Urban Gardener’s Kitchen Must Haves

by Jane VanOsdol on October 11, 2011

As many of us are discovering, we can learn much from Grandma’s ways of gardening, cooking and working in the kitchen to apply to our households today. Growing our own produce and herbs, cooking from scratch, and canning and freezing the excess is a healthy way to live.

If you have some money in your kitchen remodeling budget, let’s look at some home improvement projects that will help you combine Grandma’s old-fashioned know-how with modern equipment that yields a sustainable lifestyle for today’s urban gardeners.

While many of our grandmas lived on a farm, more of us are now living in urban or suburban areas. Recently, however,  there has been a surge of interest in urban farming. S0 even if you have a small yard, you can take advantage of what you do have by making sure your kitchen is set up to make cooking and preserving food as quick and as easy for you as possible.

An Urban Gardener’s Kitchen Remodeling Must Haves

Convection Oven

More homeowners are discovering the convenience and time-saving benefits of convection ovens. Convection ovens offer several conveniences for cooks. If you do a lot of baking, consider installing two ovens.

  • Generally, foods cook 25% faster in a convection even and you can usually lower the baking temperature by 25 degrees.
  • Convection ovens offer a more evenly heated cooking space. It doesn’t matter which rack you bake your food on, and you can even cook three separate pans at the same time, and they will all cook evenly.
  • Convection heat allows food to retain its internal moisture while allowing for a nice crust on the outside, such as what you want with roasts and baked goods.


A six-burner cooktop is a big help for large families and for completing food preservation chores such as canning, blanching vegetables in preparation for freezing, and making homemade sauces from your homegrown tomatoes and vegetables. You’ll wonder how you ever got along without one.


Grandma had a pantry that she kept well stocked with her homemade goodies. If you have the room, a separate pantry will give you lots of space to store your food items. If you can, have your general contractor include a specially ventilated drawer or two to house your root vegetables. A standing freezer will hold frozen fruit and vegetables from the summer’s bounty as well as any meat if you raise chicken or cows or happen to purchase a side of beef. Does your pantry have a large window? This could be the perfect place to grow a few herb plants so that you have fresh herbs year round.


A traditional marble-topped island makes a perfect work surface for baking and chopping as well as allowing for a few extra seats.

Recycling Bin

Have your contractor install a recycling bin so that you can easily dispose of recyclable items out of sight. If you keep an outdoor compost bin, purchase a special container to hold your indoor vegetable and fruit scraps and other recyclable food scraps that you can empty outside every few days.

Farmhouse Sink

Grandma knew that these sinks could handle everything from washing her largest cooking pot to scrubbing off the latest bowl of fresh vegetables. And with today’s retractable faucets, you’ll make fast work of any clean-up job.

Backyard Chicken Coop

While this certainly isn’t a kitchen item, so many chicken coops are popping up in urban yards across American, that it’s worth a mention–and for good reason. You can’t beat the taste of fresh eggs. Besides that, you’ll have plenty of free droppings to enrich your garden soil. To be sure, before you run out and purchase your chickens, check any neighborhood restrictions.

Today’s modern conveniences combined with Grandma’s kitchen and garden secrets of yesteryear make a powerful combination that leads to a healthy, satisfying and sustainable lifestyle.

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