Red Sox President & CEO Sam Kennedy And Fenway Sports Group Partner Linda Henry Dish On The Five-Year Anniversary Of Fenway Farms

Photo Credit: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox

What started out as a dream of having a spot at Fenway Park to grow sustainable and organic produce has turned into a 10,600-square foot rooftop farm churning out organically grown vegetables and fruit to diners at Fenway Park’s Dell/EMC Club restaurant (as well as throughout the park). 

Located on the roof of the Front Office on the third base side of the EMC Level, it is here where the team at Green City Growers tends to this sustainable spot at America’s most beloved (and now greenest) ballpark. Celebrating its fifth year, Fenway Farms has produced 21,000 pounds of produce since inception that Aramark Executive Chef Ron Abell uses to prepare dishes from carrot hummus to scallion pancakes.

Photo Credit: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox

How did Fenway Farms come to be? “About six years ago, Red Sox Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Gilula and I were sitting in a game in the suite about 100 yards from here,” said Red Sox President & CEO Sam Kennedy at the five-year anniversary celebration yesterday. “Linda, who we had worked with for a long time at that point, who is passionate about lots of Fenway sports group issues and Boston and works on a variety of different things, especially sustainability, especially engaging kids and works closely with everyone in the front office, said, ‘Guys, guys, I have an idea.’ She said, ‘Come out, I want to show you something.’ We walked out here and she said, ‘What do you think about Fenway Farms and putting a garden here? Wouldn’t that be incredible?'”

Photo Credit: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox

And the rest, as they say, is history. “When I was growing up, I remember summer nights of just having our fresh tomatoes,” said Linda Henry, Fenway Sports Group Partner and Red Sox Foundation Board Member. “We had this one problem there. We were at the losing end. We had this epic battle with this gopher in our backyard and I have a brilliant dad and he worked so hard. We put up netting; we put up traps and we were not winning. In fact, my dad found the spiciest hot peppers he could find and planted them just for the gophers. The gophers left us the hot peppers, but took everything else. I never lost my passion for gardening and the appreciation for what real fresh vegetables are. I was captivated by what Green City Growers was doing because they were finding a way to bring rooftop gardens in an inexpensive and accessible way. This is something very attainable. We wanted to show this was something incredibly productive without a huge investment. What better way to show the potential for sustainable living than growing organic produce right here. If it can work in a place where hot dogs, peanuts and Cracker Jacks are considered three square meals, then we felt others would join us and that’s really what happened, which has really been amazing. Fenway Farms for me represents a daily miracle. Whoever imagined a working vegetable garden on the roof of the oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball?”

Photo Credit: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox