The hydroponic and soilless greenhouse food production research program is currently
focused on the production of fresh leafy greens (i.e. lettuce, spinach, arugula, etc.)
and strawberries in greenhouses. Research on fresh leafy greens crops is conducted
using various systems including deep flow technique, nutrient film technique (NFT)
and aggregate beds. Research in this area is focused on the development of production
protocols for new species of leafy greens, cultivar evaluation as well as optimization
of the nutrition program for each species.
Dr. Evans also works with Dr. Ainong Shi, the Department's leafy greens breeder, to evaluate new greens germplasm under development in his program for use in greenhouse production systems. Research on strawberries is being conducted using Dutch buckets, nutrient film technique and hanging baskets. Research on strawberries is focused on optimizing the nutritional regime in the different systems, using biological agents to control pests and develop research-based economic figures regarding required inputs, production levels and potential economic returns using the various systems.