Grow at Home

Grow at Home

Spring is starting to creep into everyone’s minds and with that the thought of fresh herbs and vegetables. While it is possible to sow your seeds with snow on the ground, many areas of the country are still too frozen with the harsh arctic blast and ten named winter storms.

Growing herbs | KitchAnn Style

Some gardeners use a cold frame, which is a box-like structure with a clear glass or plastic top, to get their seedlings started. However, if you don’t have the space or find it a little too dirty, there is another option – the Urban Cultivator.

The Urban Cultivator Residential is a dishwasher-sized appliance with interior grow lights. Inside are racks that hold flats designed to contain one of three growing mediums — a Sure to Grow mat (, sterilized soil or landscape fabric. In these, users can grow 50-some greens — including beet-tops, baby broccoli, wheat grass, pea sprouts, radishes, mustard greens, lentils, nasturtiums — as well as any number of herbs.

Grow at Home Kitchen Cultivator | KitchAnn Style

The unit is not difficult to install and requires a water connection similar to a dishwasher. You can choose between different door screen options (clear, frost, half-tone and dark) and even add a custom panel to match your cabinetry.

Grow at Home Kitchen Cultivator | KitchAnn Style

The Urban Cultivator will allow you to grow fresh herbs 365 days a year and know that they are pesticide free and healthy for your family. The cost savings for growing your own micro-greens can be as high as 90% according to research.

Your Urban Cultivator can be operated between 55 and 90 degrees with a relative humidity between 30% to 60%. The automated system does all the work and provides measured water to and from each grow tray. If your unit is set up as a stand-alone unit, you will need to empty and refill the water reservoir once a week when the indicator light is on. Four humidity domes are also included with the unit to aid in starting seeds.

Grow at Home Kitchen Cultivator | KitchAnn Style

A larger commercial unit is also available for restaurants and cooking schools where larger supplies are demanded. Besides herbs, small vegetables such as cherry tomatoes can also be grown. Pricing starts at $2,200.

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Appliances to Help Keep Those New Year Resolutions

It’s that time of year when we stuff ourselves with Holiday cooking and vow to have a healthy attitude toward food at the beginning of the new year (maybe after the BCS championship). 

One of the best ways to eat healthy is to take control of what you eat by cooking more meals at home.  Steam cooking  an ideal method for preparing quick and simple meals that are equally healthy and delicious. 

Steam cooking offers a host of benefits including faster cooking times as well as optimum retention of vitamins, nutrients, flavour, colour and texture. With steam cooking, food absorbs only the moisture it requires – which means no over cooking. Food cooked in a steam oven can also be a lot healthier as you don’t need to add any oils or fats to keep food, such as chicken, from drying out in the cooking process. 

Appliances to consider adding to your kitchen are combination models that steam food and use convection to brown and crispen them.  Cooking a chicken in 20 minutes may sound good but your guests may be more interested in eating it if it has a golden color.

Sharp’s AX1200 SuperSteam™ Oven.  This oven is almost like having 4 in one with SuperSteam Convection, Steam, Convection and Microwave cooking options.  This oven also offers flexible placement options.  It can be built into a 30″ cabinet or placed on a countertop. The child safety lock ensures the door will not be accidentally pulled down.

The EKDG6800 Combination Steam Oven from Kuppersbusch also offers Convection cooking with a few extra features such as automatic altitude adjustment and automatic limescale indicator.  Although pricey, this sleek, Reddot winning appliance, is sure to enhance any kitchen decor.

Miele offers a steam oven that can combined with its warming drawer for an integrated installation. The DG 4082 Convection Steam Oven is only 24″ in width but it offers an impressive array of electronic controls from the food driven menu to the multi-language LCD display.  The 1.25 liter water reservoir means no direct plumbing is required. 


 The VCSO Combi Steam/Convect™ Oven from Viking has the Classic Viking appliance look.  It offers 6 cooking cycles including ProBake which seals in moisture while browning food.  Viking offers 3 different sizes of trim kits so this oven can easily be added to 27″ 30″ or 36″ wide spaces. Just like the Miele, the water reservoir holds 1.25 liters for 2 hours of steaming. 

The BS 270/271 – 24″ Combination Steam and Convection Oven from Gaggenau has a direct water convection so you never have to remember to fill a reservoir. This oven has a side hinged door for easy access and is available in a stainless steel-backed or aluminum-backed glass front.  The LCD control panel is integrated into the bottom of the door offering an uncluttered appearance and large view of the oven interior.  A few key features of this oven include Automatic boiling point detection and a Child Safety Lock. A 30″ model is offered with the option of a direct plumbing connection or reservoir tank. 

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