Take me out to the ball game
Take me out with the crowd
Buy me some… beets and carrots?
I just came across this video about a vegetable garden in the most unlikely of places. You’d never guess it, but these beautiful beds are located right on top of Fenway Park in downtown Boston. For many people, baseball stadiums are associated with the most unhealthy food you could ever hope for – greasy bratwurst and hot dogs, super-sized boxes of Cracker Jack, and massive nachos made with melted “American cheese food product.”
But a company called Green City Growers is trying to put an end to that. They maintain the vegetable garden on top of Fenway Park, and if they have their way, we’ll all think of the ballpark as a place to get healthy, fresh, local produce – grown and harvested just 150 feet away from where it is prepared and served.
The garden is called Fenway Farms. It’s a 5,000 square foot rooftop garden that sits atop the third base side of Fenway Park, right on top of the Boston Red Sox front offices. Vegetables and herbs are grown in full sun, among the roar of 40,000 Red Sox faithful. Much of the produce is used in the ballpark’s signature restaurant, but some of it is used in the concession stands that line Fenway’s corridors.
After the first three months of growing, Fenway Farms had already yielded over 2,000 pounds of fresh produce – a big success by any measure. They are growing arugula, eggplants, green beans, peppers, tomatoes, and an assortment of fresh seasonal herbs. The crops are changed out regularly using an intensive rotation. Crop selections are made jointly by the garden managers and the restaurant’s executive chef.
The garden beds feature a really cool design that might work well for others who are trying to grow fresh veggies on rooftops or in other small spaces. The plants are grown in milk crates with drip irrigation, so that the “beds” can be easily rearranged and moved when necessary. This is a very flexible and modular design that lets the Fenway farmers adjust the layout of the garden as each growing season comes and goes.
While this is the first time that I’ve seen a vegetable garden in an MLB park, I guess this actually isn’t the first time it has been done. The San Francisco Giants and the Colorado Rockies also have vegetable gardens growing inside their stadiums. They got started before Boston, but Fenway Farms is the biggest MLB farm yet.
You can see some nice pictures here on the Green City Growers wesbite – Green City Growers – Fenway Farms.
I got my apt garden – herbs, tomatoes, peppers – Jeff
When I read ‘milk cartons’, I imagined the 1 gallon milk jugs, but what I saw in the video were milk crates. Are they easily available?
Hi Alida – Sorry, I see why that was confusing. I’ve had some luck in the past by just asking for free crates out back at the receiving dock behind a grocery store. Be sure to ask before you take!