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Where’s the Produce? Not With Vendors But in Stadiums

The Major League Baseball season is about two weeks underway, and although the campaign is still very young, I lament the fact that I must give credit to the Red Sox organization. No, it has nothing to do with their 19-inning win against the Yankees last Friday. Rather, it has more to do with the new organic vegetable garden they planted.

The country’s oldest operating baseball stadium installed a 5,000-square-foot roof space that will generate an estimated 4,000 pounds of organic produce annually, according to a report from Modern Farmer. The idea is attributed to Linda Pizzuti Henry, wife of Red Sox principal owner John W. Henry, and the garden will serve as a teaching tool for area children about healthy eating. It’s also going to help the organization save on energy costs as it will insulate the building below it.

A few weeks ago, I asked stadiums a simple question: where’s the produce? It turns out, I just had to step away from the food vendors and look to the grounds, as a number of parks have similar vegetable gardens. The San Francisco Giants installed a 4,320-square-foot organic garden at AT&T Park in 2013, once touted as the largest in the Majors before the installation of the Red Sox garden. They even planted an avocado tree in their bullpen in 2013.

The Colorado Rockies lay claim to the oldest garden, a 600-square-foot demonstration garden that was created in 2013. The San Diego Padres dispute the claim, as groundskeeper Luke Yoder planted a hot pepper garden in the bullpen at Petco Park in 2012. In 2013, Padres relievers would challenge each other to eat the hot peppers. It apparently worked, as it kickstarted a short winning streak.

It turns out the Red Sox may not be the most innovative in the stadium-organic-farmer segment, but it would appear they are trying to corner the market as the largest. Can we allow this to stand in the AL East? I’m looking at you, New York.