Tag Archives: harvest

Cultivator (4)

Sheraton Phoenix Downtown 1st to use Urban Cultivator

Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel recently installed Arizona’s first commercial-use Urban Cultivator™ to grow, sprout and harvest a wide selection of fresh and aromatic micro greens and herbs. Now guests of the hotel and its restaurant, District American Kitchen and Wine Bar, can experience a wide array of delicious and hard-to-find greens all year round.

The decision to install a six-and-a-half-foot tall commercial-use Urban Cultivator was not just to provide hotel and restaurant guests with the freshest ingredients, but also to align with the company’s sustainable commitment to consume less and care more for the planet. The Urban Cultivator is a fully-automated indoor growing appliance that resembles a refrigerator with double glass doors and a series of growing shelves, lighting and water spouts. It is climate controlled and uses a method similar to hydroponic growing to grow herbs and micro greens. By growing right on property, the hotel is conserving time, water and energy, thus minimizing waste and emissions.

“With much success from our rooftop herb garden that currently yields everything from organic French lavender to thyme to chocolate mint and much more, we decided to install a commercial-use Urban Cultivator to supplement what the garden might not be able to produce,” said General Manager Mike Ehmann, Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel. “This environmentally conscious effort is much more than simply growing and serving the freshest ingredients. As the largest hotel in Arizona with 1,000 guestrooms and a vast amount of meeting space, Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel caterers to thousands of guests – it is important that we provide the best quality while reducing food and energy costs.”

The culinary team at Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel and District American Kitchen and Wine Bar take pride and ownership in growing and harvesting the freshest herbs and micro greens. Some of the many greens the team grows include: arugula, basil, dill, endive, lettuces, radishes, and a plethora of others. The herbs and micro greens are added to a variety of dishes, used in catered functions and infused in many mixed beverages.

To learn more about Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel, visit www.sheratonphoenixdowntown.com.

Online Productivity Tools for Business

Online Productivity Tools For Small And Large Businesses

Online productivity tools: There is a growing category of apps that aim to help businesses be more productive. The problem is, it’s such a broad category and includes hundreds of different solutions depending on what is needed to be more “productive.” An IT department in a large company, for instance, has a very different idea of productivity than a small marketing agency.

But there are some tools that span industries and can be applied to large teams or even large businesses.

Here’s a look at four online productivity tools to helps execs:


Basecamp is catching on as a powerful project management and collaboration tool for businesses in the small-size range, in just about any industry.

The company that developed it, 37 Signals, has taken users away from the charts, graphs and complex analytics that seem to jazz up big company execs and has put the focus on simple UI, organization and collaboration.

For freelancers and small companies, Basecamp provides a really great way to get all of your projects and the tasks associated organized and transparent for the entire team.

One great feature is that you can share projects with clients and invite them to collaborate, reducing some exporting and sharing, while giving insight as to where you are in each project scope.

Pricing starts at $49 for 35 projects and goes up from there.

Easy Projects .NET

Easy Projects .NET is similar to Basecamp, but it’s probably better for mid-size or large companies that need bit more robustness in their reports and features.

It includes all that great charting, graphing and other reporting features that are more in tune with a large company workflow.

Keeping in mind that managers will use it to stay on track of their teams’ output, Easy Projects .NET includes a unique page called My Assignments, designed to help
 manage the day-to-day activities. Managers and users can tag higher priority items, set deadlines within the app, log time on tasks, share files and post comments.

Don’t want your boss on your back? Easy Projects .NET communicates progress on tasks to the people who need to know. This can certainly reduce time usually spent 
on routine tasks like chasing down progress reports (and creating them).

Starts at $75 a month for five users, and you have the option of hosting it yourself or having them host it for you.

LazyMeterLazyMeter, online productivity tools for business

Having trouble motivating? Have a couple procrastinators on your team? You might benefit from the LazyMeter.

Aptly named, this app was designed not just to help you manage projects, but also to help motivate you. No, it doesn’t include audio clips from Tony Robbins.

LazyMeter has developed a software activity list that helps you focus on completing tasks and projects just one day at a time and shows you the progress day to day so you feel more
 accomplished. It is like your favorite teacher reinforcing the great work you’ve done, as you’ve completed it, then gently moves you on to the next task or project.

LazyMeter is both an online and mobile app, so you can feel good from anywhere. It is a newer company and right now the application is free. The company explains on its website that it will start to provide premium services later.


Those who work in services find themselves spending an excessive amount of time tracking hours. And translating the time into reports is usually the last task addressed at the end of the month because it’s so tedious.

Harvest tries to alleviate that by making time capture, reporting and even invoicing a lot faster and simpler. This is probably best for small businesses or even consultants that need an easy and affordable way to manage their time, budgets, expenses and reports for projects.

The company has an iPhone app so hours can be 
captured on the go from anywhere. One really cool feature for the mobile exec: use your iPhone camera to scan, categorize and 
upload receipt that goes straight to invoicing.

Starts at just $12 a month for solo users and up to $90 a month for the business package.