Krishna Nemali knows the face of farming is changing. No longer is it an activity performed only by rural populations over vast tracts of land. With the advent of urban farming, anyone from the apartment dweller to the innovative restaurateur can become a farmer. As a controlled environment agriculture Extension specialist, Nemali studies plant growth in controlled environments, like vertical gardens, greenhouses and hydroponics. His research focuses on a number of different crops and factors that influence their growth, like artificial light, soil nutrients and cultivation techniques.
And Nemali’s work extends beyond the lab and the greenhouse. Through workshops and online resources, Nemali is bringing urban farming techniques to Indiana and the Midwest. Already competitive on the agricultural front, Nemali says urban farming is a means for the region to lead the way and remain competitive. Work like Nemali’s can help protect crops from weather variability and increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables, especially for urban populations.