Well, how very apropos.
Earlier this week, the husband of one of America’s most outspoken champions of hyper-local veggie production (and platonic ladycrush of MNN food blogger Robin Shreeves) announced that 2012 World Series champions the San Francisco Giants will be getting a massive edible garden come Opening Day 2014.
Capable of producing a vast array of fruits, vegetables, and herbs including bok choy, kumquats, avocados, chard, and
soft pretzel plants, the 3,000 square-foot organic garden will be constructed in a bleacher-less, sun-strewn swath of sod located behind the center-field wall at AT&T Park and, once up and blooming, will provide the LEED Silver venue’s catering operations with a variety of fresh produce while also serving as a “community classroom” of sorts in the off-season according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
But not to worry, folks, that traditional greasy/salty/fatty ballpark fare won’t be going anywhere …
President Obama laid any worries to rest at a ceremony honoring the Giants held on the South Lawn of the White House … not too far from FLOTUS’ own pesticide-free pride and joy:
I’m proud to announce that next season they’re planning to turn the centerfield bleachers at AT&T Park into what’s believed to be the first ever edible garden in a major American sports facility. With rows of kale and strawberries and eggplant, the Giants are going to help encourage local youth to eat healthy — even at the ballpark. I should add, even Michelle would say it's okay to have a hotdog once in a while, though. I don’t want everybody to get carried away and think they have to have kale every time they go to the ballpark.
Dubbed a “centerfield-to-table project” by the Chronicle and hailed as a productive use of real estate that "that is not just very San Francisco, but a part of today's world" by Giants honcho Larry Baer, the Giants Garden is a joint venture between the Giants and concessionaire Bon Appetit Management Co., which provides “high-end” grub to private parties and the park’s club and luxury suite levels. The Palo Alto-based company also operates a couple of sit-down eateries adjacent to the solar-powered waterfront ballpark which, by the way, is already overwhelmingly vegetarian-friendly.
Explains Bon Appetit Management Co. founder and president Fedele Bauccio: "There's so much product we can grow, it's unbelievable. Kale, strawberries, broccolini, citrus, huckleberry ... The idea would be for people to sit there and watch the game and eat food from the garden."
No word on whether or not the garlic used in the park’s famed garlic fries will come from the fancy new garden or continue to be trucked in 80 miles away from the Santa Clara County city of Gilroy, otherwise known as “Garlic Capital of the World.” The chicken fingers will continue to come from the deep fryer, not the dirt.
Two Bay Area firms, EDG Interior Architecture & Design and Blasen Landscape Architecture, collaborated on the garden’s design which will incorporate concrete planters, hydroponic troughs, and green trellises.
Following President Obama’s big reveal, Silvina and Eric Blasen, principles of Blasen Landscape Architecture, provided the Los Angeles Times with even more details about — and additional renderings of — the garden which will also include an on-site kitchen and al fresco dining area catering to the city's sizable population of insufferable foodies who wouldn't be caught dead scarfing nachos in the sticky-floored grandstands:
What the new garden will have: aeroponic towers where leafy green vegetables and tomato plants can grow vertically, as well as raised beds with peas, more greens and Persian cucumbers. Lemon trees will be planted in containers that are mobile and easy to maintain, the couple said. Long dining tables will feature rotating trays of herbs and edible flowers such as pansies and marigolds. ‘You can pluck off fresh herbs while you’re sitting there eating,’ Eric Blasen said.
Via [San Francisco Chronicle], [L.A. Times]