"Last year, during our visit to the White House in honor of our 2012 World Series title, President Obama announced our plans to create an edible garden at AT&T Park," said Giants President and CEO Larry Baer. "For the past year, our partner Bon Appétit has worked tirelessly under the leadership of its CEO and Cofounder Fedele Bauccio to make this vision a reality. As usual, Bon Appétit has exceeded our expectations and has created a special place in the ballpark which will certainly become a popular place for our fans to gather and an outdoor classroom where our children can learn."
"We believe strongly that fresh, delicious food is a powerful teaching tool. All over the country, at the universities and corporations Bon Appétit serves, we've been excited to create and support kitchen gardens and campus farms," said Bauccio. "This particular one has been a dream of mine for a long time, and I am so proud to see it finally blooming."
Located behind the centerfield wall, just under the scoreboard, this 4,320 square-foot space offers a bounty of fruits, vegetables, greens and flowers grown sustainably that will be harvested at peak ripeness year round. Blueberries, strawberries, avocados, tomatoes, peppers, squash, lettuces, lemons, watercress, kale and lemongrass will be available for Bon Appétit and guest chefs to pluck fresh for salads and other special dishes for ballpark guests. The produce will also be used in community-focused programs about healthy eating.
The landscape design, by Blasen Landscape Architecture and EDG under Bauccio's direction, integrates cutting-edge vertical aeroponic towers made by Future Growing with traditional raised beds atop the concrete plaza. Each tower, made of FDA-compliant, food-grade plastic, can grow up to 44 plants on a tiny footprint. The aeroponic towers use up to 95 percent less water than conventional farming by recycling 100 percent of the growing solution. They are most commonly found in urban farms and in rooftop and restaurant gardens.
The Garden will serve as an outdoor classroom where Bay Area youth will gather to learn about sustainability, urban farming and healthy eating. The goal of The Garden is to introduce and educate the community about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. The Giants and Bon Appétit will work closely with local chefs, farmers and wellness organizations to teach children about how to plant their own urban garden and how to prepare healthy meals. Local Peet's Coffee & Tea locations will offer the community free coffee grounds to use as fertilizer in their personal gardens.
The Garden will also feature a bar, dining tables, benches and fire pits for fans to use during their visit to AT&T Park. Fans will also have the opportunity to picnic on the sod farm, which is harvested for use on the playing field. The Garden's centerfield wall will include small cutout slits with ground-level views of the field.