Lifestyles change and so do eating habits - there are now urban vegetable gardens ready to compete with the most sophisticated supermarket shelves.
Antonio Torre holding a Calamondino tree (tangerine crossbreed)
Retail stores now stock broad leaf vegetable heads cultivated with sophisticated soil-less systems. The same goes for restaurants, where vegetables and microgreens are grown so they can be immediately available to chefs.
This trend also includes the possibility of being served fruit directly on the tree, maybe after a delicious gourmet meal.
This is the purpose with which Rete Vivaistica Siciliana modified its ornamental plant production to grow plants that only produce edible fruit.
Lemons in a vase
FreshPlaza talked about it to Antonio Torre, agronomist and technical manager of the organisation located in the Messina province.
"Until three years ago, we only cultivated plants for ornamental purposes following Italian and European trends. In accordance with EC regulation 396/2005, we got on board with the trend that sees citrus fruit served directly on trees in luxury restaurants. They are niche venues, but the trend is gaining popularity."
"We now have clients from the business food world, especially from the H&R segment, and therefore we have also focused on zero residue. In order to obtain products that are not only good to eat but also healthy, we follow Itaka Crop Solution protocols. Over the next few years, we are looking to start implementing organic cultivation techniques."
Video interview with Antonio Torre
Rete Vivaistica Siciliana gathers seven small companies covering 10 hectares in total producing 250,000 pots a year.
• Red lemon
• Kaffir lime or Papeda
• Finger lime
• Fingered citron
"Our products reach all of Europe thanks to our wholesalers. They are processed in our facilities, where plants are checked and repotted into colorful pots ready to be transported on refrigerated trucks at 14/16°C. We hold the basic MPS certification, which recognizes our commitment towards energy and water savings as well as the reduction of waste, fertilizers and pesticides."
Rete Vivaistica Siciliana
Via Ponte Cicero Vigliatore, sn
98050 – Terme Vigliatore (ME)
Te.: +39 333 49 97 303