Over the past few years, microgreens have become very popular all over the world. These aromatic herbs give extra color and aroma to our dishes. But above all, they are a source of health and contain a similar and often higher amount of essential nutrients (minerals, vitamins, biologically active compounds) than mature plants. People who regularly eat microgreens can boast better endurance and performance, and their metabolism inevitably returns to normal.
Microgreens in Moldova
Taking into account the global trend, several manufacturers of microgreens have emerged in Moldova. One of them is Dmitry Plyuschev, the creator of Papa’s Greens brand. This young man all his life was fond of agriculture. While working in the USA, mainly in the kitchen, he discovered the microgreens and after returning to Moldova, he began to grow them at home, in a closet. Afterwards, he rented a facility and decided to seriously engage in this business. Now Dmitry provides his friends and acquaintances with this product. He has several regular customers who regularly buy microgreens, and soon he hopes to get permission to go retail.
At Papa's Greens you can find a wide variety of micro-plants, such as sunflower, pea, radish, clover, alfalfa, cilantro, borage, chard, basil, arugula and others. But the most popular among his clients are the mixes: Classic salad mix (sunflower, pea, clover and radish) and Spicy salad mix (sunflower, pea, radish and mustard).
How to grow microgreens
Papa’s Greens uses the hydroponic growth system. This is a method that stimulates plant growth by controlling the amount of water, mineral salts and, most importantly, the amount of oxygen dissolved in water.
The microclimate in the room is also very important: the humidity should be from 55 to 60%, and the air temperature should vary from 16 to 21 ° C. The room should be well ventilated and clean.
Raw materials, of course, play an important role in the cultivation of microgreens. Seeds are purchased from trustworthy producers who have all the necessary certificates. These are partners from Ukraine, MOVCA Association (an organization that supports ecological agriculture in Moldova) or the Pro Bio brand. Recently, Dmitry started to cooperate with a local company that imports organic seeds from Italy.
The beneficial effects of microgreens
Microgreens are the “baby” of a plant, an intermediate period between the germ of a plant and a young leaf. By consuming it, we get 4 to 40 times more nutrients than by consuming mature plants.
Microgreens are seedlings of vegetable crops aged from 6 to 14 days. There are some cultures that grow up to 30 days, because the germination process takes more time: basil and cilantro germinate from 21 to 30 days.
This product is associated with a healthy diet, it is green mass, it is always nutritious and has a beneficial effect on the digestive system. While consuming microgreens, the body absorbs 80% of the nutrients. It is considered the food of the future: eat a little, get a lot.
Microgreens can be added to soup, salads, pasta, rolls, shawarma, burgers, sandwiches, etc. They can be used to make smoothies or sauces.
According to Dmitry Plyuschev, the main consumers of microgreens are people who adopt a healthy lifestyle, diabetics, people who have an increased amount of sugar, people who have problems with hemoglobin, athletes and all those who prefer natural and healthy products.
The young entrepreneur manages to get about 20-25 kg of microgreens a week. He now has two automated shelving systems, and if he will get six of them, he will be able to collect about 500 kg per week. It will be enough for him to provide the entire Chisinau markets with quality microgreens.
How to eat and store microgreens
Due to the high concentration of various substances, the recommended amount of microgreens is not more than 50 g per day. At home, microgreens should be stored at a temperature varying from 1 to 4 degrees, in this case their shelf life is 7 days. At room temperature, they can be stored for up to 48 hours.
The entrepreneur admitted that all his life he was fascinated with plants and always grew something. He acquired his knowledge on microgreens during his stay in the United States, from his partners in Ukraine, on the Internet, and as a result of experiments, using the “trial and error” method.
In the near future, the goal of the Papa's Greens brand is to increase production capacity and reach as many stores as possible. The entrepreneur would like to establish partnerships with other producers of microgreens and develop Indoor cultivation in Moldova. Consumers always trust Dmitry Plyuschev, because Pappa's Greens products are fresh and eco-friendly. The entrepreneur believes that relationships based on trust are the future of business.