From San Francisco’s AT&T Park to Boston’s Fenway Park , everyone knows the baseball song about peanuts and popcorn and cracker jacks. But times have changed and so have food preferences in the bleachers and in the dugout.
On your next visit to see the San Francisco Giants in action, you’ll have the healthy option of munching on home grown avocados and lettuce rather than greasy garlic fries. That’s because the Giants and their food service partner, Bon Appétit Management Company, have created a gorgeous green 4,320 square-foot space called “The Garden at AT&T Park” behind the centerfield wall right under the score board.
Slide into salad
It’s the first garden-in-a-ballpark in the nation, a multi-purpose landscaped space is an outdoor classroom, a restaurant, a bar and a kitchen garden food source for ballpark chefs. The Garden at AT&T Park is now growing berries, vegetables, citrus fruits, hops, tomatoes and lots more, plus innovating with vertical space- and water-saving 44-plant aeroponic towers bursting with dark greens, lettuces and herbs.
Growing food, growing children
This unique urban garden will provide opportunities for both the Giants and Palo Alto-based Bon Appétit to share in community outreach with local chefs and farmers to Bay Area schools and community organizations, teaching children about food, farming, sustainability, gardening and nutrition.
Willie would be proud
The first students up to bat at the picnic table were a team of 9-year-olds from the Willie Mays Boys and Girls Club at Hunters Point who joined Giants’ outfielder, the kale-loving Hunter Pence, for the garden’s opening day lunch of flatbreads from the pizza ovens and a dessert of fresh, juicy strawberries. Calling the garden “the start of something big for ourselves, the youth and for the community,” Pence got a laugh when he confided that he’s been turning his teammates into salad lovers.
A vision hit outta the ballpark
San Francisco Giants’ President and CEO Larry Baer cut the leafy ribbon at high noon under gloriously blue skies on a June afternoon. “During our visit to the White House in honor of the 2012 World Series title, President Obama announced our plans to create an edible garden at AT&T Park,” Baer said.
Fans and fire pits
Once fully operational after the All-Star break in mid-July, fans can arrive two hours before the first pitch to enjoy a bar, dining tables, benches around the fire pits and picnics on the sod farm, harvested for use on the playing field.
Coffee grounds in the ballpark grounds
Beds of greens, flowers and vegetables will be fertilized with coffee grounds from Gaia Organic Blend Coffee served at AT&T Park by partner Peet’s Coffee & Tea, founded in the Bay Area in 1966.