"In order to promote sustainable development by applying advanced technologies for indoor crops, our products are grown respecting the environment with technologies that help produce using minimum amounts of resources such as water and energy," reports Sebastiano Di Martino, General Manager of DM Farms, a company specializing in the production and commercialization of microgreens and edible flowers located in Sicily.
DM Farm was set up in 2022 with the aim of innovating agricultural production techniques and exploring the production of new types of vegetables. The idea to produce microgreens came from the three funding partners and their experience accumulated in Italy and abroad. After an in-depth analysis of cultivation techniques and market needs, a production system was developed that manages to minimize the use of resources while maximizing production when it comes to both quantity and quality. The future of agriculture and its ecologic sustainability are at the center of our project. The company is constantly looking for new products and production methods to always be at the forefront of the sector.
"Our activity aims at spreading the use of microgreens in modern cuisine as well as in our culinary tradition, combining the values of the Mediterranean diet and the search for new culinary experiences. Our main destination market is the H&R sector, and we can supply up to 100 crates a week, although we could increase this quantity in a short time if needed. On a domestic level, we work with big retail chains capable of maintaining a controlled temperature until the produce reaches the final client, while we take care of the logistics for the Sicilian market ourselves, as we work with high-end restaurants directly. We do get some requests from specialized stores wanting to meet the demands of their clientele, and, in this case, we can agree on customized supplies, deliveries, and packaging," continues Di Martino (in the photo).
"At the moment, we produce eight varieties, but this number can change too, depending on demand. Of course, this is still a niche market, so we are expecting to increase our range, as we are to do with the production of edible flowers."
Nutritional values of microgreens
Why is there so much interest for microgreens?
"Microgreens are plants in their first growth stage. When the seed germination process has started, the roots form, as well as a small trunk with one or two cotyledon leaves. Microgreens are plants that have just been born right in this stage. Throughout the growth stage, all the spare substances contained in the seed are conveyed towards the development of the first green tissues, and the plant starts to accumulate a large quantity of vitamins and mineral salts, as well as a good quantity of protein in some species. By analyzing the nutritional value of these young tissues and comparing it with that of adult tissues of the same species, we can see how, in microgreens, the concentration of vitamins and mineral salts is up to 40 times that in adult vegetable tissue. For this reason, microgreens are considered superfoods."
"Our microgreens derive from certified organic seeds and, as they grow in a monitored environment, they do not need parasite treatments. Our products are, therefore, absolutely free from pesticides and extremely respectful of the environment. Our microgreens are also appealing, colorful, flavorful, and suitable to bring creativity to our cuisine, whether traditional or innovative."
The microgreen varieties currently produced are green peas, red radish, pink radish, amaranth, borage, nasturtium, red mustard, and red veined sorrel. Cardboard boxes contain nine microgreen trays. These are materials and solutions suitable for logistics.