Centerfield of Greens: SF Giants Open Edible Garden

| June 25, 2014 | 0 Comments
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Ballpark garden: A fresh alternative to typical sports arena fare. Photo: Suzanna Mitchell/Courtesy SF Giants

Ballpark garden: A fresh alternative to typical sports arena fare. Photo: Suzanna Mitchell/Courtesy SF Giants

Going to a game just got greener. And more delicious. Yesterday, the San Francisco Giants opened The Garden at AT&T Park.

Located behind centerfield, the garden will supply vegetables and fruits for menu items courtesy of the Giants’ food service partner, Bon Appetit Management Company. We’re talking strawberry smoothies, Mason Jar salads and crostini with chard.

Mason Jar Salads. Photo: Molly Watson

Mason Jar Salads. Photo: Molly Watson

The 4,320-square-foot space, one of the first edible gardens in a U.S. ballpark, boasts vertical aeroponic towers, which efficiently grow nutritious greens and herbs.

Blooming big time today: Artichokes, collards, chard, lettuce and, of course, kale.

On hand at the ribbon-cutting ceremony: The Giants healthy-eating ambassador, Hunter Pence, who has dabbled with the Paleo Diet and converted the likes of Buster Posey and other teammates to the wonders of eating green.

Think Kale Salad for starters. Or #kalepower to Giants fans in the know.

An edible garden is the latest attraction at the Giants ballpark.

An edible garden is the latest attraction at the Giants ballpark. Photo: Sarah Henry

Also in the mix: Junior Giants, 9-year-olds from Willie Mays Boys and Girls Club of Hunters Point, who got to eat greens, plant seeds and talk ball with the home run hitting Hunter.

Oh, and a couple of offspring of media types who were delighted to meet a real live MLB star. And eat good, green, clean grub.

A visit to the ballpark just got a whole lot tastier. Plans call for the gathering spot–complete with seating, fire pits and concession stands–to open to the public after the All-Star break next month.

Did we mention there’s a bar slated for the space too?

Fans can still brown bag it and picnic on the sod farm in front, which provides soil for the playing field. Oh, and if you want to watch the game from here? The garden’s centerfield wall will feature small cutout slits with ground-level views of the action.

The garden will also serve as a community teaching tool. The goal is to educate young eaters (and eager ballplayers hoping to catch a glimpse of their heroes at batting practice, perhaps) about the value of growing greens and eating fresh food.

Could the Giants kick off a ballpark trend?

We know The A’s have some serious stadium problems going on. But can we get some healthy food happening in the ballpark on this side of the Bay? Let’s Go Oakland.

A girl can dream.

Kale lovin' ballplayer Hunter Pence and a fan, also a keen green eating machine.

Kale lovin’ ballplayer Hunter Pence and a fan, also a keen green eating machine. Photo: Sarah Henry

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Category: bay area, Bay Area Bites Food + Drink, food trends and technology, gardening and urban farming, health and nutrition, san francisco, sports, sustainability, environment, climate change

About the Author ()

Sarah Henry hails from Sydney, Australia, where she grew up eating lamingtons, Vegemite, and prawns (not shrimp) on the barbie (barbecue). Sarah has called the Bay Area home for the past two decades and remembers how delighted she was when a modest farmers' market sprouted in downtown San Francisco years ago. As a freelance writer Sarah has covered local food people, places, politics, culture, and news for the San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, California, San Francisco, Diablo, Edible East Bay, Edible Marin & Wine Country, and Berkeleyside. A contributor to the national food policy site Civil Eats, her stories have also appeared in The Atlantic, AFAR, Gilt Taste, Ladies' Home Journal, Grist, Shareable, and Eating Well. An epicurean tour guide for Edible Excursions, Sarah is the voice behind the blog Lettuce Eat Kale and tweets under that moniker too.