on top of the tray and keep it on while the seeds are germinating. We'll have delicious pepper arugula in about three weeks!
32 These seed sheets combine compressed peat with the seeds already on them. Here, we're preparing a tray of basil.
33 Simply place two squares into the tray, and place into the cultivator unit.
34 The Urban Cultivator's pre-programmed control center works the same way in the commercial sized unit - adding just the right amount of water and light, while controlling its humidity and air circulation.
35 The programming device is fascinating - we programmed the watering intervals to once every four days.
36 On the side of the unit, basic illustrations for preparing each growing tray.
37 Water comes out of the back of the Urban Cultivator and is absorbed through the holes at the bottom of each tray.
38 After just four days, the arugula is sprouting.
39 And, look at this tray of wheatgrass.
40 This tray has been growing for nearly two weeks. Look how lush and green this is. My canaries will really enjoy this treat and so will I in my morning green juice!