DURHAM, N.H. (AP) -- Researchers at the University of New Hampshire are looking at ways to help farmers grow produce during winter and increase profits in the offseason.
Researchers are investigating small-scale hydroponics a method of growing plants in mineral-infused water without soil -- in greenhouses.
Brian Krug, a researcher at the New Hampshire Agricultural Station, at UNH, said most of the greenhouses in the state are seasonal, so there is a lot of greenhouse space that goes largely unused between October and February.
Researchers at the University of Arkansas and Iowa State University also are studying winter produce production.
Krug said there's an increasing demand at winter farmers markets for salad greens.
"The growers see the demand from the consumer," he said. "Growers have the knowledge, ability and facilities to grow plants at that time of the year, but the facilities are not being used. This is a way to have another source of income and keep their workers employed during the winter."
Krug and other researchers will evaluate everything from which plants grow well in a variety of hydroponic systems and required nutrients to the cost of the systems.