Season Opener: Trip to Fenway Farms Rooftop Garden
The CP&GC Conservation and Horticulture committees sponsored our first outing of the club year – a trip to Fenway Farms on the rooftop of Fenway Park. (Thanks go to Sandra Fairbank and Lindsay Greimann for making the trip possible.) On September 22 – a gorgeous day, 12 club members gathered at Gate D, where we were met by Mark Winterer, one of the owners of Recover Green Roofs. Mark’s firm designed the rooftop farm – containers, irrigation, trellis structures – and coordinated contractors – engineer, astro turf installer, permit-expediter.
As we made our way up Fenway’s ramps and steps, Mark explained that Fenway – the oldest ballpark in America – was built to last. Though the stadium’s architects and engineers may not have foreseen the roof garden that opened in 2014, the structural strength of their design made it possible. (The next time you are at Fenway, check out the columns.)
On the roof, we were joined by Laura Fedderson, the head gardener of Green City Growers, the group that does the day-to-day farming. Mark and Laura provided technical details related to containers (milk crates), crate-liners (custom-sewn felt inserts that provide air to the roots of the plants), soil (Vermont Compost is the most expensive soil, but worth it), irrigation (a smart system), drainage, calculations of winter snow load (dictating winter placement of crates), the roof membrane (astro turf is required for the membrane’s protection), and more. We could see that Recover Green Roofs and Green City Growers are working closely to push the frontier of rooftop farming forward.
Where does the Fenway Farm harvest – all organic – go? It goes just inside – to the ballpark’s restaurant, the EMC Club. No transportation costs, though the restaurant’s chefs required some instruction in best harvesting techniques.
We strolled around the beds of vegetables, asking more questions and thinking about how we could bring what we learned back to our own gardens, and how much fun it would be to make a return trip to enjoy a ballgame and the farm’s bounty at the EMC Club.
As a thank-you to Mark Winterer, who graciously hosted our group at no charge and also arranged the security clearances with the Red Sox organization, all the CP&GC visitors made individual donations to the Jimmy Fund.
For more information on Recover Green Roofs projects, see: http://www.recovergreenroofs.com.
For more on Green City Growers, see: http://greencitygrowers.com/.