A vibrant vegetable garden is growing atop the roof of the oldest baseball park in the United States. When Fenway Park opened Fenway Farms this spring, the Boston Red Sox became the latest Major League Baseball team to feature more green than just a perfectly manicured field.
Patches of produce now sprout up across the nation at the stadiums of the San Francisco Giants, the Colorado Rockies, and the San Diego Padres. Fenway Farms, which officially kicked off on Red Sox opening day, is currently the largest major league garden with 5,000 square feet of growing space.
Located atop the managing offices of the Red Sox, the all-organic garden was the idea of Linda Pizzuti Henry, wife of Red Sox owner John Henry. The increasingly sophisticated palate of Americans, in part, prompted the interest in growing vegetables. Baseball concessions have gradually welcomed new fare, such as Shake Shack burgers in Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., and steak sandwiches at Yankee Stadium in New York. Ballpark staples like Cracker Jack and Fenway Franks have, over the years, been joined by fruit smoothies and sushi rolls. Now Red Sox Nation will be able to eat fresh vegetables grown on site.
Fenway Farms, using a milk crate container system, is set to produce 4,000 pounds of veggies and fruits annually. Chris Knight, Red Sox manager of facility planning and services, hopes that the farm’s “success here will show what is possible” and encourage Red Sox fans to sport their own green thumbs at home.
The vegetables will be used in food served at Fenway, including in the park’s private clubs. While the chefs have found it challenging to incorporate the available produce, “they look forward to [it],” says Mr. Knight. He adds that the farm is working on an educational-science program for Boston city youth scheduled to start in the fall.