MICROGREENS

Microgreens are young and tender edible seedlings produced from the seeds of different species of vegetables, herbaceous plants, aromatic herbs and wild plants.
Microgreens are also known as “vegetable confetti” or “microherbs” when referring to aromatic herbs.
Microgreens can help in protecting and enhancing the biodiversity by growing many local varieties that are currently exposed to the risk of genetic erosion.
Microgreens can be easily grown in small urban orchards or in the backyard as well as using very little spaces just like a balcony or the windowsill.
Microgreens can offer a wide array of flavors, vivid colors and different textures and they represent a new ingredient able to enhance and garnish drinks, salads, appetizers, main and second dishes, soups, sandwiches and desserts.
Microgreens have many different shapes, colors (green, yellow, red, purple), textures (tender, crunchy, juicy) and flavors (sweet, neutral, slightly sour, spicy).

Microgreens can be easily grown in the backyard, on a balcony or on a windowsill.

ORTINNOVA ASSOCIATION

The association, born in 2013, has been established by Francesco di Gioia and Carlo Mininni and it has given rise to two initiatives: “Taste Biodiversity: new fresh, functional and ready-to-taste foods coming from Apulia”, the project that was the winner of the Prize Principi Attivi 2012 funded by the Apulia Region, and “Microgreens: new fresh and functional foods to explore all the value of biodiversity” funded by MIPAAF (the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies of Italy) within the context of the initiatives linked to the themes of the Expo 2015.
This is a non-profit association that pursues cultural, scientific, educational and social purposes. The main goal of the Association is securing and enhancing the vegetal agro-biodiversity and the natural genetic resources of Apulia as well as fostering the scientific research and the implementation of innovative techniques in horticulture.
Thanks to a network of cooperation with public and private institutions, it is involved in designing, realizing, managing and developing different activities to promote the scientific research and the development of traditional and innovative agri-food products.
Moreover, the Association has been organizing educational and training initiatives concerning horticulture, agriculture, environment, nutrition and the quality of agri-food products.

Francesco Di Gioia
Carlo Mininni

FRANCESCO DI GIOIA

He’s been working as agronomist and researcher at the Department of Horticultural Sciences of the University of Florida. He is a former postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Land Sciences of the University of Bari and he’s been co-working with the research group of the Experimental Farm ‘La Noria’ of the Institute of Sciences of Food Production (ISPA) – National Research Council (CNR) for years. He’s been carrying out research activities in the field of horticulture dealing with different themes: plant nutrition, sustainability of cultivation techniques, abiotic stress, quality of production and agro-biodiversity.

CARLO MININNI

He’s been working as agronomist and postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Sciences of Food Production (ISPA) of the National Research Council (CNR) of Bari (ISPA-CNR) and he’s one of the members of the research group of the Experimental Farm ‘La Noria’. He’s been carrying out research activities in the field of horticulture applied to soilless techniques of growing, particularly focusing on the protection of the environment and the production of healthy foods.

Innovative and high value-added agri-food products

THE PROJECT

“Microgreens: new fresh and functional foods to explore all the value of biodiversity” (MicroGREENS) is the name of the project funded by the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies (MIPAAF) of Italy within the context of the initiatives linked to Expo Milano 2015.
The project aims to foster the importance and the value of the great heritage of the agricultural biodiversity of the Apulia region by revealing how this richness can be used to develop innovative and high value-added agri-food products such as microgreens. By integrating the scientific skills of the researchers of the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Land Sciences (DISAAT) of the University of Bari with the experience carried out by the Ortinnova Association trough the initiative “Taste Biodiversity: new fresh, functional ready-to-taste foods coming from Apulia”, the winner of the Prize Principi Attivi 2012 funded by the Apulia Region, the MicroGREENS project aims to prove and spread the concept of using many different species of wild plants and varieties of vegetables typical of the Apulia region, that are now underused and exposed to the risk of genetic erosion, to produce innovative fresh, functional and high value-added foods such as microgreens. The initiative, funded by the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies (MIPAAF) of Italy within the context of Expo 2015, represents a simple and original tool to convey certain information to the general public in order to encourage the discussion about themes like biodiversity, food safety and environmental sustainability.

These are some of the activities on the calendar:

  • a training course about microgreens considered the foods of the future;
  • events to attend (Expo 2015, Macfrut);
  • a photographic exhibition;
  • publishing a book on microgreens;
  • editing a video.