4:02 PM EDT, March 21, 2012
Plant researchers are hoping lettuce will help grow jobs in Martinsville.
The vegetable is under the spotlight at the new Agriculture Research Center.
It's a test facility from Patrick Henry Community College where researchers are growing plants using the least amount of energy possible.
For example they're monitoring lettuce growth under both LED and fluorescent lights.
"We're letting gravity carry the nutrient solution down the guttering and that trickles into another gutter underneath it. So in theory we are going to have three or four levels under a single unit," said Horticulture Professor John Ayers.
That gutter system is also allowing researchers to recycle water.
They plan to keep the products they grow local by selling to local restaurants and the school system.
School leaders also believe the project will bring horticulture jobs to the region.
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