The Future Of Greenhouse Structures

Rena - Healthy Funky Foods
Photo courtesy of Urban Cultivator

Could Grow-Your-Own Circumvent Traditional Growers?

A Canadian-based company, Urban Cultivator, is helping homeowners and restaurants take growing their own fresh produce to the next level, with a unit that grows up to 50 types of microgreens and vegetables on-site. The company says its units could be as common in home kitchens within five years as a dishwasher. Just three years after developing the Urban Cultivator, which offers models for residential and commercial use, the company has buy-in from some of the largest hotel chains (Four Seasons, Fairmont) and food corporations (Aramark, Cisco) in North America. Residential developers are using the units as green marketing to set the value of their condos and homes apart in the rough economy.

“Fresh cut greens have double the nutritional value of precut within 24 hours,” says Tarren Wolfe, the co-founder of Urban Cultivator. “So this is a way for everyone to be self sufficient, while cutting down on the food-travel carbon footprint in a big way. You’re connecting people to their food, educating them, allowing them to deliver a healthier, better product to themselves or their consumer. Look at how much money we spend policing the term ‘organic.’ If everyone is able to grow produce and be self-sufficient, think about how much money we would save. Same with healthcare costs, especially in the U.S. It’s a reciprocal product. Whomever buys these — whatever homeowner, whatever restaurant — they want to tell everybody about it.”

The cost for a residential unit is $2,200. Wolfe says some people have sticker shock initially but when you break down the cost, it ends up being a two-year return on investment, based on the average consumer spending over $100/month in greens. “This way you can do it year-round, and you know it’s clean because you grew it,” he says.

Commercial units cost $8,000 total, but restaurants can lease a commercial unit for $250 per month on a five-year lease-to-own program, Wolfe says. “That’s very cost-effective for high-end restaurants like Four Seasons, which can spend thousands per month buying microgreens from greenhouses.”

Topics: , ,

Leave a Reply

More From Equipment...
Lighting Book Light Management in Controlled Environments

April 24, 2017

“Light Management in Controlled Environments” Now Available on Amazon

An expanded update to “Lighting Up Profits,” this new lighting book unlocks the secrets of managing light to enhance greenhouse crop production.

Read More
GGS Cannabis Production

April 19, 2017

Suppliers Can Offer Technical Solutions for New Cannabis Growers

Here’s a look at how a few manufacturers have partnered with growers to make their transition into cannabis a smooth one, whether it’s through hands-on guidance or partnering with other industry leaders.

Read More
LumiGrow Growers Council

April 17, 2017

LumiGrow’s Latest Lighting Research Highlighted in Grower Event, Upcoming Webinar

Industry leaders representing a broad range of vegetable, floriculture, and cannabis producers gathered to learn how to implement modern lighting strategies for their own production.

Read More
Latest Stories
Argus Multi-Feed RM - feature

March 26, 2017

Feeding System Allows For More Precise Delivery of Nutr…

Argus Controls’ Multi-Feed RM100 is designed to help producers custom-feed their plants based on specific nutrient recipes.

Read More
Emerald Coast Growers Seed RoomTight feature

March 22, 2017

An Inside Look at Emerald Coast Growers’ New Seed…

Florida-based liner producer Emerald Coast Growers custom retrofitted and expanded an existing greenhouse, with the goal of increasing production efficiency.

Read More
Pic-O-Mat Vision system feature

March 3, 2017

How Growers Can Make the Most of Automation

A Greenhouse Grower Top 100 Grower says investing in automation can reap several long-term benefits, as long as you do so for the right reasons.

Read More
Visser PC 16 Transplanter feature

February 13, 2017

How to Find a Greenhouse Transplanter for Every Grower&…

Equipment manufacturers have recognized a void in the market for machinery that appeals to growers of all sizes and budgets. Here are some affordable options to consider investing in to improve your operation’s efficiency.

Read More
ISO Cutting Machine

February 4, 2017

Getting to the Next Generation of Greenhouse Automation

The most successful growers in the future will be those that are willing to accept and invest in new technology.

Read More
TopCrop Monitor (Priva) feature

February 2, 2017

The Latest Updates in Greenhouse Environmental Controls

Constant monitoring of your greenhouse climate is critical, especially when you can’t be there in person. Here’s a look at what manufacturers have developed to make this process more efficient and effective.

Read More
DRAMM PulsFOG

February 1, 2017

DRAMM: 75 Years of Innovation

This manufacturer and distributor of horticultural tools and equipment has a long history of developing inventive new technology that solves problems for its customers.

Read More
Botany Lane Greenhouses

January 27, 2017

Why Botany Lane Grows Poinsettias On Capillary Mats

A move to watering mats cut water and fertilizer use, production time, and labor for this Colorado-based grower.

Read More
Ever Bloom Robot Sprayer feature

January 23, 2017

New Automation Systems Improve Spraying and Harvesting

In response to increasing regulations on labor, Ever-Bloom Inc. decided to invest in new automation technology that also dramatically improves efficiency.

Read More
Bouldin and Lawson Precision Needle Seeder feature

January 19, 2017

How You Can Get More Precise With Your Seeder

Bouldin & Lawson’s Precision Needle Seeder is designed to improve accuracy when sowing small, difficult seeds.

Read More
Silver Bullet Heaters (Heat Star By Enerco) Feature

November 28, 2016

The Latest In Greenhouse Heating And Cooling Products

New developments in heating, cooling, ventilation, and humidity control technology are designed to help you manage your greenhouse environment more efficiently. Check out some of the latest offerings from leading manufacturers.

Read More
north-creek-nurseries-gutter-connected-greenhouse-feature

November 23, 2016

How Greenhouse Technology At North Creek Nurseries Expe…

The new structure is the latest step in a lean flow efficiency process designed to help the company cut waste, drive down shrink, and increase profits.

Read More
Sensaphone alarms system

November 21, 2016

Five Things To Consider Before Purchasing A Greenhouse …

A greenhouse alarm can be the difference between you and a major catastrophe that results in crop losses. Before you make a purchase, take these factors into account.

Read More
LED lights used in greenhouse

November 4, 2016

Evaluating Greenhouse Supplemental Lighting For Young A…

Researchers at Purdue and Michigan State University compare young and finished plant production under LED toplighting and HPS lamps to determine which source is most effective.

Read More
greenpower-led-production-module-philips-lighting

October 18, 2016

Lighting Research Center Is Surveying Growers On Supple…

The Center, part of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, is looking for commercial growers to participate in an online survey regarding supplemental greenhouse lighting.

Read More
Chemical hopper

October 3, 2016

New Soil Mix Technology Generates High-Precision Greenh…

Advancements in soil mixers help growers achieve the highest level of automation and efficiency to create the ideal growing media for every type of crop.

Read More
Floricultura Bench Pulling System

July 31, 2016

Automation Saves Labor And Space At Floricultura Pacifi…

This Salinas, CA, orchid grower brings plants to its workers through automation that saves valuable time and takes full advantage of available growing space.

Read More
Harvest Automation HV 100 Feature

May 27, 2016

Harvest Automation Robot Helps You Move Plants Without …

The Harvest Automation HV-100 robot units use lasers and sensors to handle some of the most labor-intensive tasks in the greenhouse.

Read More