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What's in Season Right Now? (Fall 2018)

Seasonality of what you consume is more important than ever. Not only are restaurants adopting the practice of creating dishes that use ingredients that are in season, but many grocery stores are also beginning to do the same.

One of the most important things you can do is to arm yourself with the knowledge of what's in season during certain months so you can make the most out of the produce.

In-season produce not only tastes better, but you're also supporting the local farmers and eliminating your carbon footprint by minimizing orders for items that aren't available in your area, but are grown across the world and have to be shipped.

Here's what's in season during Fall 2018. Continue reading “What's in Season Right Now? (Fall 2018)” »

The Connection Between Growing Plants and Mental Health

Gardening has proven to be beneficial for one's mood. Beyond seeing your hard work pay off, studies have shown that horticulture can actually assist with mental health. In fact, gardening has even be prescribed in some situations where patients experience such things as anxiety and depression. Here's how it works.

1. Soil can act as an antidepressant—really!

It may seem dirty and the smell may not be the bet, but soil has shown to create similar effects on one's brain as antidepressants. This is due to the fact that soil contains "good" bacteria that's often found in soil, and this can alter parts of your brain, promoting positive moods.

In particular, the bacteria Mycobacterium vaccae has shown that it can activate neurons that promote the creation of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood. So, the more you inhale and have physical contact with this bacteria, the more positive effects you'll experience.

2. Gardening gives individuals a strong sense of responsibility

Naturally, caring for a living thing will encourage a relationship between you and your plant. It can help you learn to look after and respect other livings, while helping you create a stronger bond with nature.

3. It helps us keep connected with living things

Similar to the previous point, gardening helps you focus your attention on something else other than yourself. Since being too insular can send some people depressive states, gardening can help alleviate that. Being outdoors helps, too. Group gardening is also another option that you can partake in, which will encourage you to meet new people—another factor that can help you feel connected and less alone.

4. Horticulture helps us to be more mindful

Mindfulness is the idea of being present, and focusing one's attention to experiences that are occurring in this very moment. It's something that's kind of lost in this day and age, but research has proven that it can heavily impact your stress levels. Having mindfulness can help prevent anxiety, depression risk, help with insomnia, and boost productivity. Gardening can promote this as it forces you to focus on your senses as you repot plants or tend to one of your favorite succulent; it can be a very restorative experience.

5. It promotes brain health

Gardening has shown to keep our minds active, challenging us with specific brain functions that include problem solving, sensory awareness, and learning. Studies reflect gardening's many benefits, especially in dementia and Alzheimer's patients. These benefits include improvement in attention, lowered stress levels, and reduction of pain. Horticulture can also help those with a range of mental health problems, including individuals suffering from PTSD, improving mood and sociability.

Evidently, gardening is a great thing to get into, improving both mind and spirit. The seasons, however, can limit what you can grow, which is where the Urban Cultivator can come in handy.

Not only do you get to experience horticulture all year 'round, but you get to grow your own food, which can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Featuring a wide variety of seeds for you to grow, it's a great alternative to outdoor gardening.

Do you like to garden? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments section!

8 Irresistible Recipes Featuring Basil

There is something fundamentally "summer" about basil. Brightly flavored and wonderfully herbaceous, it's one of our favorite herbs to grow in an Urban Cultivator. Its versatility is also unmatched, perfect in everything from sauces, to cocktails, to desserts.

Here are some of our favorite recipes featuring the herb of summertime, basil.
Continue reading “8 Irresistible Recipes Featuring Basil” »

Mind Over Matcha: Learn All About the Delicious Tea

Certainly, you've heard of matcha before. It's widely available at almost every coffee shop, it's for purchase at a number of groceries, and you've seen it on more than one dessert menu.

In addition to its complex, mildly bitter flavor and caffeine kick, matcha provides a number of other benefits.
Continue reading “Mind Over Matcha: Learn All About the Delicious Tea” »

What's in Season Right Now? (Summer 2018)


Seasonality of what you consume is more important than ever. Not only are restaurants adopting the practice of creating dishes that use ingredients that are in season, but many grocery stores are also beginning to do the same.

One of the most important things you can do is to arm yourself with the knowledge of what's in season during certain months so you can make the most out of the produce.

In-season produce not only tastes better, but you're also supporting the local farmers and eliminating your carbon footprint by minimizing orders for items that aren't available in your area, but are grown across the world and have to be shipped.

Here's what's in season during Summer 2018. Continue reading “What's in Season Right Now? (Summer 2018)” »

These Spring Dishes Has us Sprung

Spring is one of our favorite times of the year thanks to its abundance of fresh produce. The weather is warming up and we're retiring squash vegetables, so it's a great time to embrace bright and colorful dishes.

