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Yes, that is kale sprouting up from the roof of Fenway.  Lots of it.  Alongside chard, chives, cilantro, strawberries and beyond.  It’s all part of Fenway Farms, the 5,000 square foot organic garden positioned on the roof of the park’s front office located on the third base side of the EMC level and State Street Pavilion level.  Utilizing a milk crate container growing system the farm is back again for the 2016 season and perfectly positioned to catch all of the summer’s sunshine. Harvested produce (from crops chosen seasonally by the Fenway Park chefs) is served throughout the season in the park’s EMC Club restaurant and also at Press Box Dining. Eventually, farm produce may even expand to the general food concessions.

A team of urban farmers from Green City Growers maintain the garden and use only organic, OMRI approved products for fertility and pest management.  Green City Growers partners with Recover Green Roofs, a Somerville-based green roofing company, for this and other rooftop projects, including the half-acre rooftop farm at Whole Foods Market in Lynnfield, MA, the largest rooftop farm in New England.  With Fenway Farms Green City Growers furthers their mission to “transform unused space into thriving urban farms, providing clients with immediate access to nutritious food, while revitalizing city landscapes and inspiring self-sufficiency.”


In many ways the rooftop garden is a nod to history… former Red Sox bullpen coach John Cumberland cultivated 18 tomato plants with basil in the bullpen in 2000. “We haven’t won since 1918,” said Cumberland in 2000, “so there’s the magic number.  I’m trying to change the karma around here, get some sweet tomatoes and basil in the soil and change it. Hopefully, we’ll have a nice, bountiful crop by October.” The Red Sox famously broke “The Curse of the Bambino” by winning the World Series in 2004!  Fenway Farms, launched as the team’s 2015 season opened, also extends the Boston Red Sox’ commitment to helping protect and preserve the environment and their neighbors around Fenway Park.


The 2016 crop up on Fenway’s Roof

Last season’s spring plant-in included arugula, broccoli, broccoli raab, carrots, chard, chives, cilantro, collards, greens mix, head lettuce, kale, lettuce mix, mint, oregano, parsley, pea shoots, radish, rosemary, scallions, snap peas, spinach, strawberries, thyme and violas. And, the summer plant-in included basil, beans, broccoli, chard, chives, collards, cucumbers, eggplant, flowers, hot peppers, kale, mint, oregano, parsley, potatoes, rosemary, scallions, strawberries, sweet peppers, sweet potatoes, thyme, tomatoes and zucchini.  Judging by the Fenway Farms view on opening day this season, much of that promise is back for 2016!


Written by Susan Currie.  Images by Susan Currie.

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