To celebrate our favorite season, we've compiled a couple of our favorite spring recipes for you to try out. Throw on a record and get cooking!
Continue reading “These Spring Dishes Has us Sprung” »

10 Foods That Will Help You Keep Hydrated This Summer

Summer is right around the corner, and by the looks of it, the next few months are going to be some hot ones! You're most likely going to be outside to soak up the sun a lot, but don't forget to hydrate. Leaving your body without one of its most important components can leave you tired, your skin dry, and at worst, give you heatstroke.

Since water can be a bit boring, here are some tasty foods that will keep you hydrated all summer long.
Continue reading “10 Foods That Will Help You Keep Hydrated This Summer” »

How to Re-grow Vegetables From Cuttings

According to a study as per an article in The Atlantic, single-family households in Toronto discard about 275 kilograms of food waste per year. Food waste is becoming a serious problem that has been contributing to global warming, which is one of the reasons as to why Urban Cultivator came to be.

With this in mind, it's important to make the most out of your produce—which is where vegetable cuttings come in. If you haven't done this before, now is a good of a time as ever. Here's how to grow some of your favorite vegetables out of their cuttings.
Continue reading “How to Re-grow Vegetables From Cuttings” »

These Foods are About to Take Over 2018

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It's back: the food world's annual predictions by the health food world of what's hot for the following year. The year 2017 saw everything from unicorn-inspired foods to the rise of ugly greens, these health food trends were everywhere these past months.

But with a new year, also comes new and exciting things to try, and the health food world has revealed what we should expect to obsess over come 2018. Without further ado, here are the health food trends to look out for in 2018.

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Spices with healing properties

According to My Domaine, 2018 will see an even greater prominence in healing spices. Such herbs and spices as turmeric have been used as natural remedies for centuries, and for the upcoming year, we'll be relying on these more to relieve things like inflammation.

Try: Moon Milk (recipe)

Vegetarian meat alternatives

Flexitarian, vegetarian, and vegan diets are more popular than ever. People are ditching meat and dairy products in favor of plant-based foods. Come 2018, this trend will be stronger than ever. With the U.S. already popularizing surreally realistic veggie meat alternatives like Impossible Foods' delectable burgers, it's been predicted that by Euromonitor that within the next half decade, there will be a 23% growth in meat substitutes in the processed meat and seafood retail market by volume—currently it's under 1%.

Try: Meatless meatballs (recipe)

Collagen

You've probably seen this one around, and it might sound a bit creepy since so much of our body is made out of collagen. But the collagen is what your body needs for shiny hair, strong nails, healthy digestion, and glowing skin, and it's what 2018 will be all about. Such things like bone broths collagen powders and supplements (there are even vegan-friendly options) will be stocking shelves everywhere in the new year.

Try: Beef bone broth (recipe)

Mushrooms

No, we're not talking about your run-of-the-mill white button mushrooms. Adaptogenic mushrooms are already hitting their stride in the health food world, but in 2018, there will be a huge emphasis on consuming such varieties as reishi, lion's main, and chaga. How should to incorporate this into your diet? Adaptogenic mushrooms will appear in the form as teas, dietary supplements, and broths.

Try: Reishi cappuccino (recipe)

Say goodbye to food waste

We saw the inner beauty of ugly foods in 2017, but the emphasis in 2018 will be about eating every bit of every food you buy. In other words, we're going to be saying goodbye to food waste. More recipes will feature every part of your protein and/or vegetable, and we'll be thinking of innovative ways to use up things we used to throw out (think: pickling).

Try: 5 things to do with your orange peel

leaves

Evidently, 2018 is looking like it will be everyone's healthiest year yet, with an emphasis on long-term health. In combination with exercise, living healthy is looking more attainable than ever.

One clear thing about all these trends: vegetables are here to stay. With an Urban Cultivator, you can grow your own microgreens right in the comfort of your own home, 365 days a year. Another bonus? You'll be reducing your own carbon footprint by growing your own and eliminating food waste because you only harvest when you're ready to eat.

What 2018 health food trends are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments section.

What's in Season Right Now? (Fall 2017)

Seasonality of what you consume is more important than ever. Not only are restaurants adopting the practice of creating dishes that use ingredients that are in season, but many grocery stores are also beginning to do the same.

One of the most important things you can do is to arm yourself with the knowledge of what's in season during certain months so you can make the most out of the produce.

In-season produce not only tastes better, but you're also supporting the local farmers and eliminating your carbon footprint by minimizing orders for items that aren't available in your area, but are grown across the world and have to be shipped.

Here's what's in season during Fall 2017. Continue reading “What's in Season Right Now? (Fall 2017)” »

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